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Sunday, August 25, 2013

the breakout

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.


  1. I literally want to frame and hang that picture of you in the red leggings smoking a cig on my wall... Is that weird?
    I don't particularly enjoy all the negative attention I get as an adult who dresses weird (when I was younger I gave no fucks!!), it's terrible how much people judge and I feel like they judge 'mom's' the worst. IMO

  2. I think that the young Hollie and I would have been BFFs for sure! I used to dress very similar, my favorite clothes were ones that I had bought, chopped up and pieced with others to make a BRAND new outfit! Love it! I hope that you never go back to the banker's world. I love this Hollie too much! You are such a beautiful person and it SHINES through your clothing choices. I will say it again (and probably a million and two times more lol) I WISH WE LIVED CLOSER TOGETHER!!!! You are seriously the coolest, just saying. :)

  3. I always find it funny that the people who have office jobs (hidden away somewhere) are the ones that have to dress like clones. I, on the other hand, work in THE THEATRE(say it fancy) and can wear what ever I want. But I know what you mean. As long as you can do the job, why does it matter what you wear? Then, I am the person who got sent home from high school for wearing....wait for it.....jeans!!!!!!!! Ok, it was 1972.

  4. First off, I love this outfit especially the jacket with the sculls!

    I used to wear a suit to work everyday except casual Fridays. While it was a somewhat rigid dress code it was easy to get ready in the morning, and although I worked in the field of Finance, the industry I worked within was somewhat hip, so I could choose some pretty funky jackets to wear.

    But I found that I had very separate sets of clothes, those for work and those for fun.

    I just finally donated all but a few of my old suits, and you know what, I already wish I'd saved some of those jackets! You can't win! :)

  5. You only go around once - why not go for the gusto?

    I esp. like your Vogoff photo shoot ...

  6. I was the same way: Cheap and unique pieces no one else would possess. I'm still that way more or less!

  7. I hope you do come back and not worry about what people think. I'm not like that flamboyant, but I hate to think that you're holding back and feeling self-conscious. But then, maybe it's a necessary phase as you adjust to motherhood. Of course, Desiree has 4 children, and she don' give a fuck what anyone thinks!

  8. You're gorgeous the way you are girly!
    I think it's necessary to change your wardrobe up if u work in the business world but you should dress like yourself on your own time.
    The way you dress makes you special bc youre different &you're not trying hard to be different you're just being yourself!

  9. Hollie, you're a great writer and I think this blog post will resonate with a lot of women.
    Most of us vintage whores dress in old clothes to avoid looking like everyone else, it is a fashion statement in a way - we don't give a fuck about following a trend, no two humans look the same so why dress like clones? You're unique and fabulous and your confidence will return.
    I don't get negative comments or this "side eye" I hear bloggers mention or maybe I do and I'm just too busy having such a fabulous life that I'm too busy to notice. xxxxx

  10. That's the last time I'm using the Bloglovin' iPhone app to comment ... it's gone!! Grrrrrrr!! I can't even remember my exact words now as I replied after I was awoken from a deep slumber at 1.30am and that was 12 hours ago :(. You are one scorching hot chic and your inner spirit is always there, you're an artist and a truly creative human being and whatever stage you're at in your life, your personality is going to bust out somewhere. The boring fuckers in this world cannot contain you Hollie. Sometimes our flair is expressed with clothing and our appearance, other times it's how we fill our home, what we read, our music, our hobbies, the people we choose to have in our lives. You can't keep a good woman down. Now I'm putting you on my blogroll so I never miss another post dammit!!!!!! xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxxoxoo

  11. Wonderfully thoughtful post. It's a shame that you felt you had to hide Hollie away as Hollie is fabulous *hugs*

    I wore second hand clothes because I couldn't afford new, simple as that.

  12. I hope you carry on being interesting. Shame you don't have the space ships dress now. Is it hidden away somewhere? I'm glad you gave up your boring office job, I used to have more corporate wardrobe when I had a sensible job, but it feels so restrictive doesn't it? I love all your inspired photos, but that that bottom right look, that's just stunning! xxx


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