Celebrating Personal Style
“Women never outgrow playing dress up. And nor should we. It is part of what makes being a woman fun!” Evidently, this is one of the few soundbites I dropped that let Jennifer know we would get along smashingly.
As we mentioned in our About Us, we bonded over our love for the movie Pretty in Pink. While fashion, especially thrifting and what is now called upcycling, was something I obsessed over, I really couldn’t imagine a turning my passion into a career. Remember, this is the 1980’s where computers were still part of urban legend because if you owned, one you could potentially start a nuclear war. Model, work for a modeling agency, work for a glossy magazine….that was about it. The more adventurous people wanted to work as stylists for the movie and TV studios because personal stylists weren’t a thing. Long story short, after getting close to committing to build my own thing in fashion, I ultimately took a safer route career-wise. Decades later, with the opportunity to build my own thing in fashion more accessible than before, I am finally ready to take that chance. In all honesty, I have always been a little embarrassed at how much I obsess over fashion, plan my outfits, how excited I get when a look comes together, or discover a great deal or hidden vintage gems. Always Play Dress Up not only reminds me to stop apologizing for wanting to look and feel my best, but it inspires me to share my passion with others. The mantra and the tee shirts are brainchild of OG blogger turned YouTuber Beth Jones of B. Jones Style. The fact that she found a way to create her own career in fashion before influencing was a thing is also inspiring.
Being in a stage and phase of my life where I’m now more known as “Charles’ mom” than the name and face of an organization, my newly shrunken life provides fewer opportunities to dress to the nines. Rarely is one of the social magazines stalking the pickup line at the elementary school or is a news outlet contacting me for a quote on some current event issue. The gala invitations no longer fill my mailbox, and the only thing I’m influencing is what we are having for dinner. BUT, that hasn’t changed my sense of style or my desire to dress for the part. My favorite line from a book is a silly one but one that rings so true to me. It’s from The Divine Secrets of the YaYa Sisterhood, much better than the movie and a must-read for any proper southern girl. In it, Vivi tells her daughter Sidda-Lee: “It’s life. You don’t figure it out. You just climb up on the beast and ride!” That’s how I feel, and it is how I dress for each day. And that is what Always Play Dress Up means to me – it’s life – make it the best, most fashionable one you can. Climb up onto the beast but make sure you’re wearing a fabulous pair of boots for the ride!
Jennifer inspired me with her quote to include one of my favorites (that truth be told, I have been trying to work into a blog post since before we started). It comes from top blogger style icon, Carrie Bradshaw: “Maybe the best any of us can do is not to quit, play the hand we’ve been given, and accessorize the outfit we got.” Carrie was probably speaking in terms of a romantic relationship, but I have always viewed it in terms of my relationship with myself as I strive to improve my mental or physical wellbeing, move forward in my career, or even launch this blog. Always Play Dress Up is a celebration of personal style and, as part of our mission says, we view style as a powerful tool in the story you tell the world. #alwaysplaydressup
Images by Breezy Ritter