There were of course the wigs, particularly the black, pulp-fiction-style one I wore everyday during the last 3 months of high school. There were my velvety bell-bottoms, the fur coats, and the bright pink $6 second-hand dress I wore to prom. There were my initial experimental sewing disasters; things so ugly I should've never walked out the door.
But if my mom were here, reading this post over my shoulder as I typed, she would say:
"But you always seemed to be expressing yourself. If you would've been trying to dress immodestly or fit in with a certain crowd, I would've worried."
Ah, the numerous blessings of a culturally unconventional mother. (I can't imagine the repercussions on my life if I'd been born to someone concerned with maintaining and upholding status-quo.)
I've developed a habit of dressing meticulously. I dress according to weather, mood, event, who I'll be seeing that day, and how I feel around them. I typically change something about what I'm wearing every morning at least once as I give it more thought.
It's about more than appearing to be "cool" or even presentable. It's become a way of navigating through life, an outward identity to which I've given a lot of thought and effort; a mix of aesthetic design, utility, and expression.
Maybe it's my immersion into the BYU art department, but I've been feeling somewhat exposed in terms of my dressing habits in front of all these people who pay attention to visual detail as much as I do. Not a day goes by that someone doesn't comment on something I'm wearing. And it's not always something like, "I love your scarf." These people are perceptive. They read me. I feel like they know why I chose the black leg warmers or the yellow shoes. Everyone wanted to know the "real" reason I shaved my head when I did it.
It's not like I'm going to change; I don't even know if I'm capable of changing. But it admittedly throws one more factor in the equation when I'm dressing myself in the mornings.