A Little Talk With Myself

Yesterday, I had a little conversation with myself that went something like this:
You know the summer will be over before you finish embroidering this dress.

I don't want to rush it.

I'm just sayin... You could start on something else while this is progressing. All of your blog friends are making dresses. Wouldn't it be nice to complete something in the meantime?

Yes, but I can't decide what to make.

What's wrong with all those patterns you have?

Nothing. I just don't know how I want to dress anymore. I am having trouble with my objectives for dressing and it is stifling my sewing mojo. I don't want to go through all the trouble of fitting and sewing my beautiful fabric only to make another outfit for the mannequin. I want to look good and feel good and confident when I leave the house. I'm not sure the styles I wear are working for me. It may be time for a style overhaul.

After watching every episode of What Not To Wear and Tim Gunn's Guide To Style, what have you learned about wearing clothes? Anything you can use?

Fit, Proportion, and Style!!! I want my clothes to fit me well, accentuate the positive while minimizing the negative, and be suitable for my lifestyle and personality.

Okay, let's think about 'be suitable for my lifestyle and personality'. What does that mean?

I am struggling with that. Who am I? I want my clothes to be honest - except for the accentuate the positive while minimizing the negative part - then I don't mind being a little deceptive.

So, Who are you?

I am a 40 something wife, mother, career professional, sewing enthusiast, motorcycle rider...

So leather, fringe, metal studs, boots, these are style elements that reflect who you are?

No no no... forget the motorcycle stereotypes. I mean, I wouldn't rule out any of those style elements individually, but that "motorcycle look" is not me.

Why not? Who are you?

Hey this is deja vu. Didn't I already answer that?

So, jogging suits and comfortable clothes for shlepping the kids to and from soccer games in the minivan...

No no no - not me. I don't even have a minivan. I like comfortable clothes but I look like crap in a jogging suit. There is a woman on our street who can throw on a jogging suit and sunglasses and look fabulous. That is not me. I look dumpy and sloppy in a jogging suit. My body is all wrong for jogging suits.

Okay, so you do not define yourself by your passion for motorcycle riding or your role as a mother. Is that right?

Perhaps I do not want my appearance to be a stereotypical example of these things.

Maybe instead of asking you to describe who you are, I should be asking what you would like your appearance to communicate about you?

I am comfortable with my age, gender, relationships, and societal roles, but I do have an independent streak, and can be fun and even impulsive at times. I am detail oriented but not uptight. I am confident and secure, dependable and considerate, but not a push-over. I am intelligent and assertive. I am powerful yet protected. I have a social network and a place in society that is respectable. I am loved and respected by people who know me. I enjoy being a woman and celebrate my femininity. I am healthy and take care of my body. I prefer order over chaos. I like myself. You like me as well.

These are things I would like to communicate to the world on a subconscious level.

What types of clothing reflect these things?

I see where this is going!

Maybe it is a good idea to take some time and write down some style elements which you feel reflect the things you would like your clothing to communicate about yourself.

Yes yes yes, I will spend some time thinking about those things and make myself a list. I do like my lists....

Dear Readers, why has it taken me so long to have this little chat with myself? I have been choosing my own clothing for all these years and I never really thought of getting dressed as a form of communication - a kind of public speaking, if you will. Am I the last soul to figure this out? Do all of you know what your clothing says about you? Or are you like me and maybe never thought of anything more than "Does this fit? Can I afford it?" and "Does it hide my figure flaws" in the dressing room?


  1. I have read all the personal style books, watched all the shows and understand the concept for others but still have trouble applying it to myself. I've decided I need to find a person whose style I admire and then blatantly copy them as I have zero talent in that area!
    Have you read the articles by Jennifer Skinner? She has taken the website down now but they can still be accessed at

  2. I think it's only at 40 something that we finally have time, energy, and desire to actually work through these questions. For me, I'm almost done full time Mom and ready for some me time. What impression do I want other people to have of me via how I dress is such a good question. Thanks for sharing your conversation.

    - Myrna

  3. I love your post! I love the questions AND the answers. This is a wonderful dilemma for you because you have the skills to bring your ideas to fruition. I have been on a very similar path and having lots of fun with it.