I Dress, Therefore I Am

Question: What do you get when you cross a confident, Geordie gal with a fashion enthusiast? 

Answer: A girl who loves to overdress i.e. me.

Much like KFC’s gravy, Jaden Smith’s twitter feed, and the Office US TV show, overdressing is a sin I will never get tired of committing, time and time again. From the top of my head, I can think of three situations where my friends endearingly mocked me for my choice of attire. The time I:

  1. Wore PVC leather pants to a basketball game. I had just been granted free courtside tickets, and therefore took full advantage of the fact there may be paparazzi at this Bristol vs. Leeds game.

  2. Wore the same full-length dress a girl wore as a wedding guest, to do a 7AM delivery shift at work. 

  3. Paid to have Kendall Jenner’s 21st birthday dress replicated for my 22nd birthday dress. It was made entirely of metal and was so revealing you couldn’t wear a bra or underwear. Unfortunately, this iconic garment never actually made it outside after my plump derrière ripped the dress the day before my birthday.

On a less personal note, the upper echelon expressions of the fashion world i.e. the designers, appear to be exhibiting catwalk styles that scream “I just rolled out of bed.” People are wearing t-shirts adorning bands they don’t listen to. The Kardashians are wearing sweaters as outwear. Heck, thanks to Vetements, your DHL driver looks chicer than you did on your graduation day. But where is the line? Should there be a line?

The Problem with Dressing Down

I guess the rise of the “don’t care” gear has something to do with the reality of millennials busy lives. Whilst a polished exterior indicates that one had at least five outfit changes before ten minutes face contouring sessions, dressing down makes you look like you are too occupied with actual important things.In continuation of that sentiment, I have the truth: dressing low-key is more time-consuming. I’ve worn slip dresses over organic cotton t-shirts. . I’ve spent my morning tonging my hair before emblazoning it in salt spray. I’ve purchased a pair of Levi 501’s, and in turn, got a free hoof…

This was the real epitome for me when I realised I was done. Done with looking like I don’t care, because I do. I like people to compliment my outfits. I like people to ask where I got a specific item, and for me to give exchange my fashion knowledge with a stranger. The truth is I’m the opposite of dressed down. I don’t even own a set of pyjama’s.

Instead, I love buying extravagant stuff I plan on wearing for special occasions. As a final year university student, these special occasions include trips to the library, to the meal deal section in Tesco and to the student union.

I Dress Therefore I Am

When I try to look back at my life, when I try intently, to remember and understand who I once was, I find myself thinking about what I wore. I think about my outfits making the occasion, much like I did during the adolescent ages of fourteen to sixteen, when I was treating leukemia. I made sure I attended every chemotherapy session, as a fully fledged eyeball fertiliser. I purchased multiple wigs and alternated them to cater my desired look of the day, much like the drag stars do on Ru Paul. Sure, it may seem a little impractical showing up to an operation in leather leggings and enough jewellery to brag about in a Drake song, but dressing up was a form of escapism. The way I saw it was that cancer was already controlling my body, so fashion my armour for this life situation. Fast forward six healthy years later and although I am still far from being put together, I at least want to look like it.

[Also can we all just take a second to digest how beautiful my friend Deaann looks in these photographs I art directed, styled and shot, with the help of my blogger friend, Amy.]