Today is day two of 365 days of skirts. I’ve been thinking about doing some sort of fashion challenge for a while now, and as everyone knows break-ups usually provoke a wardrobe upgrade, so I figure now is as good a time as any.
I did a food challenge back in 2007 — to be a vegetarian for one year — and it resulted in a new outlook on life, and three years later, I’m still a vegetarian. And I had been thinking about doing something about my clothes, but I wasn’t sure what. And yes, I am aware that this isn’t an original idea, Sheena Matheiken wore the same dress for one-year straight. It was both a statement on anti-consumerism as well as an opportunity to raise some money for children’s schools in India. While, going vegetarian was my own personal statement about the privilege of eating meat, the year of skirts is basically just for fun.
I thought about wearing the exact same thing year-round, but that was way too rigid. And then I thought about only wearing black for a year, and again that seemed too limiting because I do love things in yellow and red. So then I realize what I hated about my current wardrobe is how unflattering it is: jeans, t-shirt, sneakers. I mean what am I, a 12 year old boy? Basically I started dressing this way, because I was slowly adopting A’s sense of style (which is the same to say as I was losing all sense of style.) I remember once literally thinking, Well, if he’s not going to try to look good for me, I’m not going to bother trying to look good for him. And thus my wardrobe became a collection of free, ill-fitting t-shirts. Luckily, these are all gone now.
The other part that really prompted me to do this was that the NYTimes had an article about how French women age so gracefully. And I remember my Professor tell us, before our trip to Rome, to always look put together. That women in Italy didn’t take out the trash without putting on their mascara first. And while I think that’s a bit extreme, I understand it. They didn’t get done up just for themselves, or for their husbands, they got done up for the whole world.
I’m not necessarily trying to start fitting into that traditional, small box of what a “woman” looks like according to the US media and cultural stereotypes. I’m not looking to buy 40 beauty product that guarantee to transform me into some photoshopped actress. But I think I could wear skirts and dresses in my own way without succumbing to that mentality. And as a designer, as a person with a visual eye for things, I feel like the image of myself that I project onto the world should be more carefully crafted and considered. I guess the year of skirts is meant to make me more conscious about my own image and what I’m projecting. Because while I like having the fun-going, adventurous attitude of a 12 year old boy, I don’t like looking like one.
I think getting dressed up – even casual skirts and shirts – will help balance how not-quintessentially feminine I am. I also think it’ll help the self-esteem because for a while now I’ve just been treated like a best bud, instead of a lovely woman. So, while I may have a foul mouth, and I think scars are badass, and I know how to change a flat tire, from now on, I’ll look cute while doing it. I guess you all can expect more pics of me twirling in the future.
Photos courtesy of and (c) A. Izadi. 2010.