Monday, March 26, 2012

100 Posts, A Style Retrospective

Hello, gentle readers! Do you guys realize we've been doing this crazy dance for 100 posts now? I can't believe we've made it this far; I don't know if I've ever had the attention span to commit to 100 of ANYTHING before now. My last blog went kaput after 32 posts, I have fifteen (conservatively) novels with just the first two chapters done, and more sewing projects than I care to admit sit lonely and forlorn in my attic sewing room with pins still in them-but here we are, 100 posts later, and I'm still blogging, baby!

I thought that as a treat (or not, depending on how many of you read because you think I'm an awesome and interesting person and how many just think I have pretty clothes and wish I would ramble less and show more of my closet), I would post a few photos of myself throughout the years, growing into my Goth-i-ness. From the time I was little, I've always had an odd dress sense-I think I may have mentioned the velvet catsuit and leopard-print outfits (of which, thankfully, no pictorial evidence exists) in previous posts, but I didn't really identify (or dress in a style identifiable) as Goth until the past couple of years. I don't know if I was ever really a baby-bat, but I was certainly a baby-SOMETHING! Without further ado, here's the first picture:
Sorry for the low quality, but this is from 2003, when I was in 6th grade, and my family had just gotten our first digital camera. Yes, I am holding my clarinet-it was a band concert! This dress was pretty fabulous-it was a hand-me-down from a friend, and was white with pink and blue flowers. I thought the ruffled off-the-shoulder neckline was the prettiest/most awesome thing EVER. Yeah...
This was also around sixth grade-amazingly enough, I totally still have this blouse. It's a peasant blouse with long, dagged sleeves and when I bought it at the age of 12, I wanted it because it made me feel pretty and princessy. 8 years (and thankfully considerable growth in the bust) later, it still does!
2004, the first day of 7th grade, with my older brother. This outfit was actually pretty punky/Goth-y in retrospect-I was wearing a black t-shirt with a glitter cat under the poncho (note the black and white stripes!) and the most fabulous shoes ever. They were high-heeled sneakers, and unfortunately I outgrew them the next year. But while I had them, I wore them to death. And, sorry for the poncho-but it was 2004, and they were EVERYWHERE.
Still in 7th grade, with one of my best friends. I LOVED this dress-it was brown jersey with silver glitter flowers, and super-comfortable. Alas, I lent it to a different friend who never returned it. But it was a good dress-and I used to wear a lot of brown, probably because Seventeen Magazine said "sandy blondes" should wear brown. 
Special dress-up clothes for a Battle of the Books in 8th grade. This dress was a lovely crinkled fabric, and I felt so mature and sophisticated in it! I actually had the cream-colored bejeweled shrug until about a year ago, when it finally fell apart. And I still like to wear cream and black together. 

The first day of school in 9th grade-you can definitely start to see the Goth-y influences here, with the black and pink shirt (which I still have as well!) and the black skirt! I used any special occasion as an excuse to wear a skirt, since for some reason a lot of the people at my high school disdained skirt-wearing, and I got made fun of enough that I didn't want to invite more criticism by deviating from the be-pants-ed norm without an excuse.
Me in my Star Trek dress, getting ready to wow my 10th grade speech class with my speech on the History of Science Fiction. This dress just had its final outing at StarFest last year, when the $3-a-yard shiny Wal-Mart fabric decided to disintegrate. I wore it with a corset, though:
Amazing what a difference 3 years makes!


Me on Clash Day for Spirit Week in 9th grade. Yes, I actually owned all these items of clothing. Heaven knows why. The weird blue shoes cost $2 at Ross, and I bought them precisely because they were intolerably ugly yet charming. I also really liked those pants, because they were quite whimsical, but they didn't get worn much because they were really hard to match. I loved Spirit Week, because it gave me an excuse to dress crazily and still blend in. Now I just dress crazily, no excuse needed!
Me with friends at my writing club party, the end of 9th grade. This is a good example of the kinds of outfits I typically wore my first two years in HS-jeans that would allow me to blend in with pretty or unusual tops that allowed me to make a (quiet) style statement. I kind of wish I still had that tank top-it had black tulips screen-printed on it and was quite pretty!
Again, me with my older brother on the first day of school sophomore year of high school. You can definitely see the Goth-y influence here-purple top, black skirt. I also still have this skirt, though I haven't worn it in ages. Must remedy that when I get home. However, excepting special occasions like this, I would just wear outfits like the one in the party pic. After I started going to school online and realized that what idiots said about my style didn't matter, I definitely had a change of style!
Junior year of HS at my cousin's wedding. This dress was SO fabulous, and I loved it. Unfortunately, I outgrew it-but I gave it to a good friend who gave it a good home. Black and red, satin and lace-yup, definitely seeing the Goth here! But I wasn't quite all the way there...
 Senior year of HS with my Knowledge Bowl team in New Orleans-I was more steampunk than Goth at the time, and you can see it in the outfit, with the brown shoes and newsboy cap. But I still have the vest (now dyed to navy blue from regular denim) and the fabulous feathered cami. 
Also senior year of HS, at a Christmas party my older brother had. I made this red and white striped dress because, well-stripes! I still have it, I just need to do some repairs because I made it very early in my sewing career, before I really knew how to sew to last. 
When I got up to college and started a job, and at last had money to buy things like corsets, my style took a definite turn for the Goth. Stage blacks for working a production were easy for me; I started phasing out the browns and pastels and bringing in more jewel tones. Finally, I ended up with what I have today: a predominately elegant/Victorian Goth look with a lot of whimsy and playfulness and a dash of punk thrown in for good measure. If you went back to that girl in the pictures above, and told her that one day this corset-clad, flowing-skirted young woman:
 And this intrepidly exploring, lace-dress/skull-hoodie-wearing lady:
Would be her...I don't know if she'd believe you. She was an insecure little girl, and then an awkward teenager, who secretly and desperately longed to wear pretty clothes, defied her peers to wear them on occasion, but still hid her light under the proverbial bushel-though the bushel in this case was pairs of jeans and t-shirts. Heck, even this girl, from my senior pictures:
Feels like an entirely different person than this one, in a set of photos my older brother took over Thanksgiving break 2011:

As I have grown, changed, and evolved as a person, so has my style. I think that in the pull of a corset string, the swoosh of a frilled skirt, the poetry of an elegant top, I have found myself and my self-confidence. I'm sure there have been missteps along the way, but I am so glad and grateful to have shared a small part of my fashion (and personal) journey with all of you. I have fifty-five followers, which is amazing, and I value each one. I have been inducted into a society of amazing women who blog about their fashion and style, and I feel blessed to be part of such a tight-knit and supportive Goth blogging community.

I want to offer special thanks to VictorianKitty of Sophistique Noir, who is always one of the first ones on any new blog, offering advice and encouragement (and mine was no exception); and whose monthly theme days, along with Le Profeseur Gothique's Monthly Homework Assignments, have done SO MUCH to bring the Goth blogging community together and introduce us all to each other's fabulous blogs. I can't express how much it means to me to have so many amazing people to share my love of darkly whimsical clothes, elaborate and elegant outfits, and all things Goth and glorious with. The little girl in the puffy-shouldered hand-me-down '80s dress above says thanks from the bottom of her weird-clothing-loving little heart, and would kill to have people to share her passions with. The young woman in the corsets and lacy dresses feels so lucky that she does. Thank you all for your friendship, support, and comments; and here's to 100 (or 500, or 1000) more posts together.

...Oh, and today's outfit:
Black long-sleeved blouse-NZ Clothing Co.
Red underbust corset-Canal Boat trading
Black chiffon layered skirt-Paper Bag Princess
Black flats-Ross
I like to think of this as the more refined version of the black velvet catsuit with a crimson scarf around the waist my fourth-grade self wore with such cheerful obliviousness to how truly awful it was. Except, you know, nicer looking. See you all tomorrow, and if you've stuck with me to the end of this epically long, fairly self-centered post, than I love you forever. *hugs*

14 comments:

  1. It's lovely to see all those pictures on you from the 6th grade and forward, your'e such a pretty girl. Those shoes in the second picture from the bottom are awesome! I can totally agree with you about the inspiration. Hugs!

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    1. Aww, thank you-you are so sweet! The shoes are Demonias, they were a birthday present to myself. At $45 on sale, they were a lot pricier than my usual thrifted ones, but I think they are pretty enough to be worth it. :)

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  2. I've only just recently subscribed to you but congrats on 100 posts :)

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    1. Thanks! I'm glad for all my subscribers, recent and older. :)

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  3. Congrats! This is such an awesome retrospective.

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    1. Thank you, dear! A lot of credit goes to my mom for digging through 10+ years of digital pictures to find these for me. :)

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  4. Excellent post! I really enjoyed seeing how you've progressed over the years. You are a valuable part of this little community, with your fun outfits and intelligent, entertaining posts. Congrats on your accomplishment! :)

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    1. Aww, thank you, dear! I really appreciate all the support you have given me (and all the other newer Goth bloggers)-when you are just starting out and nervous, it is wonderful to know that there is someone out there reading what you're flinging into the great unknown, and you always make sure that we know we have an audience. :)

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  5. OMG you're so pretty and I LOVE your style! :D I'm going to try to goth-out one of my outfits. :D Will you heeeeeeeelp me, crocheted-baby-mamma? <3

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    1. But of course! You could probably find yourself a cute skull-printed fabric for a hijab...some pretty purples and blacks in your dresses...hee, maybe you don't want to get me started. I might not be able to stop! :)

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