You Are What You Wear

The infamous skinny jeans and 4 inch turquoise heels.

I find it fascinating how one’s fashion sense evolves over time. Perhaps that doesn’t happen to everyone, but in my case, what I wear has changed a lot in the past 10 years. I’ve gone from a girl who wore mostly hoodies, baggy wide-legged jeans, and Chuck Taylors everyday to my college classes to a woman who wears skinny jeans, leggings, and 4 inch heels to work. Oh, and I can’t forget the skirts. I don’t believe pants should be worn to work unless it’s a casual Friday, and even then, my idea of casual isn’t all that casual. The last time I “dressed down” for work, I wore skinny jeans and 4 inch turquoise suede heels.

Honestly, I can’t quite pinpoint when my sense of style started to change. When I got my first real library job, I bought a bunch of pairs of wide-legged dress pants and several pairs sensible shoes. If I could go back in time and smack Past Bitchy upside the head and then take her shopping for some REAL clothes, I totally would, but I digress. I feel like I started to care more about how I dressed when I got my first pair of heels. Sure, I wore heels to the few dances I attended in high school, but they weren’t something I wore frequently.

A typical college outfit. Yes, I would've worn this to class.

So what precipitated this shift in my fashion? I finally felt confident enough to pull off outfits I’d only dreamed of wearing. I had always wanted to own heels, but I always thought they were for other people. That I was too awkward and uncoordinated to wear them.  That my legs were too long and skinny to look good in them. But one day, I said “fuck it,” bought the heels, and I haven’t looked back since. And isn’t that what fashion is all about? Taking risks? Shouldn’t that be what life is all about? Going outside your comfort zone and maybe doing something you wouldn’t normally doing, just do see if you can do it? So far, it’s worked pretty well for me in fashion.

I grew up with a lot of body issues. People in high school used to call me “Slinky” because of the way I walked. My legs are long, so I take long strides. What the fuck did they want me to do about it? So I hid my thinness behind bulky clothes and tried to take smaller steps (I likely didn’t succeed in that one). Needless to say, I had very little self-confidence. When I went to college, I thought I wanted to be an English teacher, until I found out that I hated everything about teaching.

Leggings: still not pants.

Librarianship was kind of a shot in the dark for me. Being successful in my career gave me nearly instant confidence in everything in my life. I started standing taller, embraced the way I walked (and now people ask me if I am/have ever been a model), and started experimenting more with fashion.

I encourage everyone to embrace their faults, find something that they excel at, and turn that into something to be confident about. You’ll be surprised how much it can change your life. I’m constantly amazed by how much different Current Bitchy is from College Bitchy. I look at that picture of myself from 10 years ago and it’s like looking at a completely different person. And she wouldn’t recognize Current Bitchy either; however, it’s likely that she would’ve allowed herself to be intimidated by Current Bitchy’s confidence. But I wouldn’t change anything about my past because what happened then shaped me into the person I am today.

Confidence is a powerful thing. Find it in yourself.

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6 Responses to “You Are What You Wear”

  1. I love this post. I wore uniforms in high school and when I first got to college I thought I had to “blend in” by wearing nike shorts and larger-shirts. But I need felt good and my clothes started reflecting my mood. Then one day, I woke up and said “I’m going to dress for myself and not care what anyone thinks.”
    I bought a ton of dresses and skirts. I like to feel pretty and feminine and wear cute clothes to class. I leave class and go straight to work and everything I wear makes me feel good and be work appropriate. Wen I’m working the Circ desk at the library, I feel like I’m nicer to people if I dress like I enjoy my job. It works wonders for self confidence when people compliment an outfit. Thanks for this post!

    • Bitchy Librarian says:

      I’ve never had experience with the whole uniforms thing. I wonder how that would have shaped my high school fashion experience? I would’ve have worn less over-sized t-shirts, that’s for sure.

      And that’s exactly it. You should always dress for yourself and no one else.

      I love feeling pretty and feminine, too; it just took me awhile to get to that point and realize that it was okay for me to like that. I don’t know why I had such an issue with it or why I felt like I wasn’t supposed to like it.

      And I love that wearing your cute outfits gives you a boost of confidence and makes you feel like you do your job better! You are what you wear, indeed. :)

      Thanks for the comment!

  2. vodkaandlemons says:

    So true, so true. I used to feel like I shouldn’t dress up because only people in the city wore heels but I don’t give a shit anymore. Kinda like the honeybadger. This post was at a perfect time for me. Yesterday I went shopping just to boost morale and I bought some skinny jeans and these plum, suede, high heeled, peep toe booties that are awesome. It’s also why I am really working to get a job out of my home, because I want to dress for success, yo, not just wear my pajamas all day.

    • Bitchy Librarian says:

      Right? I grew up in a small town, so maybe I had some of that mentality as well. I’ve definitely got a lot more daring with fashion since working in the hood.

      The honey badger had a good attitude. Why give a shit? Be yourself.

      Those jeans with those booties sound awesome! You definitely need to get out of the house so you can wear them!

  3. John says:

    It’s always amazing to me to read about people’s body issues . . . because you & winey . . . well, I’ve always thought you might be two who have been comfortable in your bodies. I’m glad to hear that you are, now . . . because, let’s face it, you’re smoking. Then again, little is sexier than confidence on a person . . . and, well, you’re, rightfully, swimming in a the right kind of confidence right now.

    • Bitchy Librarian says:

      I think a lot of people have stages where they have body issues. Mine came from letting jealous people in high school bring me down. Stupid in retrospect.

      I like to think that people grow into their bodies and their confidence.

      And thank you. :)