Friday, April 2, 2010

what i wore today: alice or dorothy


when i got dressed this morning, i thought i was channeling dorothy from the wizard of oz: a blue and white gingham print dress, paired with a new pair of lovely little red t-straps my mother bought me (ha! as if any shoes i'd ever wear could be considered "little"). but as the day wore on, however, my sister and mother both said i reminded them of alice. i like to think it's more because alice in wonderland is re-entering popular culture in a fierce way right now thanks to the remake, but either way i think i looked pretty cute.

what do you think?

my wonderful family bought me a plane ticket to come visit for easter weekend, and the past few days have been a whirlwind. i landed in toronto on wednesday morning, leaving the snow covered streets of quebec city for the sunny summer-like warmth of ontario. of course it is above seasonal; we normally don't see this kind of weather for another month or so, but this year it almost feels like summer!

early in the morning i took my big clunky cruiser to the gas station to fill up the tires, and go for a little bike ride. on the way i stopped by some old favourite places i used to walk along all the time when i was a kid, passed streets i used to deliver newspapers on, and of course saw the train go by.



when i got home, it was so hot i ditched the socks, the sweater and even ironed my dress. in april! april!


dress: emmaus, $5
slip + poofy underskirt: thrifted
shoes: naturalizer, gift from my mother! i love them
vintage queen pin: emmaus, $2

my sister's cat, who i briefly lived with when we went to university together, still quite dislikes me, even though i love her fluffy erratic self.

so there you have it! what i wear in trenton so that people look at me like i am an alien.

this happens every time i come back to trenton: i always feel simultaneously at home and completely foreign. for those of you who don't know me, i lived on military bases most of my youth, which meant moving every 3 or 4 years. we mostly lived in ontario, and the longest i lived in one place was trenton, for my entire high school years tied with five years in peterborough for my undergraduate degree.

as i alluded to, every time i am back here i feel out of place. my sisters, parents and friends often make (well-meaning teasing) comments like "you're going to wear that there?" but anyone who knows me knows i don't change what i wear depending on who i'm going to be with or where i'm going to be. yes, i'll wear that 1950s cotton day dress biking around trenton even though i'll get stared at. yes, i'll wear those three inch heels because i feel like it, even though it means i will tower over strangers and get comments telling me that tall women like me don't "need" to wear them.

so clearly, in the little over forty eight hours i've been in trenton, i've been thinking a lot about how our appearances are read by others as well as performed for others, in a sense. in the past two days, i've seen friends from a few years ago, from high school, as well as people who have known me my entire life, people who i haven't seen for a very long time. how much can we tell about each other, how much we've changed, based on what we're wearing? i've been thinking a lot about these things we see as "normal" for the most part and trying to theorize around them... i'll let you know once i've fleshed out these ideas in more substantial ways.

ALSO: thanks for all your comments lately! i love hearing your ideas and thoughts. a few people have asked me where my contact information is and i noticed i don't have it posted anywhere! i will change this. in the meantime you can send me emails with your ideas or comments to JULIACARON at GMAIL dot COM



Bleiu said...

Adorable! I have been planing on making this style of dress for spring and summer. So cute and comfy.
I wear whatever I want whenever I want. I think it's insane that people all look the same because I know if they really explored and wore what they loved they wouldn't pick khakis, jeans and t-shirts most of the time. I think normal is kind of a brainwashing that you must look this way to be accepted and feel part of the community. If people watch tv they tend to buy into it. So much to say on this subject that goes on and on ..

C said...

That dress is soo cute! And your cat looks so fuzzy!

Andi B. Goode said...

So cute! I love gingham, especially blue gingham.
I actually do change what I wear, a little, depending on where I'm going. But more in the sense that I like to think I'm dressing 'appropriately' for a certain setting (though I'm almost always 'overdressed' by modern standards) i.e. I'll wear a hat and gloves to the theatre but not when I go to the supermarket and I try to dress more 40s at swing dance events, too. But it's more of that performance idea that you briefly mentioned, I think - the idea of getting dressed up and almost being a certain character for a certain setting.
-Andi x

Catherine Shu said...

What an awesome outfit! I love your shoes... the oxblood color is wonderful.
I know what you mean about feeling out of place when you go back home. I miss my hometown (in northern California), but it also seems like alien territory to me. It's pretty liberal there (my town is an hour south of San Francisco and Berkeley), so I don't necessarily feel out of place in terms of how I dress (though I tend to be a bit "dressier" than most people). It's more the whole living in the suburbs/strip mall thing. Everything seems so clean and sterile, like in the opening scenes of "Edward Scissorhands." I've lived in two pretty chaotic cities since graduating from college, so I feel like I'm on the surface of the moon when I go back home.
the renegade bean

Ligeia said...

you look so cute and girlish :)
fantastic dress

and your sis' cat is awwwwww <3


Aya Smith said...

I love the idea of having an Alice or Dorothy inspired dress, and wearing it in a non-costume-y way! This is completely adorable, and so are you :)

Aya ♥

Anonymous said...

Oh, I've been away from your blog too long and I'm so glad to read it again (and will need to add to my reader so I don't forget to come back!) You're right that Alice in Wonderland has implanted itself in the cultural imagination once again. I have some half formed, fetal thoughts on that but nothing fancy enough to articulate now! And I know what you mean about being perceived as strange. The strangest and saddest part about that is that for the most part, the people in my life don't think I dress oddly or inappropriately or draw attention to how I dress, but often in my activist spheres, in my past jobs as a community organizer and union organizer is where I've found the greatest resistance and bewilderment toward my sartorial choices. I suppose I'd rather be made fun of for my clothing choices than to be taunted for my political views... but I've always found that my friends who are radical politically are sartorially reactionary and the reverse is true as well!

xo Jenny

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