Friday, July 27, 2012

Mermaid Parade

Someone said I was losing my edge. Maybe it was the floral dress or the polka dots. Or maybe it was my 10 minute tangent on my love for Lady Di. Perhaps it was because I finally fessed up to liking poetry. Either way, I do not take kindly to losing my edge. Sure, I'll always be that girl who claims that Cat Stevens saved her life and who stock piles old copies of Teen Vogue in her bedroom. I'll never be that hard ass punk on the bus who makes you shake in your boots at the very thought of making accidental eye contact with. Curly hair isn't exactly uninviting and I usually have a smile on my face or in my eyes. But despite all this, I still like to think that I have spunk - a unique edge to my personality - that sets me apart from my peers. Let's face it: there're a lot of 19 year old girls out there (and a good lot of them probably have curly hair) who possess that youthful curiosity and longing that plagues all young people. We probably all have friends and like music. We probably all have secret crushes and grew up watching Mr. Rogers and Power Rangers. We're all stuck in that limbo between wanting to grow up and wanting to stay young forever. We've all cried and we've all laughed. So what's to set us apart?
I tend to think of myself as having a completely average life. I don't have any extraordinary skills and I haven't had many out-of-the-ordinary experiences. But yet, I've had people tell me that I am unique and they've never met anyone like me. It's always very humbling to hear something like that, but I often scratch my head and wonder what makes me so different? 
When I was in Guatemala and living with three other girls close to my age who've had similar life experiences, I realised that I looked at everything completely different from the other three. They were often taken aback by the things I said and the things I did. I reacted different from anyone in the group - drastically different. I was the only one to say that our group was overstepping the line between playfulness and cattiness, but I was also the quickest to make judgements of people and it was indeed me who loudly said, "I hate people - they're slow & stupid" on a crowded airplane. I was much more opinionated and I tended to say what I thought, without thinking much about the consequences. This is me. This is how I am, but I never thought it made me unique or that it gave me edge. It just made me, me. Up until that trip, I don't think I ever fully realised that our perspectives on life are the only things that are 100% unique to ourselves. I used to think, "Oh, I watch old movies and listen to '70s folk music and oh ho ho ho that makes me soooo different from my peers!" But no. It really doesn't. The only thing that is entirely mine, the only thing that really, truly gives me edge is the way I look at and the way I respond the things around me. That's all there is.
I think I wore this outfit to symbolically point out that I have indeed not yet lost my edge. I can still stomp around in boots and wear leather, which gives me some edge, but it's still an edge that a few thousand other 19 year old girls probably share. Anyways, we all get it now, right?
I'm most excited to show off this new skirt. My auntie brought over a bag of clothes that she was going to send to Goodwill if I didn't make claim to them first. My aunt seemed to have been exactly my size when she was my age (maybe taller, though...everyone is taller than me, let's face it) because everything fit like a button. This is the same auntie who gifted me my favourite brown Nancy Drew shorts. Anyways, this skirt was in the pile of '70s vintage goodies that she sent over. At first, I shrugged it off thinking, "This isn't really my style" but when I put it on that night, I completely fell in love. It has such a soft, floaty, romantic hippie type of vibe to it. Plus, it has pockets. Who doesn't love pockets, seriously? I decided to toughen it up with some leather and make it more season-appropriate by knotting a lace shirt from American Apparel.
I am also wearing floral sunglasses that I made a few weeks ago and posted a tutorial for here. I decided something was missing, so I added the bowler hat. Whenever I wear this hat, I think back to the part in Sixteen Candles when Farmer Ted says that he loves a girl in a hat, it's so vogue. I think the hat and the sunnies added the perfect dose of '80s flair to the otherwise very '70s hippie-dippie outfit. I don't know if I'd be able to beat someone up in this, but at least I have some edge.
While I was taking these photos, I looked over and noticed that there was a guy sitting on his back step about 15 feet away, smoking a cigarette and watching me the whole time. I suppose it was bound to happen sooner or later... I just smiled and said hi and then fiddled with the camera until he finished his smoke and left. Whew, got that awkward social interaction done with for today. I still have work tonight, so I'm anticipating having to wade through about 100 more of them before hitting the pillow tonight.
I'm still blogging uncomfortably and awkwardly from another computer. I have to save all my files as .png so I'm sorry if they're taking longer than usual to load. As soon as I have my laptop Godfrey in good health, the blog will be back to normal! In the meantime, remember to become a fan of Urban Tease on Facebook and enjoy this quote about being average from Clara Bow:
“I don’t think I’m very different from any other girl - except that I work harder and have suffered more. And I have red hair.” 
- Clara Bow


Priya said...

I really enjoyed reading this Chloe, and I'm not sure if I can give a comment that will leave it justice. I'm often surprised and kinda distressed too that everyone seems mostly the same and I wonder if I'm any different than other people, or if I have the same thoughts and feelings as everyone else. I've heard all sorts of quotes that say life is whatever percent what happens to you and whatever percent how you react to it...also that the only things in life you can control are your attitude and effort. I guess I mostly agree with them. This comment doesn't really have a point I guess, just some things I was thinking about as I read this. Thanks for being real (and I don't think you've lost it). Also, Cat Stevens, YES.

Meli said...

This is such a big topic!! Sometimes I think about how people are all the same, there are no adjectives that can't be applied to everyone in some situation or another, there's really nothing unique about anyone and yadda yadda and I get very down about it.. then I stop thinking about the whole of humanity and life goes on. It scares me to think that we can all be anything or anyone, but at the same time we can't because our lives have shaped us to be someone in particular. I don't know if any of this makes sense, so I'll stop rambling!

Maria EugĂȘnia Caminha said...

Hey, girl! First: I found out about Urban Tease some days ago and immediately fell in love with your little corner. Just that shows me that you are an interesting young lady, maybe very similar to many others - but hey, we all share many things. But i doubt there is any other Chloe with this crazy hair, this Chaplin tattoo and this very good writing. Relax, you are pretty unique. And congrats for this blog. I love your pictures (and as a photographer, I'm very picky haha).

xoxo from Brazil,
Maria E.

Two Happy Hearts said...

Absolutely beautiful!
And especially in the crazy world of blogging, sometimes it IS hard to set yourself apart and feel like an individual. (heck...if anyone understands how you feel, it's me. I'm a TWIN for goodness sake! talk about feeling like there's someone else out there exactly like you...haha)
But you're so right in saying that our life experiences, opinions, and personalities make us who we are. And as cheesy as it sounds....just staying true to the things that YOU love is really what it's all about.

Nicole Testa said...

Oh wow, this is such a great post. I think the same things about myself. Whenever someone tells me I'm unique, my reaction is generally, really? I'm pretty boring actually. But like you said, our mindsets and perspectives really make us interesting and different, more than our interests and actions. But hey, I do like to think you can be edgy and like poetry - there's plenty of edgy poetry out there ;)
Anyway, this is an amazing outfit! You look wonderful :)

Jamie Rose said...

I agree! I never really thought about what makes me unique, but opinions definitely make sense.
Also, that skirt looks so cool with the edgy top and shoes. I love when family members pass old clothes or jewelry to me.

SafiyaMarie said...

I love reading your posts but this one more so. It's really interesting to actually step back and think about yourself as an individual and whether you are in fact an individual. I believe that everyone would like to think that they're different from everyone else but to what extent is that true. Where I live not very may people dress the way I do and I often feel quite unique in that sense but when I look at the blogging world I sometimes feel as though I'm just another girl with a fashion blog and I'm not unique at all. I'm rambling now. Sorry. I really do like this outfit though. Especially the way you tied the shirt :)

Bad Taste Toast said...

I just LOVE how you styled this skirt (what a gem, so cool your aunt passes on some 0s goodness to you!), and the best thing is indeed that it has pockets! Actually I cannot think of having ever seen a maxi skirt with pockets. So practical in my opinion because I never know where to put my hands ;)

I love how you dressed down the romantic girliness of the pastel florals by adding black lace and leather!

One of my favourite outfits on you!

ola said...

Your blog is great and (as I've said before) I love your style. There is a hint of vintage in every look yet the complete style is very modern.
I'm following on FB and Bloglovin too!!


The Jones said...

Loving this...your style is so unique and perfetly put together...that skirt is amazing and you've just paired it delightfully!

<3 Cambria

naya said...

YOU look adorale!this skirt and the top!and the vest!hat,shoes!EVERYTHING!your style is perfect!