Monday, 21 March 2011

Happy clothes

I made a conscious decision to wear happy clothes on Saturday. Bright colours didn't feel quite happy enough, so I added a happy hat. I noticed throughout the day that people were doing double-takes. People in our town don't wear happy clothes often. The few young people who experiment with their personal style around here tend to lean toward the edgy and the dark. Chris used to get passive-aggressive remarks from people for wearing a pair of red Converse to work, and no, it was not because of a specific dresscode, but because "men aren't supposed to wear red shoes". I know that I stand out here more than many others, as does Chris. He boldly mixes stripes and plaids like anyone I have ever met. For the most part, I don't mind being looked at. But there is looking, and then there is staring.

At Target a couple in their late 50s stopped about ten feet away from us, parked their shopping cart, and stared at me with their heart's content. The woman's mouth actually hung open. I met her gaze, and she didn't turn hers away. Her eyes were close to bulging out of her head. The man stared, too. There they stood, next to one other, staring at me as if I was a zoo specimen. I couldn't figure out if they stared at me just because I looked different, or because they had a problem with the way I looked. It might have been both, and I instinctively felt uncomfortable. I never know how to handle those types of situations. I am too shy to stare back intensely, and I can never come up with anything witty to say either. So I ignored the couple, and we moved on.

At home, as I was singing made-up songs to our kitties and silly-dancing in our kitchen, I felt pleased. I mentioned to Chris that I was very fortunate to have such an open-minded husband who appreciates and encourages me to wear whatever I like, who goofs around with me and laughs at my stupid jokes. I also said that it was really important to me to not act like a stuck-up adult. This also goes to the way I dress. I have no need to take my style too seriously. What would be the point in that? I enjoy my happy clothes, and a big boo-hoo to those who don't like it.


By the way, Blue's diabetes test came back negative. (Yay!) She is in very good health considering that she is 14 - that's 76 in human years. As I saw her stretching out on the back deck, rolling on her back from side to side, I got the feeling that she didn't feel like an adult either.



Men's sweater: Kohl's
Vintage shirt: Hietsu fleamarket
Jacket: Urban Outfitters
Cords: fleamarket, re-sewn
Boots: John Fluevog
Hat: men's Diesel Black Gold

18 comments:

tigerteacher said...

I recently thrifted the coolest winter jacket. It's from the 50s and it's a gorgeous shade of red. Not red. RED! I woman on the train told me I was "brave" for wearing it. You are absolutely correct - life is too short not to wear clothes that make you happy.
Signed,
The girl with the hot pink scarf, red coat and bag with neon birds on it. :-)

Sal said...

Yuck, I'm sorry to hear you got ogled. I don't think there's any graceful or effective way to deal with that behavior in others.

I LOVE this outfit myself. Especially that fabulous hat.

wardrobeexperience said...

your hat is so adorable! ... your hair got so long ... haven't noticed before.

and i'm still in love with your cowboy boots from these last few posts. i really want them. ; )

http://wardrobexperience.blogspot.com

A-Dubs said...

I'm also sorry for the discomfort you experienced. But that awesome hat and those stellar boots - not to mention the rest of your joyful ensemble - are definitely worth another admiring look or two. In fact, I'm heading back up now. . .

Eyeliah said...

Its so interesting how people react to a lil self expression. Come visit Vancouver, people here are very open minded that you can wear anything you want and blend in.

camille yanair said...

i am quite certain they were staring because you're so damn gorgeous! i know the staring feeling, my dreads have their very own hate club in my conservative town! let em stare!

vasiliisa said...

Oh well! I would stare too, but only because this outfit is so good.

poet said...

What the hell is wrong with these people? You are one of the most unobtrusively dressed fashion bloggers I know - definitely well-dressed, stylish, dressed with thought and with a lot to say about it, in a way that may make people do double-takes (I do that if I see someone really well-dressed, and file their look away for inspiration) but that is really not offensive, or provocative, or whatever it is that leads people to staring like that.

If a person wears a 1950s circle skirt with a crinoline, matching platform mary-janes, pin-curled hair and bright red lipstick (which I think is fabulous but I couldn't pull it off), I kind of understand a certain amount of staring, but your style has a certain distinguished quietude to it even with the red pants, I wouldn't expect people to stare that way. And so obviously! Rude, rude people, really.

These are happy colors, do continue to wear them!

Anonymous said...

I understand ! As a 6' 2" tall woman, people's stares and comments are an unsettling daily experience.
I too am shy, but it may be the dull, lifelong subject of my height that makes me at times wish to recede.

Some people are just unbelievably thoughtless, ill-mannered and stupid !

I have vacillated between dressing to blend-in and dressing to please my spirit. I realize now that I never blend-in and am happiest when wearing a colorful mix that I would have liked when I was six !

Forgive the broad generalization - and there are many exceptions on the web, but I notice that we Americans seldom dress with any sense of fun or joy - let alone artistry. Isn't it odd that so much shopping results in so little spark ?

Terri said...

I'm trying to imagine what that couple was seeing in their mind's eye...as I don't see what is so unusual in this look. Do you live in a little town?

Anonymous said...

My perfectly cool reaction would be (and often is) - smile and wink!
Lena

Audi said...

This outfit makes 100% perfect sense to me; I can't imagine anyone staring at it with anything other than admiration. Maybe the couple was just dumbstruck by your awesome style. :-)

cj said...

You're a do-gooder, stretching people's fashion perceptions, spreading happiness, awe, and knowledge wherever you go.

For what it's worth, I think you look fantastic and you made me happy today. :)

Shey said...

Oh those beautiful kitties, they are darling. I wonder if theywere amazed by your beauty, after all you do look very pretty in your outfit, I hope it was but from your posts I guess it was stare which it's hard to take, I'm shy too so I know what you're saying about feeling uncomfortable, I must say again though you look very pretty in happy colors, I love happy colors too, I guess that's the only thing I like about Spring, that and the rainy days. =)

Michele said...

Oh, it's so annoying when people do that! I don't know the best way to respond either. I've thought that saying "Hi!" might be good, but I'm too uncomfortable to try.

Your hat is so cute! I think the colors look really earthy, but you look bright and happy.

Myrna said...

What you're wearing doesn't seem that way out there to me. Just fun - and happy as you wanted. Maybe they stared because you looked so amazing.

Marjolein said...

I've been reading your blog for a while, I love the pieces you write and I love how you dress, it's unique and I think it's very you. if people want to stare, so be it. Might be fun to do a model pose for those people :p Give them something to look at.

Annie said...

I actually rather your sense of style; far better to be yourself than blend in with the background. I just please myself - if I want to mixed a little silk green and yellow jacket I thrifted (sounds horrible but it's very pretty) with a white t-shirt, jeans and my old green, rather battered Converse Hi-Tops, then I'm sorry but I damned well will.