Clothes and Insecurities
Welcome back! Today's post features a little early fall inspiration as well as a little chat on insecurities. This dress I bought from H&M last winter (dress in different color, similar here, here, and here) and struggled to find opportunities to wear it out. Now that fall's approaching, the dark, plaid print seems a little easier to pull into a transitional outfit. Honestly, the sweater is my favorite part of the look with volumized sleeves and pom pom detailing. One of my favorite methods to styling a look is to use juxtaposition to create interest. I like to do it by mixing fitted pieces with oversized pieces.
For this look, I kept my makeup to fall tones with some bronzey eye shadow and a dark nude lip.
To emphasize the classic undertones of the outfit, I curled my hair and brushed it out (one of my favorite techniques to getting a clean hairstyle that still feels relaxed). I pulled my hair in a half-up style with a hair tie - again another look I'm currently into.
As most of my clothes are back at school, I didn't have my less opaque tights to match the dress with, but ideally those would've keep the look a little more balanced by showing a little more skin. This is the first time featuring my loafers on the blog, but I will admit despite being classic and chic, they are very uncomfortable to wear without socks (which you can see in most of the images). I'd recommend buying a pair in store since loafers are generally a staple shoe in many wardrobes.
The reason I wanted to talk about insecurities in this post is because while taking photos I post on here, I generally have somewhat of an audience because I prefer shoot in more urban areas of town, and I want to make sure I have a range of decent quality photos. This particular location was near a restaurant where people were eating dinner outside. The entire shoot I felt so self-conscious, particularly as it’s still relatively warm in Virginia. After we finished shooting, we grabbed some food as well, but I felt way overdressed for a casual Saturday night.
I try to shoot only looks I feel comfortable wearing because the photos tend to turn out more natural, and I feel less self-conscious in front of everyone (a feeling I doubt will ever go away). While I was going through these photos, I felt I had to cut so many. In addition to having to cut so many due to my body stiffness and weird faces, editing this post was hard because I found myself critiquing my body since the dress itself was so fitted.
It seems silly feeling uncomfortable about something that isn’t 100% under your control. I remember for the longest time being super conscious of the way my hipbones stick out, how when I played sports how unproportional my body felt as I had leg muscle and a small chest, how in the summer I gain so many freckles (and would consequently wear heavy makeup to cover it), and even how my head felt super round and looked “weird” in videos. I’m sure a lot of people relate.
The point is one, please don’t compare yourself to the few photos I post on here (selected out of over a hundred), and two, these insecurities are directly related to unique things about myself I love. When is the last time you saw someone with red hair and no freckles? When is the last time you achieved something without feeling uncomfortable and set back during the process? In my opinion, you’re not making progress towards anything if you don’t feel insecure at some point.
This semester, I’m back at school, and I still feel out of place as I’m graduating with a class of talented students a year after most of my friends will graduate. I feel out of sync with most people in my program. However, I’m gaining an extra semester to pursue some personal projects while taking things at my own pace. The difference between feeling self-conscious and anxious is not always clear, but it's an area worth exploring for yourself. This year, I’ve been learning to experience and appreciate the setbacks because without them, I wouldn’t be where I am now.
My current life philosophy is to be mindful with my time while doing projects that are fulfilling. Even if I never graduate school (don't worry mom and dad - I do plan on graduating!), that doesn't mean I haven't gotten anywhere or it's worth wasting time feeling insecure about. I know it's way easier said than done, but try not to let insecurities keep you from working towards your goals because your value is not in what others think of you.