You imagined, you invented.

Shoes: neosens
Socks: asos.com
Everything else: second hand

I’m currently reading Anaïs Nin’s journals and after being a bit sceptic at first, I am becoming increasingly intrigued by Nin. Her writing sometimes seemed overly embellished (though that’s not the right word, maybe ‘pretty’ is?) and occasionally false to me, but after fifty odd pages I started realising that’s exactly what typifies Anaïs Nin’s character, she wants to please so much. She does it by sensuous movements, luscious perfumes and beautiful dresses, gloves, hats, shoes… She seduces and so do her words. Her writing style echoes her person, or rather the persona she has created, which cracks sometimes and shows her unbelievable emotional sensitivity and eventually her own insecurities.

In the book, she meets June Miller who comes up with elaborate lies about everything, Anaïs gets intrigued first by her beauty then why June lies so much. She realises that June lies to veil her extreme sensitivity, she does it because she lives in her own dreams. They bond. They even seem in love, but it’s not a sexual love (though it is sensual) it’s a womanly admiring love (my favourite), an extremely sensitive love. Every touch, a little movement at the corner of their mouth, all little winces they seem to grasp immediately of another. They laugh with Henry Miller’s emotional insensitivity. Reading this, it makes me feel obtuse for not being so sensitive to people’s emotional expression, and ultimately sad for not being like them. It sounds so beautiful. I’m only 100 pages in.

But I guess what makes attracts me so much to Anaïs is that her dream-like state mirrors my own, and this sentiment:

I have always been tormented by the image of multiplicity of selves. Some days I call it richness, and other days I see it as a disease, a proliferation as dangerous as cancer. My first concept about people around me was that all of them were coordinated into a WHOLE, whereas I was made up of a multitude of selves, of fragments.

Regarding clothing I definitely feel the same, I’m unsure whether I feel the same for my personality as well but maybe my doubting of that same sentiment might mean that I maybe I do, but maybe I don’t. Maybe this maybying signifies exactly that I do. Maybe it doesn’t. But it definitely intrigues me.

Anyway, I unconsciously matched my outfit with the book cover (yellow, pink).

Candy land

This silhouette is probably the most recurrent one in my entire wardrobe and I must’ve posted something similar several times. Yet, this is the epitome for me. It reminds me of old kid’s clothes with the boots and the puffy skirt and the socks and the leather bookcase. And I love it so. Once again I make myself look like a little girl.

In the recent past I’ve put an strange and shameful amount of thought into my preference of these kind of clothes and continually kept wondering things like ‘do I in any way perform my femininity, or rather girlishness to somehow get what I want?’ Of course not, because I only dress like this. But then I remember there’s always the fact that there is a collective aesthetic history that immediately links this to children, which can obviously make me look somewhat creepy as a 22-year-old. So I know this, I know what some people’s implications are but then I think about it and I realise that I do not care, have never cared and possibly will never care. I mean, why should these kind of clothes mean childhood and others adulthood? Why do people say clothes and fashion is trivial yet see them as very restricted and static, often with dubious meanings. Obviously there is the fact that clothes have a history of being signifier of class, religion etc. etc. (a fact most people these days stupidly ignore and coincidentally trivialize). But in the case of my preferred silhouette, etc., and all of those similar that stereotype people in a confined box just by a glance of their outfit, are they still applicable? Moreover, should anyone ever care? OF COURSE NOT. So I’ve decided to wallow in my own girlish taste and wear my teddy bear backpack and pigtails proudly, whenever I feel like it.

 

Life? or Theatre?

I’ve been thinking why I dress a certain why and why I am so in love with dressing up etc. lately, and coincidentally I’ve also been wondering why I have the tendency to take pictures of said dressing up. For the latter part I’ve basically come to a conclusion.

When I first started taking pictures of outfits, in the good old LJ days, I suppose it was firstly because I wanted to share new purchases and the coincidental excitement of it. But that’s the shallowest explanation; I think I also looked for some kind of acceptance, some kind of proof I was somehow cool and not the inherent outsider I always felt like. Teenage years, teenage insecurities! Later on that didn’t matter; I felt accepted with my friends and came to a point where I stopped caring what most people thought of me. But I continued with the outfit shots. I continued because of aforementioned excitement of new purchases and new looks; new coincidental identities I could hide behind, because I felt awful. I felt really, truly awful about myself. I felt awful about my body, I felt awful about my personality, I felt awful about every single little thing I ever did. And so I took pictures in flattering poses with flattering clothes, and somehow it made me feel temporarily better. I made sure I kept to the rules of dressing for my certain body shape (which is why I am so horribly opposed and nauseated by ‘dress for yr figure’ articles; because it hurt me so bad when I was younger). But flattering is boring, and safe and suddenly I realised that so I stopped needing (relatively) “good taste”. I started creating more elaborate characters in my head and wore matching outfits. More identities to hide behind. At the same time I also slowly discovered, (or re-discovered and found the proper word and the proper theoretic texts of) feminism. And for some reason I realised I’d been posing and hiding in these outfit pictures. I needed to do something about that, or I’d never feel better. Gradually I dared wearing actually supposedly “unflattering” clothes and realised said unflattering clothes don’t actually exist, because this is my body and it doesn’t need anything to make it “look better” because I live in this body, I feed it, I breathe with it, I walk with it, it takes me to exciting levels of life and pleasure. And so I am here, unconditionally content with my body and life and person and I don’t need outfit photos, nor do I need certain threads to make me feel better about myself. So I’m wondering, why do I keep up with it?

It’s habit.

If you do or have done the same (taking outfit/style pictures whateveryouwanttocallit) why do you do it, why have you done it? If you don’t, what’s your view on people doing that?