James Perse high gauge tee | size 1
Ulla Johnson overalls | sold out
Birkenstock Arizona sandals
Marsell Dritta 4 bag
Sometimes when I introduce myself to a new person I hesitate when asked “what I do.” Often it’s easiest just to say “I’m a fashion blogger” and call it a day. But I am clearly not a fashion blogger. Unless you mean an old school fashion blogger, of the type who posted outfits in her mirror and cut her head off (hehe). Then, yes, maybe I am. But even back then, we were not called “fashion bloggers”. We mostly posted on message boards, and some of us had our own websites, which were not blogs at that time (around 2003-4), they were “online magazines.” We posted outfits, and talked about shopping and style, just for fun.
I don’t even like to use the term “blogger” – what is that anyway? I’m a writer. Of a blog.
I might also be an entrepreneur, a consignment store owner? But that feels much too grown-up, and like it should be reserved for the people who know what they’re doing, not for me, a person who flys by the seat of her pants, and sometimes has no idea how she keeps things together.
I am a wearer-of-things. A lover of clothes. (I truly love clothes). I like to wear things, different things, interesting things, and then talk about those things; what I’m wearing, where I’m wearing it, and why I’m wearing it. I find it all endlessly fascinating. And I love to write about it.
At the end of the day does it matter what I call myself? Of course not. I don’t need to define myself, and I don’t want others to define me either. I abhor being in “a box.” And I especially dislike that others would put me in a box.
Haha. I just realized while I was writing this that all my life I’ve actually trying to fit myself in one. A box. If you’ve been reading for any length of time, you’ve probably sensed that I try, off and on, to define my style a certain way, define ME a certain way, and tend to really search and agonize over that very thing – WHY DON’T I FIT IN A BOX? – while at the same time NOT fitting into any box, accidentally and on purpose. I eventually discover that I don’t naturally fit into any box, and that I don’t really WANT to either.
There is a tension there, because I obviously haven’t quite come to terms with the fact that I don’t have a box. I don’t OWN it yet. A small part of me desperately wants to fit in (I was plagued with this all through school). That part of me wants to be defined as something, and know what the world expects of me based on that definition.
I also think that I perceive life to be “easier” in some way for people who “ARE” something definitive: mothers, doctors, students, even part of a religious group, etc, and know where they fit in.
I am just Grechen. Which is wonderful, I love Grechen 🙂
I know I’ll be able to own my nothingness eventually, and full IDGAF will take over, but for now, I’m still living with the struggle periodically.
And what does all this have to do with what I’m wearing?
Nothing really, except that as I’ve mentioned before, I stick out like a sore thumb here in the Dallas suburbs, and some days I feel it more acutely than others…
I feel the same way so often, Grechen. I definitely feel like I don’t fit in where I live, and honestly, I’ve felt that way my entire life. I suspect that a lot of people feel like this and just make the best of it, which is really hard. I’m trying to just really focus on the things that make me happy and content, and not worry about what everyone else thinks. Easier said than done, though.
I appreciate you, whatever you decide to call yourself and whichever box you choose.
Also, you are ROCKING those overalls. I love them on you every time you wear them and have an ebay alert set in hopes that one day I will track down a pair too!
Grechen Reiter says
i’ve been thinking a lot about that too – about “what other people think,” and i don’t think it’s only that. yes, there’s an element of that, but ultimately i’m coming to believe it’s mostly internal. it’s us, ourselves. inside, we all want to feel like we belong, and fit in somewhere. we evolved to be social, and humans survived by being part of communities, so it’s natural that we internally try and fit in, and know our role in society.
now it’s different, we don’t HAVE to be mothers, or gatherers, or hunters anymore, we can be whatever and whoever we ARE, but evolution is a stubborn thing LOL
*edited to add* i think some of us just don’t fit in, wherever we are. i wonder if i would feel like i “belonged” if i lived in a different place? maybe, i don’t ever remember feeling as out of place as i do now…even when we were new to austin (i certainly didn’t fit in style-wise there either, but at least there was a playfulness about style and clothing there that there is NOT here) – so maybe, but still, i think that i’m just not someone who really “fits in” – and that’s perfectly okay 🙂
incidentally, i was listening to the 10% happier podcast with Gretchen Rubin this morning where she talks about her new book about the “four tendencies” and i am most definitely a REBEL haha…surprise surprise….
Grechen Reiter says
oh, thank you! i’ll keep my eye out for a pair for you too 🙂 they’re wonderful…
My career certainly doesn’t define me. I rather think of people as pies with slices devoted to lots of roles!
This. I’m happiest in all black (I also love grey, blue, and cream) and am a serial outfit repeater. However, the college town I live in is very influenced by Southern and sorority style (WHY are you wearing a dress with flamingos on it?) and the mindset that you never wear the same outfit twice. I’ve had people ask me if I’m feeling okay, or mention “you’re wearing that top again,” but I’m starting to feel okay with it. When we travel to new, large cities, I always feel more comfortable, even when I am unfamiliar with the area.
Grechen Reiter says
oh, good one !!
Grechen Reiter says
i am the same way – i always feel so comfortable in large cities, wherever in the world they are.
but just to push back a bit too – i wonder how much of that is a desire for something different? just change? and for my lifestyle too, when i travel, i get to GET DRESSED AND GO OUT every day lol something i don’t do as often at home, in my “normal” life, so that is exciting in itself. and i’m not TRYING to fit in when i travel, because i don’t NEED to , you know?
that doesn’t make much sense to me really, but i think it’s valid. when we live in a place, we do try and fit in, because that’s how we’ve evolved – we’re wired that way to simply survive – but when we’re just traveling, we can let go of that a little….
just thoughts 🙂
I like to think of you as a holistic style writer. You don’t just write about clothes or fashion; you explore clothes and style on a much deeper level. How it affects people and how it affects the world. You are the OG holistic style writer!
You are Grechen. And unique in that. <3
You are a sorely needed breath of fresh air in an industry full of copycats! I’m so grateful you’re not running around in your “suburb clothes”… Lululemons, bra-tank, and sneakers…because then your blog wouldn’t be NEARLY as interesting! 🙂
I felt that way when I was younger. I was convinced that no one would ever “get” me. But there’s something about love that has freed me up to be my authentic self (And let me tell you, that’s not easy when you’ve got the expectations of a bunch of “church ladies” being directed your way! Thankfully, my husband doesn’t have those expectations of me.)
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more and more comfortable with myself. It’s a gift!