I’m struggled with writing these posts a little. They’ve been a great way to keep myself organized and motivated in this quest to finally feel comfortable in what I’m wearing, and that alone should be reason enough to feel confident in writing these posts. But I don’t generally write a style blog. And I can’t help but wonder if anyone – especially the people who know me who also read me blog – is just lumping me into the category of “stay-at-home wife who has nothing better to do than spend her husband’s money.” I can’t help but wonder if all this is shallow.
I feel like I should explain a little about why I started this series and why it’s kind of important to me. I’ve always enjoyed getting dressed and studying fashion. That’s half the fun of people watching when traveling — to see what others are wearing in different parts of the world, for different occasions than I’m accustomed to. There’s a certain aspect of a stranger’s personality that is revealed through their clothes, whether consciously or unconsciously so, and it is the inquisitive, creative side that I feed when I pay attention to and try to understand that revelation. Growing up, I was awkward and nerdy, and although I tried to dress nicely I had kind of strange style that grew out of having big dreams with difficult adolescent proportions to dress, all within a small town environment that didn’t encourage much more than jeans and boots and AERO t-shirts. You could say I’ve always been on a quest to find my style, as I believe it to be an integral part of my personal and professional expression. This series on the blog is just a continuation of that search.
Additionally, with all of the changes in my life in the last year, I’ve been struggling to understand my place in the world as an adult – maybe? – or as a professional – kind of? – or as a woman – instead of a girl? – and how to look the part. Now that Andrew is beginning a career within the U.S. Military, I am essentially an extension of him when I do business on base or interact with other wives and high-ranking officials. My image reflects his home life, in a way, and I take pride in my duty to represent him well, just as I strive to represent myself well.
On a practical, more tangible note, I’ve embarked upon this mission to streamline and modernize my wardrobe as a defense mechanism of sorts. Having a smaller but more workable wardrobe will help me as we move over and over again, to different climates and perhaps even different countries. Not only will I maintain my sanity with a smaller amount of stuff to haul around, but I hope that by creating a group of things that help me to feel truly myself, I will better maintain my sense of confidence in the face of many challenges. It will be one less thing to worry about if we move to, say, Korea or California. It will be one less thing to worry about if we take a month-long trip to Germany or Chile. It will be one less thing to worry about when Andrew deploys. With a small, totally usable wardrobe, I can maintain some semblance of order in my own little world, some visage of control. That peace of mind is a valuable thing.
Can you see how this is more than just “shopping” to me? Can you see that this is not about spending money? (Although I am very conscious of my budget.) Can you see how my situation might be different than yours? Let me know your thoughts – if you admit to prejudice about this endeavor, or if you’re experiencing a similarly existential crisis, one that may look vapid on the outside but is deeply important to you. Thanks for your support, encouragement, and wise tips along the way — and keep ’em coming!