You will see that I'm wearing jeans. What this means is that I bought jeans, and what that means is that yesterday was my annual clothes shopping expedition. You see, I looked at my retrospective 2012 post and realised that there was a bunch of resignation in there that I needn't be feeling, that I could change some of that.
I'd mentioned I was bored with my wardrobe and the reality for me is that it goes a bit deeper than that - I'd got into that rut where I just wear what's easy and I know works and thus end up wearing the same thing over and over again. While there's nothing wrong with that, for me it kind of symbolises complacency and laziness, taking the easy road and not trying new things. And some of my old favourites are wearing out. So, shopping time.
I'm not that good at shopping. For a start I have no idea what size I am, and I have this tendency to desire clothes that don't suit me so I have to be quite careful with the "Will I really wear this?" question when trying things on. And also, Cuba St (where I live) is the home of many second hand shops. Here, we call them op shops. They range from what the US would call goodwill (ie the Sallies) to places that sell vintage clothing for $100 a pop. I looked in all of them. There's one called Hunters and Collectors and the woman in there is one of those ultra-hipster types and she was staring at me. She was probably just contemplating her lunch, but in my head she was judging my level of fashionable-ness and finding me unworthy to be in her shop. So I ran away, because I'm that confident in my shopping ability. Hipster isn't really my style anyway...
So it took about three hours, the first of which I bought nothing, and took me from the Sallies through all the second hand shops, to Cosmic (hippie/rave gear), and the Farmers/Glassons/etc mainstream standard shops. In the end I was quite pleased with my purchases. I spent $200, and came home with 3 tops, 4 skirts, a dress and a pair of jeans. And some shoes, because I realised that I wear my stompy boots or skatey shoes almost everywhere, and it's about time I tried to wear different shoes too. It's a rough split between workwear and not workwear, and some can double as both. Score!
Meanwhile, I used to live in jeans, back when I was trying to prove I was as good as a man. Then when I moved to Wellington I completely went off them as a kind of rejection of my previous life, and for the last decade or so the only jeans I've worn have been my shearing ones - Mum jeans defined, essentially. Now, finally, I think I'm back in a place where I can wear jeans and not feel like a bogan. I probably look like one (it's one of my superpowers), but hey, who cares. But I also bought this top:
Which I really like. And I bought a couple of other items that suit me but are outside my usual style, in a conscious effort to start doing new things and stepping out of my comfort zone. Today I'm wearing jeans and a floral scoop necked top. I look relatively normal, but it's unusual for me. I wore another of the new tops out last night and got complimented on it several times, so I call that a win.
This morning I recoloured my hair and actually found myself getting excited about wearing my new clothes, for the first time in .. probably since before Mum got sick to be honest. It feels good to want to do a new thing.
The other thing I figure I can change quite easily, is to make an effort to talk to more people in social situations. If I want to meet new people, I have to talk to them. A conversation the other day reminded me that it doesn't have to be deep, but making the effort to connect with people when you're around them can pay big dividends in terms of expanding relationships. So that's my plan, and I started it by not letting my self-doubt prevent me accepting an invitation for a New Years fun thing, and talking to everyone at Fidels last night. Hey, this is a big deal for me!
Yes folks, it's true. I can't even buy a pair of jeans without turning it into navel-gazing session. ;-)