|Alhamdulillah I was born too late to fall prey to the "goth steampunk" look. I woulda fallen HARD. Just sayin' :-)|
My entire life, no one has EVER accused me of being "fashion forward". After a very unfortunate 80's inspired teenage era I moved straight into a straight jeans and t-shirt phase. Oh wait, before that, while in college, I did try to look more fashionable. I bought a track suit. You know, the shiny, noisy ones made out of some kinda of synthetic material, in multi colors, the kind still sported by old dudes out walking in the mall? Hmm. In my defense they were ALL the rage back in the early 90s.
Mine was white with lime green and purple. Possibly some black to perk it up. lol. I wore with it a shirt that had cacti made out of sequins. I still remember it (with convulsions of guilt mingled with disbelief!). It appears I either dressed oh no, over-the-top or just tried to be as unobtrusive as possible. Anyway I do have a picture of me in this fine suit.
I would even be willing to scan it and post it here but our scanner is on the fritz. Oh and I had a fake butt on as well. Yes, dear readers, I did. A fake bottom. False behind. Whatever you wanna call it. I saw one advertised in a magazine. Much to my chagrin, this baby didn't have back. :-D I was bottom-challenged and it was a sore point with me. So much that I parted with about $50 of my hard earned dollars and bought this... this foam monstrosity.
I even wore it. Once. In the unfortunate track suit photo mentioned above. Alhamdulillah I had the good sense to realize it was ridiculous but allowed my then-boyfriend (the boys' eventual father, my soon-to-be husband) to snap a pic for "posterity". (Haha, posterity for my posterior. Funny!) Or more likely, to remind me to never experiment with color again!!!!
OK so after the disastrous attempt to be colorful and stylish, I did the "I don't care how I dress" phase, the jeans and t-shirt Jeanna. Comfy stretchy jeans and men's t-shirts, to be exact. Oh my. After that, when I had a job that demanded dressing up, I morphed into "old lady at 25" with sensible slacks and polyblend tops. Yes top, not shirts. In my defense, my sensibly-dressing MIL bought my work wardrobe for me, as I didn't have the funds. Still shuddering...
Then came my entrance into the world or dressing more like a woman and one who isn't having a psychadelic flashback to some groovy time. :-) I lost some weight (quite a bit, I was very sick prior to dialysis) and realized that a) I was actually a woman b) I didn't have to have a perfect anything to look nicer and c) I could somewhat rely on my own sense of style.
Well don't you know c is the one that came back to bite me on the butt? Because of my well-earned distrust of my fashion sense (don't you know that term was an oxymoron for me? lol) I had lost all faith in my ability to put together an outfit. So if I found one thing I liked, that wasn't obnoxious, I wanted to buy it in every color. This is the Dialysis Diva phase btw. :-) Not so diva but better...
I wore jeans that fit and had found a longer, a-line, cap sleeved tshirt made by Hanes her Way at Wal-Mart. I bought a grey one. Ahhh the comfort, the fit, the love... I then proceeded to buy a navy, a red, a black and a white. Yeah, I did. And I pretty much just wore those. :-) I had a few other things I would vary it with but this was indeed my daily uniform. Dear Readers, I felt pretty for the first time in a looooong time. Not just capable or dependable or acceptable but pretty.
This is also called my "Sporty Spice" stage. I bought alot of sporty knits, any top with a stripe was game for me, and paired with a long denim skirt or similar.
And all it took was a $7 t-shirt. :-)) But I digress... Oh this is gonna be a long post, I can feel it. You know, it's cathartic to get rid of all this shame that's been building in me for years. I'm actually surprised no one in my family did an intervention. Well one friend did she
OK sorry back on track. So after the dialysis stage I kinda settled into my style; understated, comfy but feminine. Not racy, not sexy, but definitely not as modest as I dress now. So let's just skip ahead to now, which is actually the entire reason I started this post!
This is when my fashion schizophrenia really manifested itself. Before, I couldn't settle on any one (horrible) look. Now I can hop from abaya to shalwar kameez to long jean skirt and cotton top. I like pretty shoes and nice purses but my favorite footwear continues to be my men's leather sandals which I would happily wear everyday if this crazy weather here would cooperate! Comfort is my queen but I as long as it feels good and is modestly-fitting I can go crazy!
I have some jalabiyya that are decked out in sequins and fringe, a couple of very sophisticated abayaat that make me feel like an Arabian princess, shalwar kameez ranging from daily wear cotton to a bridal-type in rusty red and gold. I'll glame it up for 'Eid or I am happy to wear my "old faithful", a black abaya, my first abaya ever, gifted to me by a sweet sister. It has a scissor hole in the hem from a Muslim Scouts meeting (my fault, not a child's lol) and I have to re-sew the underarm seams periodically. Hands down my favorite abaya EVER. Not stylish at ALL.
You all know by now my predilection for the tie-back, polyblend khimars. Now I've added a couple of overhead abayaat to the mix. I'm learning how to wear them gracefully but the idea of them is uber-appealing. :-)
Now that I'm married to a Tunisian Arab he has less appreciation for my "eclectic" fashion sense. :-) Masha'Allah my husband is very plain and I am usually very plain as well, happy as a lark in my plain abaya and khimar.
But sometimes... the fashion schizophrenia flares up and I long, just for a day, to be the Arabian Princess or the Indian Rani or even the Funky American Revert. Just for a day... :-)
I feel guilty when I see my closetful of clothes. Correction, closet FULL of clothes. Most of them unworn now, feeling unloved, unneeded. :-D I still have affection for them but no opportunity to wear them. In my home, I'm a busy mama and I don't have the time or the reason to wear something nice. Outside of my home, I dress modestly which for my husband means on abaya and which for me generally means abaya. (I feel some other things are very modest but have worn abaya so long, by my own accord, and now as a means to please my husband, that I wouldn't change.)
Any of you out there fellow fashion faux-pas-ers? :-)