Today, I consider myself a bit of a fashionista. After seeing my outfits, I have had people tell me I should have gone into fashion, and to be honest, I would love to work in the industry if only I had the training and experience to support a career in fashion. However, there was once a time when I was anything but fashionable.
I spent elementary school in a private school. Yep, tartan uniforms and all. They only fashion expression we really had was in shoes and the shorts we wore under our skirts for gym class (Umbros….that is a memory all in itself). I did not really have any friends in elementary school, so I had not good fashion influences, but after six years of misery, I transferred to a public junior high. At this point, I wore straight leg jeans, and oversized tea shirts. I was afraid to show my figure, and afraid to experiment. And no, I was not overweight, I was 4’11”, skinny girl, with a toned body due to years of acrobatics and dance. It was not until part way through eighth grade that I actually had a girl push my boundaries.
It was in Mr. Clancy’s Literature class. My seat was all the way in the back of the room next to Amy. Amy was one of those girls who was popular, but always nice to everyone. She and I started talking, and hit it off pretty well. We even started doing a little exchange thing, where we would trade accessories. I am pretty sure I still have a few of the jewelry pieces I traded her for. At some point in the year, Amy asked me why I never wore anything form fitting. She encouraged me to, telling me I had a really cute figure. Shortly after, I ended up going shopping, and I bought a cute gray shirt with blue flowers. I was nervous the first time I wore it, but I kept replaying Amy’s words in my head. She was excited that I had finally worn something fitted.
It was baby steps after that. I was afraid to wear black pants, then I was afraid to wear skirts and dresses, but eventually I reached the point where I would experiment with my clothing. Lolita is sort of another step in this, it is just another area of fashion that I have not yet fully explored. Yes, right now, the thought of wearing Lolita out in public is a little frightening. What sort of reactions will I receive on the L (Chicago trains)? How will people look at me walking down the street on the way to a meetup? It is all scary, but I just keep thinking about how afraid I used to be of things that do not even phase me anymore. I am sure after a short while, I will be wearing Lolita like a pro and not even noticing other peoples reactions.