Gettin' Jiggy

(originally posted on March 5, 2012) today i danced with the devil... in jeans.

Yes hell has frozen over, pigs are flying, and I am wearing jjjjeeeeeeannnnns as this entire saga unfolds. Again, if you know my body, you know it has not seen the likes of true full-length denim wear in years. Despite your affinity, I find jean pants to be constricting to my comfort and restricting of certain dance moves.

I LIVE in and for leggings and the best pairs I own afford me a sleek profile and the ability to scale anything, maneuver through tight spaces, sit cross-legged at a moments notice, and go from day to night wear in a flash. oh and did i mention the dance moves.

Upon entering Anthropologie this past Saturday, I was drawn in by colored denim. I touched a coral pair of what seemed like jeans, grabbed what I thought might be my size (i have zero clue what size jean i am because that would require being a frequent wearer, and i dunno...knowing such nonsense) and brought them to the fitting room. Not only did I bring them into the room but I ... blehhh! put them on my body. Much as I suspected they were horrible & much as I unsuspected they were crops. Maybe they were some sick gateway to the real goods or some textile tool to break my spirit/jean aversion but I was curious to try on a full-length pair of colored denim. My lovely fitting room attendant friend whom I barely knew but trusted deeply (that gateway drug effect) directed me toward some gorgeous jewel-tone denim, 20 ft away.

BOOM! Still guessing on size I grabbed one pair in turquoise and one in plum. I was in some sort of determined haze and settled on the plum & told myself this new version of me could rule the world. I also told myself j brand was amazing--celebrity commentary and certain rap lyrics told me so. Justification is my favorite shade of grey. Euphoria in the form of colored skinny leg jeans was in my grasp. So i bought the jeans and congratulated the new me.

Naturally, when I returned home I ditched the jeans in my closet and did not dare try them on again. Was this my coming down? Did I realize the gravity and carnage of my decision? do my friends need to stage an intervention?

You know where this goes because even if you've stopped reading, you read the first few lines of this post and are aware that the jeans are on my body. I've worn them all day and even after coming home from work. I paired them with a multicolored loose-fitting shirt, combat boots, a black blazer, a large black men's watch, and tons of bangles (see 2 posts down).

They say that after the first time, you can never reach that same "high" again but your mind and the addiction convince you otherwise. I've dabbled in jeans now and who really knows where i go from here. Certainly not jeggings. That's child's play.

Unity in Diversity

Fashion and style provide unity through diversity.

I've come to the conclusion that shopping, dressing oneself, pursuing trends and resurrecting or romanticizing the past, through clothing and accessories is not just retail therapy but group therapy. Stick with me here. If my semester and a half of a Master's program in Mental Health Counseling taught me anything, it is how important it is for individuals to feel related, to feel connected or understood through universality

Feelings of uniqueness allow us to elevate or remove, and overall isolate ourselves from others; thinking that we are alone in who we are, how we think, and ultimately creating separateness. The beauty in uniqueness is perspective which is only powerful when it is shared and when it connects us to each other. You wake up every morning and decide who you want to be. That's universal.

This concept of group therapy shows up in interactions with your friends as you each impart information on what looks good, what doesn't, the latest trend, the biggest deal you scored, the most coveted items you use Pintrest to daydream, the looks and comments you give other women on what they choose to wear.

It shows up in the most vulnerable place in retail...the fitting room. Here is where you bear-it-all to yourself, a friend you've made in the store, possibly the gal in the fitting room who wants your opinion or to give you hers. It can make or break us all but if there is one shred of connectedness or understanding, there is hope.

Where am I going with this? Through our uniqueness and personal style we are connected, we are not connected if we are all the same.

If you walk into a bar or see a group of women sitting together at brunch, isn't it a much more powerful statement of individualness through connectedness if the women are dressed differently rather than wearing the same lacey baby-tee cut drapey shirt, high-wasted shorts, and gladiator sandals? To guys it's like a lion trying to pick one zebra out of a close-knit heard. It creates barriers, it lacks character, and it screams I don't like to think for myself.Trends exist to guide and inspire not dictate.

Get creative and see how much more connected you feel when you try something new, forge your own path, and most importantly be authentic to you.

They do it best!