Saturday, May 12

Fashion: An assignment

Avy of My Mother Fucked Mick Jagger dared all us bloggers to write  about what fashion means to us. You can read what she has to say on the subject here.

When I was a kindergartener my favourite dress was made from thick blue denim. I can feel it on my skin just thinking about it. Of course at three I did not care about my looks, but there was a certain comfort to that particular garment that just made me a little bit happier just for wearing it.

Later I went through a period of trying my damnedest to blend in. Let me give you a taste of just how futile an endeavour this was: I was cross eyed for one (still am), I was freakishly taller than my peers, clumsy, talked to myself A LOT (still do) and to boot I sounded like a foreigner (my parents brought me up to speak standard German rather than the local dialect). I stuck out like a sore thumb, even in blue jeans and grey t-shirts.
Mediocrity. Oh, how I longed for you!

The thing is, when you wrap yourself in blandness you attract bland people. You still meet amazing people too of course, regardless of what you're wearing. But, when I finally found the guts to wear what I like, I soon realised that wearing colourful, bold garments actually makes people who are petrified of everything out of the ordinary recoil. Keep their distance.
If I hid myself in plain clothes they'd spend weeks or even months getting to know me before realising I offend their sensibilities to the very core (And on that note: Offence is not something that is given, people just take it). What a lot of precious time I am saving both them and me!

So these days I wear my otherness on my sleeve (in reds and greens and blues and purples, in novelty prints and dead old lady's dresses). And sometimes random strangers smile at me, because I am a pop of colour on a cold, grey day. And isn't that just the best?

When I got my nesting doll tattoo touched up a couple of months after I'd had it done, the tattoo artist (Alex) asked me whether I'd gotten used to it yet. Whether it felt like part of me yet.
To be honest, as soon as I had decided on the design, the spot where it would be started to feel peculiar: Like there was a birth mark missing I knew ought to be there. But I didn't say that.
I told her that we don't get to choose our bodies. With the exclusion of the lines that appear on our faces over time; Our bodies, they say nothing about our personality. But we get to choose little adornments such as tattoos, so we can make our flesh say a tiny little bit about us after all. So this skin we're in looks like home.

I feel the same way about clothing. It's not just to keep me covered and warm. It's so I get to recognise myself in the mirror. That girl looking like she's just walked out of a children's picture book, that's me: Hello! I am bold and colourful. I am a dreamer and an escapist. I am playful and just a little bit strange.

What does fashion mean to you?


  1. I thought your take on this was inspirational! I think it's great to think of fashion as a way to express yourself. And also, even though our fashion tastes are quite dissimilar - aside from a love of bright colors - I love your style.

  2. I love this post! I was thinking about something similar recently... I grew up in a small town in the north of England where you'd get looked at like you'd grown a horn if you didn't wear a tracksuit and popularity was gauged on which trainers you wore.

    Perhaps because of (or despite) that, clothes have become such a big part of how I express myself. Not to say, 'hey I'm different to you' but just to say 'hey this is me, this is how I'm feeling today'. Clothing is something way more personal than just what keeps you warm and decent.

  3. Abigayel BryceMay 12, 2012

    Really great post! Your'e a good storyteller, very eloquent : )

  4. Avy StanfordJuly 05, 2012

    Oh, I only saw this now, how lovely! You are totally right, we can stand out by picking clothes that say something about who we are, and even choose our company based on outfits. I like the way you think.