Sunday, October 30, 2011

Activity 1: 30 days of fashion


The first 30 day activity is based on Jessi Arrington's Wearing nothing new talk, which may seem like a very simple concept but will actually be extremely challenging for me in many ways.

The talk
I will admit that I skipped over the talk a number of times before I started planning the project, because I really don't have a huge interest in fashion. I am extremely glad that I did watch this talk, just for the energy and enthusiasm of the speaker alone. It really is very worthwhile to visit Jessi's website and see some of her other 'finds' as well.

The talk works on many levels: the simple concept is conscious consumption, so second hand clothes shopping; for me the deeper concept is that I should have more fun with my clothes and be more confident with my appearance.

The part about fitting in being overrated really resonated with me. The concept that "surrounding yourself with the right people" gives you the freedom to really be yourself, and they may even appreciate the quirkiness really hit home. After all why should I care what everyone thinks of me, it's really just the people I choose to include in my life whose opinion I value - and given that some of you are very quirky, then why don't I feel free to be?

The challenge - stepping out of my comfort zone
This one struck a chord with me because I’m not overly confident with my clothes/appearance - my subconscious mantra seems to be "just don't stand out", and not just with my clothing. Clothes are a way of fitting in and effectively hiding myself – which is a broader issue around confidence, taking risks and putting myself out there.Since this is a major component of the things in myself I want to change, I’ve decided that how I look might be a good start, and it's also a simple concept to start with - sort of ease me into the project. 

This talk is also about sustainability and conscious consumption, which is why I'm adding to my wardrobe through Op Shopping. The main thing for me is about not hiding myself through my clothes, not caring whether people think I’m a little odd for dressing a certain way – and adding some more colour and fun to my life.

This may not sound like a big deal to all of you extroverts out there, but for a little introvert like me this will be very confronting. After all, the majority of my wardrobe is actually black, white and shades of grey, with only small bits of colour and not a lot of very "feminine" pieces.

I think it will be a fantastic way to start the project, because I will hopefully learn to be a little more comfortable with standing out. This is important since I am putting all of this out there for anyone to consume I do have to find a way to be comfortable with that concept.

The activity
I've decided that for the 30 days of this activity I will have four completely new outfits either through items bought second hand or things I have that people have seldom if ever seen me wear (underwear is excluded from this). This will give me a new outfit one for each week.

As well as the complete outfits I will also wear something more colourful or out of the ordinary for me, each day. This might be a more colourful article of clothing or accessories/jewellery (which I also seldom wear).

This may get quite interesting given some of the more fashion conscious people that we have at work, but that will make it all that more amusing, if I keep the right attitude. Importantly, I have decided to not openly tell everyone what I am doing, not only with this activity but with the project as a whole. If they find out on their own then that is fine, but I think it is a cop out for me to give everyone an 'excuse' for my weird behaviour and/or changes in the next year.

The only part that I really can't come to from Jessi's talk is her universal truth - I can't see that "Gold sequins go with everything", well not for me anyway. And yes I did try something sequined on, I just can't do it :-)

This activity will include photo posts about some of the gems that I have added to my wardrobe, below are the purple boots from the Salvos I fell in love with last week - Derek is already sick of me talking about the boots.

And while we're on the topic of my lovely, supportive partner please spare a thought for him throughout this project, he is very tolerant but I think that this will stretch even his patience at times.

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