I adore fashion. I love watching the flips and fads that have occurred over my lifetime. I also enjoy studying fashion history here in our country and abroad. I also enjoy watching home makeover programs . It fascinates me how they turn a dud of a house into a home of wonder. I also enjoy looking through fashion magazines.
Having said that, I do NOT always find the styles that are promoted as pleasant or appealing. In fact, some of the good folks who act as fashion judges on "Project Runaway," have the most appalling taste in clothes.
Do I have good taste? According to me, I do. On the other hand, as a writer I relish the sheer joy of being in my jammies as I write. For over thirty years I woke up early, put on clothes that fit the job image (often a fitted suit, and a shirt that was also fitted...come on, it was the corporate fashion of the time).
My taste has often been driven by sheer financial need. As a small child my fragile health caused our family serious financial problems as they struggled to keep me alive. We would purchase most of our clothes from a thrift store, long before that became a fashionable thing.
We would go through an entire rack of clothing looking for a gem amongst the dross. Often the clothes that I would bring home would receive rave reviews from my friends. They would ask, "Where did you buy it?" I would straighten up, look them in the eye, and say, "A thrift shop." That offended some people. Those folks who were stressing and straining to be popular did not find that appealing.
Throughout my life, even when it was no longer a matter of need I have continued my treasure seeking. Nyle also enjoyed a good hunt. He would look through electronics, I would head for the craft session for yarn, fabric, and/or patterns.
When Nyle was hired for the position of Associate Dean of Career Services at a prestigious Northwest College he walked daily with folks of a much higher class than I was used to. Sitting at a luxurious round table one night, the good people began introducing themselves. They would list the work that they did. There were District Attornies, State and Federal judges, people of quality, and status.
And then it was my turn. I stood up straight looked around the table at the distinctive people and announced, "I have my own childcare business, "Harmony Home. Oh, and I'm married to this marvelous man."
There was an awkward silence. Then people went back to chatting in legalese. I simply enjoyed the delicious salmon dinner, and making small talk with the people around me.
By the end of the evening, every single person around that table came to me to ask about childcare, or childcare issues. My own estimation of the work that I did rose.
Even though our status in the world had risen, I still shopped at Thrift Stores. Who wants to pay $200.00 for a suit when they can get one that is a designer original for $20.00? I admit, the style is usually so, last year. I don't care! I try to wear classic pieces of clothing that never leave the fashion market. Then I dress it up with current types of jewelry.
When Nyle's elevated friends would compliment my clothes and inquire where I purchased them it made Nyle uncomfortable sometimes when I would calmly say, "Goodwill, or Saver's." He like to go to the thrift shops himself, but he didn't want people to think that we couldn't afford to shop in regular stores.
By the time he passed away at fifty-four, he had overcome that mindset. He was THRILLED to discover a thrift store that sold GORGEOUS men's shirts in his larger than life size for $4 to $6 dollars. We had paid as much as $60.00 for one shirt for Nyle. He passed away the proud owner of about 40 beautiful, high quality, 3XL shirts. We have and will continue to make quilts out of those beautiful shirts.
Is there a point to this post? I realize that as I write I often ramble from this topic to another. Sometimes at lightning speed. Are you ready? Here we go. Taste is dictated by the person who is viewing. I spent a great deal of my life trying to fit in. I loved the cozy cottage that we lived in while our children grew up. I heard from others that it was too, "country," or "awkward." I would remind myself, that they did not live in my house, I did. My taste said it was charming!
One of my current favorite quotes says this, "What other people think of me, is none of my business!" Did you hear that everybody? We are NOT square pegs trying to fit into round holes. We are people who have taste. I don't need to try to be what someone else might like.
The other day on Facebook I saw a man who was determined to be different. He had circles cut away in his cheeks exposing some of his back molars. He had also had his tongue sliced so there were two slim pieces like a snake's. I found his choice unhygenic and grotesque. I mean, come on with holes in your cheeks your salivary gland would excrete saliva out the side of your face! Having said that, I pulled myself up and thought, "Everybody is entitled to express their fashion sense in this world, and their own sense of reality. It is not my place to judge anyone else...NO MATTER HOW MUCH I MIGHT DISAGREE. If other people's thoughts are none of my business...that truly works in reverse as well.
My final words, viva la difference!