Thursday, May 20, 2010

what i wore today: blossoming spring time


this is my new favourite dress. on tuesday my friend anne-marie and i hopped onto our bikes and rode for hours out to lebourgneuf, a suburb of québec city, to check out the new value village that had just opened. we found lots of lovely things but i ended up just getting this dress and she left with nothing because everything was absurdly overpriced. another reminder that value village is the "holt renfrew" of thrift stores and to support charity based ones rather than corporate bullshit ones, even if they are recycling.

i ended up shelling out the dough for this dress because it is quite unlike anything else i already have in my closet. at first, on the hanger, i thought it might be a bit school marmy, but thought to try it on anyway. on me, it feels like a dustbowl 1930s era dress. most of my dresses and skirts are knee-length but this one hits right between the ankle and knee and in fact, i think it makes me look even taller. it is perfectly floaty and airy for the lovely weather we've been having this week. i wore it when i worked at the thrift store yesterday and got lots of compliments on it.

after work i decided to go for another bike ride (may is bike month! i've been riding my bike every day) along la riviere st. charles on a lovely bike path which has gorgeous tress with pink blossoms right now. my allergies hate me but my soul feels better after laying under those trees. here are some more pictures.




my new favourite bag of all time. i found it outside the thrift store i work at, and added blue eyeshadow, eyeliner, nailpolish and lipstick to the young chaps. i am thinking about adding a monocle or a pipe to one of the two youngin's.

you can see my lonely bicycle in the upper right corner in this crooked one (the camera was propped on a tree branch)

but more generally speaking, things have been rough lately; i'm dealing with a lot of anxiety and other issues, and i'm realizing more and more as of late how fashion and clothing relates to this. i normally don't have a very hard time getting dressed in the morning (on average, it takes me all of 2 minutes to pick an outfit and put it on, ta-dam!) but lately i have been filled with anxiety and questions. i feel like there is nothing i want to wear, or that is appropriate. even though my closet is bursting, nothing feels right. i change three or four times before leaving the house to apply for jobs or interviews. what should i wear? i am handing out resumés at bars, how should i dress? at hotels, how should i dress? in retail, how should i dress? how should i wear my hair? should i wear makeup (which i normally very rarely do)? i am more concerned with how other people read me than how i present myself, and i feel like i am having a hard time knowing what people want to see.

there is a lot of power in that, in how you choose to present yourself. there are so many things in our lives we have no control of, but what we wear is something we actively choose every morning, whether we frame it as a choice or not. i think this idea relates to my self-portraits as well; i am the one deciding how to pose, what i look like, where to take the picture, when to take it, and whether or not the photo gets taken in the first place (since a lot of people dislike being photographed for any number of ((valid)) reasons). when getting dressed for others, there are very few ways to know for certain whether or not your appearance will please them. you can guess, but it is hard to know for sure, especially with strangers.

but hopefully i will find a good job soon and will feel less anxious and depressed. yesterday, as you can see, i decided to say fuck it and just wore what i felt like wearing and handed out five or six resumés and did a few follow-ups. if i try both routes (parading in a costume that is NOT me, and being myself) then i'm bound to find something.

but don't worry, i'm taking care of myself. cheering myself up by learning new old favourite songs on the ukulele, listening to lots of nina simone, abner jay, and old blues, drinking late night tea on my patio with karina, talking to old friends (thank goodness for skype) and spending more time on my bicycle than on the computer.


Ligeia said...

love your dress
and cute voice you have!

Angela said...

I've been working on ukulele lately, too. So much feeling in such a little instrument. Thanks for sharing this song.

I discovered your blog when reading through a series of links concerning debate over the appropriation of other cultures' dress. Yours was the most thoughtful compilation of thoughts on the matter.

I've been thinking about clothing and costume lately, and I can relate to the confusion over how to present yourself. I have worked in an office for the last few years and though the dress code is lax in my particular office, I have built up my wardrobe to reflect that position. Perhaps part of it is wanting to "dress like an adult" as well as the desire to be taken seriously/respected, since I am short in stature and from a cultural mix that makes me look younger than I am. But my clothes don't feel like an authentic representation of myself, and at the same time what feels authentically me varies from day to day, sometimes quite extremely. It's challenging to reflect that seamlessly (ooh, pun!) in clothing.

Amie Eliza Pinkerton said...

Gorgeous dress! The length looks great on you and I love the buttons (they kind of make me think of a spine for some reason).
I've been going through all that job hunting 'what should I wear' stuff too lately. It's agonising sometimes! Part of me thinks if they don't like what I'm wearing and can't see past that then I probably don't want to work there anyway, but I really just need an income and if wearing something I wouldn't normally wear can get me that then maybe I'm being precious.

julia aka garconniere said...

ligeia: thanks!

angela: you raise some really good points. a friend of mine, who is a lawyer in her mid twenties and is 5'1" is constantly dealing with issues of being taken seriously enough and clothing plays such a huge role in that sort of projection/performance. i think a lot of people deal with these issues and this divide, of looking at certain way at work and a certain way at night, but my favourite jobs have always been the ones where i don't have to change the way i dress or present myself.

and i love the pun! :)

amie: aaah i hear ya. that is a good way of looking at it (fuck them if they won't give me a job based on what i look like) but at the same time job interviews and shit are ALL about first impressions and judging judging judging. i hope we both find good sources of income soon.

Teresa said...

julia, your ukulele videos always remind me of first year when you'd play radiohead on your guitar late at night.

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