|photo by Sarah Hasleton|
both images courtesy of Apryl @ www.365DayGirl.com
Putting together the Stylish Beehive over the last few months has introduced me to some pretty cool new peeps - including my sister from another mother, Apryl of 365DG. Although we haven't yet met in person, after having perused each other's blogs thoroughly, both of us realized just how much we have in common; most importantly, our very similar transitions from NOT to HOT.
I feel like there are a lot of girls (and women) out there who have undergone that same transformation - from elementary/high school nerd to unbelievably sexy and stylish adult. In honor of that transition, I asked Apryl to write a guest post for Frayed Threads telling her story. I'll be posting mine next Tuesday, so be sure to check back for the deets on my metamorphosis (and maybe even some embarrassing high school photos!).
by Apryl @ www.365DayGirl.com
In 4th grade lime green was not my color. In fact it wasn't ANYONE's color. At least not when it came to the shoe trend flaring like a disease throughout my school. I had been desperate to score anything resembling the high-tops trend and bought the unfortunately hued pair because it was they were the only ones I could find at the mall. I naively thought it was the shape that would count for style coolness. Day one of putting them on proved otherwise with one snarky comment from the cool girls...something about seeing my shoes from space...
For the first few years of my career in clothing myself I repeatedly missed the lessons of looking good. Maybe it because my parents were poor and hippie-esque in the material saturated 80’s. Maybe I was slow to learn cause I was too busy climbing every tree in the neighborhood. Or the perhaps it was the fact that I had no mentoring older sister.
From toddlerdom to my tweens I waded through a sea of hand-me-downs, dirty old coats passed down from boy cousins, out of season sweaters from someone’s older daughter. My mom insisted on the dull brown shoes because they were a million pennies cheaper than the black patent leather shoes with the liquid shine. Pretty dresses were the rare holiday occasion only to be worn on days I would be certain to not muck about.
My only on point sartorial statement made during these years was a dress I picked out when I was 8. Color blocked, modern, it had a slim translucent belt in a cherry red and even the popular girls thought it was chic. By 4th grade's and my high-top fiasco no one remembered that I ever looked sharp.
Entering Jr. High I found the fever of my peers to chase trends got worse. By this time I figured I could only play to lose so I stopped jumping in the game. Instead I dove into fantasy and doodled big bosomed starlets in sequined gowns with plunging necklines. Occasionally I would experiment only to get chastised by the principle for broadcasting sluttiness (belly baring shirt) or once again ridiculed by the cool kids (black tights under cut off shorts).
My problem probably stemmed from the fact that I wanted to dress like a movie star. Or an international spy. Or a wild fairy. An intriguing icon not some American girl growing up in the suburbs battling it out with other hormonally challenged humans.
What I didn’t realize yet was my styling talent lay in the mythic...rather than the mundane. But I wouldn't begin to harness this into a skill until leaving school altogether. Without principles fearing for a developing slutdom I began to turn on the sexy with heels, tight weaves, and skin bearing ensembles. Without classmates waiting to pounce from the schoolyard corners and pummel me with snarks I blithely experimented with color & texture. I entered my own renaissance and was on my path to successfully get myself dressed.
I expedited my transition in 2007 - after battling lame stress related beauty issues, becoming my own dietary dictator, and going under the knife to get the boobs Mother Nature neglected to gift me. Before that I had been too exhausted to get myself looking good for no one but the mailroom guy to notice and had been showing up to work in pajama pants to work 8 hours head down and shackled to desk. Health restored I felt the need to speed up my style trajectory since it wasn’t enough to look healthy – I wanted to look out of sight amazing!
Today I wear what I want AND what I know makes me look awesome. Awesome being sexy, confident, and intriguing. The key is translating mythic into socially interesting since years of trying to hold jobs and secure relationships taught me that full blown mythic attire is scary at worst, awkwardly inappropriate at best (Note - most guys that say they like weird girls actually mean "quirky", not Queen of the Damned so comb the wild hairs and put the pendant vial of blood away). I learned to artfully scale down during the day...and strategically intensify during the evening or for events. As I play with color families, organize ratios of texture, and get cheeky with contrasting elements I find there’s plenty to attract with without overwhelming. I clothe myself in ways that are pointedly interesting but just slightly destabilizing for those not adventurous enough to break thru boundaries of convention.
And there’s not a snarky peep from the cool girls to be heard ;)
be social - check out Apryl's blog, then
Did you make the transformation from not to hot? Or have you always been one of the cool girls? Share your experience in the comments, and be sure to check back next week for my story!