Walking Tall

From about October to February, I wanted a pair of tall black leather boots. I thought they were cool when I saw them around campus, I needed an alternative to wearing rainboots every time there was snow on the ground and I was seeing them all over fashion blogs. I hesitated to buy a pair, though. Could I pull off such a “tough” look? Could 4’11” me wear tall boots without looking even shorter? What would people say?

In February, at the near-end of the winter, I was out shopping, already looking for spring dresses, when I spotted the perfect pair. They were simple but had the buckle details I wanted, heeled but not so high that I couldn’t walk in them, “motorcycle boots” but still very much me. After a moment’s hesitation (“Why am I buying winter boots when it’s spring shopping weather?”), I bought them.

This sounds a little crazy, but every time I wear these boots, I feel myself walking taller. I stand up straight, hold my head high, walk confidently. Shortly after I bought them, I texted my mom: “Why did I wait so long to buy black leather boots? They make me feel so sassy!” They’re an instant confidence booster.

I didn’t really have a plan for a post for today, because I spent most of the day wearing a uniform. This evening, though, I got an unexpected Facebook message from a girl I know through a friend. I lost the original conversation, but her question was basically this:

Will I look stupid if I wear my baseball jersey out to dinner tonight? Is it dumb to wear something just because you think you look cute in it?

I was surprised by the question — I’m always the one asking for this advice, not giving it — and followed it up by asking her things like where she was going, what the occasion was, etc. In the end I encouraged her to wear the jersey. “Why not?” I asked. “If it makes you feel confident, go for it.”

It made me think about the things I wear just because I like to wear them, even if it’s not always “practical.” My collection of dresses and skirts that I love to wear, even if I’m only going grocery shopping, because they make me happy. My absurdly long silver earrings, so long that they hit me in the teeth if I turn my head too fast, that I wear because I got them in London. My wonderful, beautiful black boots.

I hate to go with such a cliché for my third post, but it’s true: Wear what makes you  happy. Who are you dressing for? Yes, there are times when you need to dress to impress, and in those cases, by all means, go with norms. But for everyday life? Forget it. Grab that dress that makes you smile, that jacket you’ve loved since junior high, those boots that make you feel sassy. Rock them proudly.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Boots, Skirts and Fuzzy Socks « Grammar and Style

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