A long, long time ago... er well, a long time ago for me, I was a rather strange and eccentric young lady. I wore vintage clothes, not because it was cool to wear vintage (it wasn't at the time, quite the opposite) but because I loved having cheap and unique pieces that no one else could possibly possess. At least once a week I wore a navy blue vintage dress with white spaceships printed on it. I wore my grandmother's handmedown shoes and glitter paint was often used to revamp old tee shirts, sneakers and jeans. It was normal for me to buy granny skirts and hack off several inches, leaving the hem raw and frayed and wear Chuck Taylors to formal events. Tiaras were worn almost daily. Bracelets up to my elbows (broken watches and gumball machine jewelry included).
I was the most unique character on campus. I was both loved and hated for it. Both bullied and praised... but no one took me seriously. I was just a fun novelty. The girl that dresses funny.
At 22 I was encouraged to move away from minimum wage fast food restaurant jobs and step into the "real world" with "real money". I was given a gentle shove into the world of banking. At my interview I looked around and saw girls my age in slacks, fresh blouses, pumps and pantyhose. They didn't giggle, they didn't have Weezer stickers on their cars or Radiohead blasting through their headphones. They walked upright and fast... with purpose. Meaning. They were spoken to as women... not little girls. They had respect.
I wanted to be respected too.
I wanted to be an ADULT and adults don't wear feather boas or mix their patterns.
When I got the job, my mother took me shopping for my first load of business attire. I didn't know anything about "dressing normal" and I needed help. Then, I didn't know that you could be stylish and still look professional. But that didn't really matter because I wasn't stylish... I was Hollie. Hollie didn't do stylish. Hollie wore whatever the hell she wanted so Hollie had to go bye-bye.
After a year of working in Accounts Verification my entire wardrobe consisted of nothing but business wear. Solid colored blouses, printed skirts... blah, blah, blah. Not a pair of jeans or a tee shirt to be found.
I would often times find myself grocery shopping and running small errands in heels and slacks because I had nothing else to wear.
|Photo taken by me at my desk many years ago.|
After quitting that job and the desk job that followed I began to dip back into my crazy old fashion ways but something happened. I was older and more socially aware and I finally saw the stares and frowns and it affected me greatly.
I became ashamed of myself for being so different. Yes. It's true.
I really felt like I had to "go back into the closet". Be a closet freak and practice my freakishness in the privacy of my own home. Have you ever noticed how some outfits are completely outrageous while others are well... not? Well, that's me breaking out... at home- desiring to be accepting... wanting to know that someone out there doesn't think I'm silly or immature for wanting to wear blue lipstick and bunny ears.
My wardrobe is still suffering from the tragic days of shuffling papers but I know I'll be back. Thanks to some amazingly awesome and inspiring bloggers I am slowly building the courage to be me again.
Thank you ladies for the inspiration.
I'm pretty sure you know who you are.