Archive for the ‘backward glance’ Category

To Long for Long, or Not to Long for Long?

I am beginning to have mixed feelings about my hair. As you will recall, when I first cut it, I intended to grow it out, again. That has not transpired. I just recently cut it short again, in a style reminiscent of (and in fact inspired by) Orlando Bloom’s hair in the movie Troy. I love it. It is delightfully androgynous, equal parts urban chic and boyish charm. But that is not the problem.

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Hair Wars: The Long and the Short of It

The problem is that I know longer know where I am headed. Shall I continue wearing my hair short, or shall I grow it out, again? I am quite adamant that my hair must be worn long for my wedding, a few years out, even if that means wearing wigs. It would almost be offensive, at a personal level, to do otherwise. I feel that in my gut and brain, alike. But curiously, that does not translate over to my decision-making for the everyday. Clearly, long hair is important to me in a ritual sense. But that, in itself, is not a reason to grow out my hair. I have several years, at least, until my wedding (ours is a very long-term engagement), and so it does not have a direct bearing on my decision.

My thoughts are further complicated by the knowledge that what I am comparing my cut hair to is not, itself, full length, but rather the length I had it when I graduated high school. Unfortunately, it has been three-and-a-half years, since then, and frankly I don’t remember that haircut very well, beyond a very vague memory of a favorable impression and that it still responded well to curlers. Lucky for me, cameras were invented before that time.

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Yup, I wore a sari to the Prom.

So between the two, I am coming upon a very difficult decision, in the near future. It is primarily an ideological one, which puts this strikingly at odds with my other attempts to master my fashion sense. But while I am uncomfortable with the notion of putting ideology before the impression I convey to others, I am more uncomfortable still with continuing to conceive of my “Self” in a way that I no adequately longer represent, externally (i.e., a shorthaired “longhair”). Who knows? Perhaps there is a happy medium.

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Unsocial Butterfly

It is worth mentioning my high school fashion sensibilities before I get too far afield. They remain a central component of my overall wardrobe and continue to impact my present needs for personal expression.

Several things have changed since then. For one thing, I was entirely socially disinterested at the time that I first began making my own wardrobe decisions. I have since been diagnosed with Aspergers syndrome, though looking back at my adolescence and even my more recent adulthood I see more signs of Schizoid personality than of true classical Aspergers (both of which are problematically primarily diagnosed in boys and men, making women like me part of the most subaltern psychosocial category imaginable). Social complications aside, the impact this had on my fashion sense was fairly straightforward.

I did not dress for others. I dressed for myself. What that meant, primarily, was clothing that felt comfortable and was every bit as pleasant to the touch as to the eye. My solution was a faux exotic chic particular to the Seattle area, comprised of beautiful unstructured garments in richly colored light-weight rayon batiks, silk brocades, and the occasional winter-time velvet. The cuts were elegant but simple, and if most of the articles in my closet were handwash only, at least there was nothing lined up for the dry-cleaners.

The impracticality of such a wardrobe for my current purposes is probably apparent. Not only are the vivid colors inappropriate for most commonplace work environments, but yards upon yards of unchecked billowing cloth can lead to a sense of drowning in my own clothing. Both these (but especially the latter) can and will be ammended by the silhouette system I am putting into place. But in the meantime, an ode for the eyes to the style decisions that have brought me thus far.