Organic by John Patrick organic cotton 3/4 sleeve top (couple years old) | medium
Lauren Manoogian knit skirt (purchased w/credits at Garmentory) | size 2
AllBirds wool loungers
This is what I wore yesterday, at home for a little while, and then to Target & Whole Foods.
I’ve talked often about the back and forth conversation in my head when I get dressed. Over the last couple of years I’ve gotten much better about ignoring my inner critic, but some days it’s harder than others to disengage from the constant questioning…
- Where am I going today? Anywhere? Nowhere? will people see me? Who will see me? (sometimes when I go to a particularly “Dallas-y” area of town, I like to dress in a way that is EXACTLY the opposite of Dallas-y. I don’t know how to describe that exactly, for me it’s just loads of black, flats,preferably black and clunky, oversized dresses or pants, and not a label/brand in sight. Sort of how I dress everyday, but I think I try to be more deliberate about it on those days for some reason. to try and stand out even more LOL)
- What is the weather like? will I be cold? How many layers can I put on before I get hot?
- Will I stand out too much? See above, but also the answer to this is actually always yes, because a. I am not wearing leggings/workout clothes, and b. i don’t have rhinestones on my ass, or anywhere else on my person and c. I am not carrying Louis Vuitton
- What am I doing today?
I used to be a pro at talking myself out of wearing what I “feel” like wearing on a particular day because: I’ll be too cold, I’m just going to Target and Whole Foods and why should I “dress up” to just do those things, I’m with Leo and I need to try and look more “normal,” etc., etc.
The “I’m just going to x, y or z” excuse is one that has really worn on me though, so I really try hard to actively counter it and wear what I like. This outfit was completely practical for running errands and/or just sitting around at home. It’s incredibly comfortable, easy to move in, has a pocket (lol, one small one, but it fits my phone!), and covers my body. It also expresses my style/personality perfectly: I want to be comfortable, but also look “interesting,” wear pieces no one else wears, and like I give a shit about how I look. To me, this outfit checks all the boxes.
But it also says, whoa, who does she think she is getting dressed to run errands?*
Yeah, that part is in my head, because no one has ever said that to me out loud, but I don’t know…I can’t help but feel looked at, and judged by other women who are wearing…whatever they’re wearing…because I look SO DIFFERENT from every single other person at Target. Which I enjoy, actually, and deep down, probably thrive on. But still.
Of course, I’m the one judging what people are wearing sometimes too. I don’t like it, but I do it. And at the end of the day, I’m pretty sure that is why I feel judged when I do; I probably put that energy out there first.
Ha. Well, that’s a lot to unpack, but there it is.
*(all of these feelings also derive from the pervasive idea that we should not care so much about clothes, or how we look. That when we do care about those things, we are shallow, and have nothing better to care about. I have A WHOLE LOT MORE TO SAY ABOUT THAT though, and will do so in another post, but of course I don’t believe that. That doesn’t mean that I don’t feel “guilty” sometimes for putting some effort into what I wear. )
You look great and we should never feel guilty for putting effort in OR not putting the effort in! I love to look at what other people are wearing in public, but I don’t necessarily think of it as a judgement as much as observance. I like to make mental notes of inspiration when I see people dressed well. If you aren’t dressed so well I probably just don’t notice you, haha!
Grechen Reiter says
i do like to observe people too, and when i notice it bordering on judgement i shut it down a lot faster than i used to that’s for sure, but there’s still some judgement there, i have to admit (I used to read go fug yourself RELIGIOUSLY). or maybe it’s just lack of understanding LOL. i take after my father in that regard – we are both very critical and have incredibly strong ideas of “right” and “wrong,” especially when it comes to dressing LOL. not that i think i’m an amazing dresser or anything….
when i see someone dressed well i get so excited, and will usually say something to the person if i can. it happens so infrequently though haha…
If I enjoy running errands more than I enjoy work shouldn’t I at least put as much thought in to dressing for the occasion? 🙂
Things women have historically been interested in (fashion, beauty etc) are not valued. Screw ’em! They’re worthwhile. And even sometimes if/when they’re not, it’s not like things men historically have been interested in (sports?) are that much more”worthwhile”. I can enjoy Deadline White House AND a Red Carpet, thank you very much! 🙂 Speaking of – NYT Style is on such a roll these days, with the BEST writers!!
I try to draw a line between noticing & judging as well. I always notice. I try really hard not to judge! Given how you feel, I’m not usually noticing whether or not people “fit in” with their environment – just what looks interesting, what looks comfy or “stylish” (or odd-fitting or uncomfortable, or….) I just like to see what people are wearing!
Grechen Reiter says
I have a bit of the “who does she think she is” complex from time to time, because I’m sometimes the only girl in the room carrying a designer bag (my two main work bags are a Celine and a Saint Laurent). They’re pretty discreet as luxury brands go (no logos and they’re not the more recognisable models) but they’re still embossed with the brand name and the people around me aren’t that obtuse. No one has ever said or anything or behaved in a judgy way towards me, but I worry that sometimes they think I’m some kind of spendthrift who maxes out her credit cards, or I’m rich (neither is true). It’s so unnecessary because it’s in my head, but I do wonder where the guilt is coming from.
Grechen Reiter says
where DOES that come from?? it’s guilt for sure, but why do we have it?
it’s ingrained in us, i think, like i mentioned in the post, there is an undercurrent of “if you care about fashion/clothes/how you look you can’t possibly care about other, more ‘important’ things, plus you’re probably in debt, and/or have a rich daddy/husband/etc.” it’s just messaging we get from different places that happens to stick.
and i’ll admit, i was thinking about how much my entire outfit cost yesterday as i was walking through target. I am lucky enough to get things with credit i earn, etc., and i purchase things on sale, etc., but it’s not lost on me that most people’s entire outfits cost much less than my skirt did. why that has any impact on me whatsoever i have no idea. again, it’s that undercurrent…
ugh. what is it with women and guilt?? i feel it especially sometimes because i don’t have kids. that’s a whole other thing LOL
I wear the pieces I love 7 days a week now so that means more dresses/pants/skirts and less shorts/T. I look much more “dressed” on a Saturday than I used to two years ago. Why should I try to be extra casual because I’m getting brunch/running errands when I feel more comfortable and confident in a dress. I do run around in leggings sometimes if I went to Pilates but even then I feel out together & covered up. You look great G and still casual too. I don’t fit in on Maui so can relate to sticking out in the way I dress (much more modest and arty, not body conscious). There are many around the country that appreciate and dress in the same vibe as you 🙂
Countess Isadora says
I totally hear you! I feel like I always stand out no matter what I’m wear. This happens so much more since we moved from metro Atlanta to the Florida beach town. I feel like if I’m not wearing active wear, something Lilly Pulitzer threw up ( no offense to Ms. Pulitzer) or a bathing suit to the Publix then I stand out. (Seriously in the summer you always see a few people wet, towel wrapped around them, or in a bikini with a large fishnet coverup on, I do try not to judge…but seriously…) I give no fucks and will wear whatever I want even though I stand out. Some days, however I just like to blend and not deal with any unwanted attention or looks. I, in fact thought I was “blending” the other day but I kept getting the side eyes from people. Not sure if it was my hat or my giant white blazer with shoulder pads that make me look a character on Dynasty 😉
Grechen Reiter says
OMG A BATHING SUIT AT PUBLIX. i have to steel myself everytime i go to my dad’s and have to go to publix because there are literally people WEARING BATHING SUITS AT THE GROCERY STORE. that is something i just cannot get behind. judge away 🙂
i love that you give no fucks, and i always enjoy your outfit pictures on instagram (more please!!) – and your large hats. i wish i could pull off a hat!! they just feel really odd. i do always wear one in florida though, if i’m out wandering around or whatever. so i guess i can, just when i’m away from home LOL
It’s so funny how regional style is. I live in Brooklyn, where dressing a little “nicer”, (for example, I rarely wear running shoes or yoga pants unless I’m going to the gym) is totally normal. When I visit my mom in Tucson, I stick out like a sore thumb. Once I put on a pair of shoes I consider casual/everyday (Everlane’s pointed flats) to go to a restaurant and my mom was like “Whoa! You don’t have to dress up!” LOL!
Rebecca | Seven2Seven8 says
Like it or not, clothing is a form of nonverbal communication. We say things through what we wear. And there’s a big difference between “I don’t care,” and “I have priorities that may be different from yours,” and that’s okay.
#3 made me guffaw. Loudly.
Welcome to my world from Memorial Day thru Labor Day: Bathing suits and bare feet in grocery stores, restaurants (the more casual ones, but still…) and even shops. Living in a Summer tourist town is certainly eye opening!
Grechen Reiter says
haha! yes, my dad says the same thing sometimes when i’m in florida and wear a JP dress or something LOL
You sound like me – a non-conformist and (a little) rebel at heart. 😉 I can relate to a lot of what you’re saying. I also feel like I stand out but not because I wear some extravagant clothes but because I care about things like fit, cut, quality, combinability, texture… and I *always* notice (and/or judge) what people are wearing. It’s so ingrained in me I can’t help it. I often secretly wish I could redress some people in something more appealing. lol