The earliest signs of my affliction were in elementary school in the 80′s when little girls started transitioning from leggings to jeans. I didn’t get it. Jeans were rough, stiff, hot, and stained easily compared to my flexible soft black leggings. How were you supposed to slide tackle someone in jeans? I wouldn’t wear those hideous, impractical, leg suffocators. End of story. And then one day in 8th grade I got a pair of Levi 501′s and never took them off for 5 years. I am to this day a jeans evangelist.
The first time I saw skinny jeans I laughed my ass off. I tried some on at the insistance of a friend and honestly thought they were a joke. The fact that 14 year old dudes were wearing them didn’t help. Years later, I own four pairs, including fire engine red, and I’ll wear them at least 3 years after they go out of style.
Gladiator sandals? Who am I, a Khaleesi from Game of Thrones? Then I gave them a shot two seasons later and didn’t take them off until they physically disintegrated.
I was the last of my friends to unhook one of my overalls straps like a G, wear knee socks like Alicia Silverstone, use a purse, embrace dangly earings, wear a dress that fit like a burlap sack, don a flowy sweater that had no buttons (wtf’s the point?)…but I get there eventually. And when I do, it’s not because I’m trying to be in style. It’s because I surpisingly love wearing whatever it is I’m now wearing (that I previously hated).
My latest discovery is the maxi dress. I heard they were coming back into style a couple years ago and tried a few on with one of my fashion-forward friends. Sure enough, I thought I looked like a cracked out hippy and threw them at the dressing room attendant. Last week I bought three and felt like a supermodel in them. That’s when it clicked. I stood there in front of the changing room mirror in my soon-to-be new dress thinking “What’s not to like about a maxi dress? What was my problem last time?” For the life of me, I honestly couldn’t remember.
Why does this happen? If I am going to eventually come around to new styles after they become old, why not just go for it right off the bat? Why not dive in head first? It makes more practical sense. If I’m going to spend the money on clothes now and then, I might as well get more than one season “in style.”
I don’t know if I could ever get the confidence to rock things when they first hit the racks. Why? Is it fashion’s fault? Is it that the catwalk is so over-the-top that I don’t trust it? Are these new styles objectively nice looking but I’m emotionally resistent to change? Or are they all ridiculous but after enough celebrities wear it, you think you like it? I have no idea. All I know is that one day I think it’s fugly and then a while later I freaking drool over it. And these maxi dresses I just got look effing fantastic. If you didn’t already buy some three years ago, you should totally get one.