My Full On Fashion Flashback...

Taking inspiration from the Lulu's Fashion Flashback contest, I though it would be fun to delve deep to bring up some of my old fashion moments and periods of exploration.  Are you ready to get some serious peeks at Moorea as a kid, an angsty and shy teen, musician Moorea, and more?  Here we go!

Aw, the kid years. Yea, you can tell by my feet and knobbly knees that I was pretty darn pigeon toed. When I was little, I LOVED dressing up. I loved wearing dresses with lots of patterns. I loved all the accessories, hats and sunglasses, bracelets and shoes. My parents called me "Fashion Baby" because I loved dressing myself SO much, haha. My parents didn't have much money when I was a little girl but I was happy re-wearing my favorite dresses all the time. Isn't that photo of me looking SO pleased with my ability to squeeze my favorite doll and my favorite bear into the same stroller so funny? I still have those two toys stowed safely away at my parents. They were my little besties and I loved taking care of them, them and my cute little sisters that I basically thought of as my living dolls.

Let's go ahead and skip junior high. All I have to say about those years is that I was deathly skinny looking, my acne set in at age 12, and I was upset about the fact that I was myself and didn't have the skill of pretending to be someone I was not. When I hit 13, I was 5'9" and a size 00 and looked deathly ill though I tried so very hard to gain weight. I was embarrassed, as all junior highers are about just about everything. Oh junior highers...

On to high school. By some unknown miracle, I was named "Best Dressed" my senior year which to me seemed utterly insane because we had about 700 people in our senior class.  I was shocked being that I had plenty of people tease me about how I dressed in high school and I was so shy.   I was very very adventurous with how I dressed in high school so maybe I got some respect for that in the end.   Thanks kids!   In high school, you could say I was an "Indie Girl" which transitioned into an "'Emo Girl." I called myself "Straight Edge" as an easy way to avoid being teased for not drinking or doing drugs.  My Instant Messenger name was emoindiepunkcaligirl.  BAHAHA.  I was addicted to talking on MSN messenger with my best guy friend.  I was obsessed with music and secretly started writing "indie/folk" music at age 15 & taught myself how to play guitar.  And by my senior year of high school, I also was singing classic music 40 hours a week in 3 choirs in school and one semi professional group outside of school.
I loved exploring different clothing and hair styles. My hair was almost every color under the sun and I loved thrift shopping, hunting for the perfect vintage 70's backpacks, saddlebags, and retro airline bags.  I wore vintage styled glasses after I had to get glasses at 14, 50's style black glasses and red cat eye glasses. I was obsessed with weird current styles and 50's & 70's fashion.  I lived in 70's vintage ski jackets, converse, and my favorite black members only jacket.

Alright, I had a hard time finding many photos of my outfits from my early years of college, so here's what you get!  I was pretty deep into a 70's styling of most of my outfits.  I was writing and performing my own indie/folk music and I liked dressing in a way that was inspired by my music.  Joni Mitchell was my HERO.  Vintage dresses, from super striped dresses to old school housewife style dresses.  I wore lots of vintage bakelite bangles, mostly ones I had inherited from my grandma.  I wore a lot of her 70's clothing and a few of my mom's too!  I'd say these were kind of my Folk-y girl years, sometimes super casual and sometimes super dressed up.  I was a little less crazy dressing than my high school years, but I still loved dressing up everyday and exploring different sides of me through my outfits.  I started exploring my girlier side a bit more in college too and could often be spotted climbing the hills of my college in high high heels (for which, and rightfully so, my friends teased me about all the time, haha).  I was that friend that everyone went to when they needed a costume because chances are, I had something I wore normally that could easily be turned into a costume for someone else.

My senior and super senior year of college, I went loopy for vintage.  I had the Zooey Deschanel hair on and off from 2008-2010.  I loved vintage everything, like, my closet was stuffed with vintage dresses, hats, scarves, jewelry, bags, you name it.  I jumped between a vintage bohemian look and a vintage cutesy look.

The SEPTUM RING phase:
In the fall of 2007, I decided to get a septum ring.  I had hit a peak of wanting to really challenge people with how I looked.  I didn't think that beauty was just found in being the stereotype of an all American beauty queen and I wanted to challenge the idea of beauty and how society places it upon specific types of people.  I looked like an awkward greasy boy from age 8-13.  And then was extremely uncomfortable in my skin until the middle of college when my severe acne finally died down.  So when I finally felt pretty and noticed how people treated me differently when I had nicer skin and dressed more femme, I wanted to challenge people and really analyze how people judge us based on looks.  I was annoyed that we are trained in American society to see just specific types of beauty as good, not so much the diversity of exploring our look as good.
BOY, did I get some interesting reactions when I got my septum pierced.  I had a few friends cry when they saw me for the first time, saying I had "changed."  I had plenty of people tell me that I looked prettier without the septum ring (why would you tell someone that? Also, obviously I was not trying to live up to societies standard of how an American girl is "pretty" with a piercing in the middle of my nose).  I got the common "you look like a bull" joke and had a fair amount of people tell me they wanted to rip it out.  I also noticed that random people were waaaay more rude to my face, were more dismissive of my comments, and I was both told I was foolish and treated as if I was lesser than my former non nose pierced self.  It was pretty amazing to see HOW much people can judge based on tiny changes of your face!
But I loved my septum ring.  It was a physical way that I could be reminded that no matter how people may judge you based on how you look, what matters most is how well YOU love yourself.  I did feel beautiful with my septum ring even if it was contradictory to general America's superficial standards of what pretty should be.  And it made me view anyone with tattoos or piercings or a dramatic look as perfectly normal as someone who is super preppy and clean cut, perfectly beautiful in their chosen aesthetic.  The ring accidentally fell out one night a year after I got it and, ow, I couldn't shove it back in.  That marked the swift end of my piercing stage.

The CUTE phase:
For all of my life, I had been told that I looked older than my age and that I had a very sophisticated and classic look.  And by 22, I think I just really wanted to be called cute for once, I wanted to feel less like I appeared intense or snooty naturally.  Stagnant Bitch Face, yes, I had it and I still fight it.  So, at the end of college, I went to cutesy vintage route.  Hardcore.  I think I was really searching for myself and trying to understand what defined me, and exploring a "cute look" was a definite phase.  But one day in the early Spring of 2010, I looked in the mirror and thought, who the heck is this?  This is NOT me.  I am not a submissive, adorable little cutesy-pants.  I'm not giggly and delicate, nor do I want to be, and I am not a "Manic Pixie Dream Girl." For awhile in 2008, I really really wanted to be that girl.  But, woah, reality check in 2010 slapped me back into myself.  I'm not Zooey Deschanel and I really don't want to be!  I was a singer in a band in 2009 & 2010 and the Zooey Deschanel look worked with our style of music.  But by 2010, I was over having to wear a costume everyday.  Done.

These days, when it comes to fashion, I just want to feel like my actual self is beautiful and my clothing is just a way to accent me and my personality whereas when I was younger, I needed style to feel interesting.  With an adult confidence in who I am, I rely less on my clothes to fully express how I feel or who I am.  I just want to dress nicely, in a way that feels comfortable but put together.  And yes, I want to test out fun trendy clothes sometimes!  But for the most part, I want a wardrobe that is full of items that really compliment each other.  Easiness is a lot more important to me as a grown up than as a kid, teen, or college student.

What is your fashion history?  I want to hear what inspired you in your own personal style through out your life!  Dig up those old embarrassing and fun photos and post about it!  Leave me a link in the comments so I can check your awesome self out :)


Shy said...

I was essentially a doll to my mom for the early years. Wardrobe changes happened numerous times and frilly socks were always involved. Junior high and high school consisted of jeans and hoodies... after high school came the same manic pixie dream girl. She was alright, she had cute dresses. But like you said wearing a costume every day grows tiresome! Now I am inspired by ladies like you!! Polished, relaxed, comfortable, and classy! I am slowing creating my own style based on that! You are such an inspiration and not just in a fashion sense; but a business and generally all around cool girl sense!

orchidgrey said...

"I was upset about the fact that I was myself and didn't have the skill of pretending to be someone I was not" -- MOOREA! you so easily put into words my junior high, high school (and admittedly, part of college) mindset. Loved this post! You've inspired me to dig around the next time I'm home for some old fashion photos (there are some doozies)

Nessbow said...

I just loved reading this post. It was so fascinating to read about your fashion and style changes, and I think I went through several of the same stages throughout my life. I think you're so beautiful all the time no matter what. Thanks so much for sharing this.