I follow a couple of entrepreneur groups on Facebook that, honestly most of the time annoy the hell out of me for many of the same reasons Berni Xiong talks about here and here. Mostly? It’s the excessive cheerleading, the cannibalistic nature of constantly selling each other life coaching and web designing and branding stories and dozens of online courses and pamphlets that will turn us all into Fortune 500 execs by building our Periscope following and…this sentence is annoying me. Granted one of the biggest things that annoys me about them is the constant positing of plastic Starbucks cups despite no apparent sponsorship deal and that as “creatives” shouldn’t they have access to a street festival or craft fair or bohemian friend with a potter’s wheel who can supply them with a reusable mug? Seriously, straws and plastic disposable cups get on my nerves. But I also just think a lot of it is that they come across as consumerism-focused, shiny attracted, and overall the girls with the bouncy hair and perfect pink hair bows that didn’t want me at their lunch table (not that we’d know what to say to each other if we did share lunch).
At any rate, someone posted something the other day about how she had only a few minutes to get ready for a meeting and wanted to know what everyone’s go-to power outfit was or what everyone else reached for when they wanted to feel powerful, competent, and put together. Most of the responses had to do with nail designs or gels, jewelry, well-coiffed hair, nice clothes, expensive bags, high heels… You know, the usual Pinterest Fashion meets business casual stock photos.
Don’t get me wrong, I have a few dresses and a pants and jacket outfit or three that mimic the business suit look. I have heels and I can pretend and I do feel put together in those outfits, but I don’t feel like “me.” I don’t feel overly confident because I feel like I’m wearing a costume. I don’t feel like I can “do anything” because my feet hurt and keep slipping off the clutch when I drive.
When left to my own devices, the outfit(s) that make me feel most “me” is something like the clothes the Brennan character wore in the first season of Bones (back before she stopped dressing like an anthropologist and started dressing like “office worker number five”) but with a tropical touch since tank tops and sandals make more sense in South Florida make more sense than boots and jackets. The key thing that makes me feel like I can pull off anything is a pair of jeans that fit (long enough but not too long, loose enough to move in but not so lose they fall off) because I like having belt loops to hook my keys to, a pocket for my phone. My “confidence” shoe is more like this, than anything in Carrie Bradshaw’s closet. I don’t feel confident if I don’t feel like I can run away – odd, maybe even ironic.
My go-to bag when I want to feel like I’m getting shit done? Big olive canvas messenger bag from MediumControl. I have a few black purses that mimic business, but there’s something about the structure that makes me feel more confined, boxed in than the messenger the husband and I have been sharing back and forth for years.
Which isn’t to say I don’t also like wearing big chunky jewelry with metals and beads and rougher-looking minerals. And makeup – like red lipsticks in a variety of shades. I just hate shopping so I’m still wearing the wood and bead necklace I got in San Diego ten years ago.
I guess, I just felt out of place. I often do, even when I’m wearing my fitting-in costume. So often, creatives who aren’t “Creatives” are introverted, shy, and whether I qualify as a creative person or not, those things apply. My go-to outfit of jeans, sleeveless shirt/tank top, pretty but simple sandals, chunky jewelry, and big messenger bag (or my alternative swingy dress and cowboy boots) makes me feel a little bit invisible, a little bit prepared for whatever happens, and capable. It’s also comfy as hell.
What’s your go-to outfit?