Dressing for Yo Self

Credits: Photo - Anonymous, Styling - Sarah G. Schmidt, Location - Sarah G. Schmidt's home


Have you ever heard the question, “Who do dress for?” For me it’s a no brainer; it’s me of course. Not many others choose to wear many of the items I love dearly. Some are silly. Some are un-feminine (whatever that means). Some are just questionable. That got me thinking. How many of my beloved items are glorious to me but hideous to others?

I’ll be the first to encourage dressing attractively for the self. I really get into it if, on top of the aforementioned, a person chooses to wear items that are unique and they flatter. That’s the style unicorn to me.

Keep in mind my style icons include Leandra Medine from Man Repeller and the inimitable Iris Apfel. Both of these women know the importance of fit and quality but it doesn’t stop there. They also emphasize that a key to great personal style is that it is personal. It’s not cookie cutter straight from a magazine. It’s not borrowed from a celebrity head to toe. It’s all their own.

That said, sometime is fucking ugly – or fugly – to others. The wearer may love it and the viewer may hate it. I would challenge that self-love style is way better than hating what you are wearing and having other compliment your look. That recognition for something I’m not proud of would make me feel like a fraud.

I am fully aware that it takes a certain person or eye to admire a peculiar style. I like to think of it like a flavour of ice cream. Yes of course, vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate are delicious classics. But there is something to say for more oddball flavours like tiger tiger or pistachio. Sure not everyone likes them, but those that do, like them A LOT.

If that analogy isn’t working for you, it could be as simple as a genetic mutation. Call it the fugly gene. I’m kidding. I have absolutely no scientific grounding for this hypothesis. That said could it make sense? Perhaps it’s no different than being fond of a flavour. Maybe there’s a few of us out there that like odd fashion. Maybe it’s simply a part of our DNA?

Some examples of my odd fashion include:

High waisted shorts paired with baggy dress shirts, socks, and strappy sandals. It’s silly, yes.

My rationale: I like how a bare leg and covered arm balance the other out. The socks are a bit of gimmick, sure, but they are warm too.

How about huge men’s jean with sequins and scalloped crop top?

My rationale: It’s fancy show girl meets casual dude. It shouldn’t work in theory but it does in person.

Exhibit A (above): I also am weak in the knees for a discount bin caftan with an obnoxious print.

My rationale: I love that I’m covered up but I’m putting myself completely out there.

When I think about it more all of these examples carry a certain tension: tight with loose; feminine meets masculine; and loud yet conservative. It shouldn’t work. But I think it does. At the very least it creates questions for those who see me. That is likely the key to it. I like to think that my look is together – it fits, it flatters, it’s tidy – but odd. Really, it’s a true extension of my personality.

The next time you are picking out what to wear, I encourage you to ask yourself, how do I want to feel? How do I want to be seen? Now is what you are wearing a representation those two?

That intention will steer you in the right direction, no matter if it is fugly or not.