Thursday, February 13, 2014

Day Twenty-six: It looks like me, but it's not *really* me.

To my eye this combination looks really consistent with my age, location, education level, social status, politics, and proclivities. I mean, you can just tell by looking at me that I live in a Northern California university town, support recycling and alternative fuels, and go to the farmers market and the library regularly. I feel like this outfit says a lot of things about me- and those things happen to be true- but I don't really like this look for myself. I look fine, but I look like every other 40 something woman sampling produce at the local farmers market. Actually, I wore this to see a movie at our local art house theater and it was perfectly appropriate for that pursuit, and there were at least 3 other women in the audience wearing a version of this outfit.

I like:

  • That almost every item was obtained from the thrift store. The cardigan was a gift but the shoes, jeans, sweater and 'scarf' were bought used.
  • The fact that the 'scarf' is actually a seasonal table runner. This fact allows me to entertain the fantasy that I am so stylish that I can make an accessory out of anything. I have learned that it is much better to keep this fact to myself instead of excitedly exclaiming, "It's a table runner!!!" when someone compliments it. Other people really don't know what to make of this information.
  • You can't see them but the Smartwool Hide and Seek socks make me very happy. They are the only socks I've ever tried that aren't visible outside of shoes AND don't end up in a wad under my instep after slipping off my heels the minute I take a step.

I'd change:

  • The long sweater and voluminous scarf combination. I think this is what makes it look like such a typical example of the local uniform. Individually I like all the pieces here, but together they seem so predictably "Yes, I do have a moment to sign your petition for clean energy.' (They have those "Do you have a moment for...[insert worthy cause here]" kids everywhere, right?)
  • I wish my hair was not sticking up on top of my head in every single full length photo taken in this outfit but that has already been taken care of IRL.

The verdict:

  • Sometimes outfits look just fine- nice even- but they just don't do it for me. If I saw someone who looked like me at the movies I would have probably appreciated how much her table runner scarf complimented her hair, I might have admired her cuffed jeans with her cap toe mens oxfords, but I wouldn't have thought 'I need to copy that outfit.'
  • This is a 6/10 for me. I don't think it looks bad. I just don't think it looks like me, even though, somehow, it looks like lots of people who are very much like me. (And whom I would probably like very much.)


  1. You are so funny, I would not have known it was a table runner because I own one very similar and I bought it full price from a vendor at a market.
    I like the jeans a lot on you and this outfit is what I call my 'uniform'. I think this look evolved from European women in the early 2000. I remember running around with jeans and a T shirt and draped front sweater and thought that was chic until I saw the addition of the scarf.
    I sometimes wear outfits that make me invisible when I go out because I don't want the attention negative or positive. Wearing sweats is a big no no in this area so that would cause negative attention. But trying to dress in a "me" outfit is your goal. What is your signature "me" outfit for casual shopping? Have you tried the dress with a moto-cross jacket look I see a lot of women sporting that look locally? They either have boots or oxfords like you are wearing in the picture with the dress.

  2. I'm still here, and I quite like this look on you. There is something about the lines/silhouette that jeans and a a long cardi create on you that I think looks great. I'm more into graphic patterns than the sort of pattern on your scarf / table runner (love the idea!), but the colours work nicely with yours. It's actually enlightening to see how much other people can like an outfit on a person and think that the outfit is really thatperson, and still the person themself doesn't quite agree. Perhaps we could all learn from that - that even our "misses" might be closer to "hits". I'm not sure, rambling a bit with a couple of glasses of wine in my system. :)