A story about how I gave up trying and finally found my style aesthetic.

I remember my childhood as being magical and fun and full of wonderment and creativity. I didn't have a lot of friends because I dressed like a weirdo and I didn't shower very often, but I was oblivious to that. I read books all day, I made costumes, and I danced constantly. It was amazing. Middle School was a little less fun, but I finally met more people and made a few friends. I rode my bike all over town and had my first kiss, so I look back at those years with a lot of joy, too. But then there was high school. BLAH! High school!

Wrong, John Mellencamp. WRONG.

I hated high school. I always felt like a wallflower. No matter how hard I'd try to be noticed, I wound up feeling like I was an invisible ghost most days. I was super self-conscious about my clothes. I was tall, but skinny, so I bought things that were either too big or too short. I was always way behind the trends and unable to afford what all the well liked kids were wearing. Even though Seymour, Indiana was a small town (literally: hometown hero John Mellencamp wrote the song "Small Town" about Seymour), the kids really cared what you looked like. Here's some examples of high school journalism at its best, compliments of my sophomore year yearbook:

1996 dating
1996 style

My senior year, I finally took Sophomore Angel Ho's enlightening advice to "wear what I feel". What I felt was a pull toward the old and the vintage, the desire to NOT blast brand names across my chest, and I finally started shopping at thrift stores because I wanted to, not because I had to. It took me 17 years to finally find my sense of style, but I don't think I've looked back or worried about fitting in ever since.

And the kids from high school? We're all friends now thanks to Facebook, and I'm pretty sure I'm the only one with a fashion blog... but I'm also pretty sure they still think I dress like a weirdo!

Comment of the Day: those excerpts from your yearbook are PRICELESS. i was pretty awkward in high school, too (um, i had a PERM. and went to high school from 2000-2004! what was i THINKING?!) and even though i believe style is an always evolving thing, i'm much more secure in mine now and dress for myself rather than others. good advice, angel ho, good advice. - mariel