Friday, September 05, 2008

Self Discovery

It’s interesting how little we actually know about ourselves, even after living in these bodies of ours for decades. Today took me down an interesting path of self discovery with someone who knows just the right questions to ask.

My friend KC’s daughter SC flew in from Chicago yesterday with the express purpose of assisting two of us with a wardrobe analysis. We had both done our homework – found pictures of ourselves, found pictures in magazines, answered questions up front.

My session was this morning. We started with a brief meditation. Then our discussion turned to style. We talked about my clothing needs as dictated by my current lifestyle. We talked about colors I like and found words to describe the image I would like to portray:


She asked me to complete two sentences:

When I go out I want to FEEL: happy and great about myself.
When I go out I want to LOOK: put-together, coordinated, somewhat fashionable, folky, artsy.

She asked about a time when I really liked the way I looked. I pulled out this ancient photo from my high school days when I was in the Jr. Miss Pageant, wearing a suit I had made. And yes, sadly, my talent was SEWING!

Then we came back to the present and moved on to look at my existing wardrobe. With SC’s help, we shopped my closets and made outfits that I didn’t even know I had. She suggested new ways to wear old things. She kept a running shopping list for things I might like to acquire.

I tried on the leather jacket I had made in 1971. Despite feeling like a straight-jacket in 2008, it reminded me of how much I love real leather. And LEATHER JACKET went on the shopping list.

By the time we were through, I had a much clearer idea of where my wardrobe was ultimately going. And most importantly I had a reason to shop for things like:

Leather jacket
White shirt with some ruffle
Floral-patterned dress
Couple of arty necklaces

I also now had a label for my style: Put-together folky artistic

Whoever knew that what I had always thought of as simply Bohemian funk could have such a fancy title?

But the fun continues. Sometime in the Fall, there is a road trip to Chicago to shop with the lovely SC in the many little boutiques she has discovered. This also means hours and hours of togetherness on various boring turnpikes with some of my best friends as we learn about fashion and about each other. Life is indeed very good!


Blogger Cyndy said...

Wow, that all sounds like so much fun! I've been on a rather long hiatus from caring about my clothes and fashion. One of these years I'll get back to it - once I resume sewing for real, I'll be on my way.

5:04 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Cyndy -- I'm thinking about making a vest. I could do that.

5:25 PM  
Blogger Cyndy said...

You could definitely do that considering the things you've sewn in the past. That's a nice looking suit. Did you make the jacket in the photo?

10:50 PM  
Blogger mouse (aka kimy) said...

if you're on a road trip and need a place to crash in cleveland on the way to chicago casa mouse has a futon with your name on it.....

road trips are great fun!

11:07 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Cyndy -- Yes, I made the jacket. I brought back antelope skins from Spain, found a tailor in DC who was willing to take me on as an apprentice, and learned how to work with leather. It was quite a learning experience!

Mouse -- Thanks for the offer. I'll convey it to my partners in style!

8:46 AM  
Blogger Kristin said...

I love the picture of you from the junior miss pageant and hope you have many more recent times when you like the way you look. It sounds like a wonderful experience.

9:24 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Kristin -- The Jr. Miss Pageant was a lesson in pageantry I shall never forget. It brings out the best and the worst in girls of all ages!

11:07 AM  
Blogger Pauline said...

"put together folky artistic!" I can't wait to see how that plays out in your real wardrobe -

my style is more "LL Bean ala Lands End with a dash of on-sale Coldwater Creek by way of Goodwill ;)

5:31 PM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

What a cool idea. You always do the neatest things! And now we're all waiting for the fashion show in pictures!!

11:13 PM  
Anonymous WD Favour said...

It's fascinating how you could learn so much about yourself from the simple act of getting dressed!...I find your post quite refreshing in its simplicity and reality...

I'm working on a life time project of self discovery!
In fact the theme of my blog is 'Discover Yourself!'

Could you tell me what you think about the posts there...particularly those on the subject of self discovery? I'll appreciate it a great deal.

4:05 PM  

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