You may recall that this whole no-mirrors-for-a-year experiment was actually motivated by a fashion emergency: my growing anxiety over wedding dresses. See, I'm a feminist fashionistette. (FYI, per Urban Dictionary a fashionistette is: "someone who is "not quite as shallow as a fashionista, but someone who deeply enjoys fashion and looking good.") Anyway, I put a lot of pressure on myself to both (1) find the impossibly perfect wedding dress (ideally... modern-yet-traditional, flattering-yet-brave, luxurious-yet-inexpensive, unique-yet-classic, etc. etc.), and (2) to look insanely gorgeous in said dress, once found.
At some point the dress search stopped being fun. I hated feeling vain, insecure, and indecisive. Never one for subtleties, I rejected these obsessions by rejecting my reflection.
Despite lingering body image insecurities, I've always found pleasure in expressing myself through clothes. My style is all about combining opposites. I revel in mixing bright colors with neutrals, feminine with masculine, flowing fabric with sleek lines, old with new, preppy with bohemian... sometimes all at once! Thus, it scared me to wonder if shunning mirrors might make my life feel boring.
|Life is NOT boring when you're wearing this much color!|
1) Feel your fashion
How many pretty-but-painful items line your closet? Instead of focusing on how good something looks on you, first figure out whether it feels good. At first, not being able to see myself felt like cruel sensory deprivation. Then I started focusing on senses other than sight. This led me to try new styles, and to abandon trends that hurt. My walking commute demands solid, supportive (preppy!) boat-loafers instead of delicate uber-feminine flats. High-rise, high-stretch (high-comfort) jeans now softly hug my tummy and hips instead of cutting off circulation at "muffin-top".
|Hooray for shoes!|
Focusing on feel does NOT mean abandoning style or flattering clothes. (Snuggies are comfy, but lack that pleasing je ne sais quoi, no?) Once you find fashion that feels good, check with a trusted friend to make sure you look as good as you feel. It's as simple as that. I've relied on my sister, friends, and my future-mother-in-law for this! (If you shop alone, consider staging a fashion show at home... or starting your own blog to feature your favorites!)
3) When in doubt, copy yourself!
Once you find something you love, get one in every color. When faced with buying a new outfit for my wedding shower a few weeks ago, I bought the EXACT same Rachel Roy dress that I'd worn for my engagement photos, but in a new fabrication (and at a steep discount!).
|This is a model, not me.|
|This is me! And Michael!|
|I look at this photo a lot. It's the last picture |
taken of me before I started the project.
Buying my dress was a first step to letting go of wedding style perfection and it feels great. Now - thanks to my no-mirrors pledge - I'll be completely reliant on other people to help me navigate dress fittings, choose a veil, jewelry, lacy underthings, and shoes (not to mention the all-important old/new/borrowed/blue items!). Others may disagree, but sometimes good enough has to be good enough. Even on your wedding day. Well.... as long as we're not talking about the groom!
***Like this post? Subscribe to Mirror, Mirror... OFF The Wall via RSS feed or Email or Tweet it!***