Is that song stuck in your head right now? GOOD. Because it’s been stuck in my head for the entire time I was writing this article, so I’m paying it forward. Paying it forward in a mean way, not a nice Haley Joel Osment way. So last week, I had a mini-rant about normcore, a fashion trend with which I am NOT down. This week? Let’s go in the opposite direction, stay on the sunny side, and take a look at what tickles my fancy.
Here’s my motto: you have to do the things you’re afraid of. Do I always live up to this motto? Hell no. Sometimes I chicken out, like the multiple times I have skipped parties where I didn’t really know anyone for fear of terminal awkwardness. Or sometimes, I’m afraid of things for a very logical reason, like the time when I berated myself into jumping into a white-water river, almost drowning, being flung against rock after rock, and ending up crawling out of the water a mile downstream a bruised, shivering, and crying mess, just because my friend had done it and I felt that I would be ashamed to admit I didn’t want to. A prime example of both how I’m not as outdoorsy as I like to imagine myself to be (and how sometimes my motto is just plain anti-Darwinian. Pick your battles.)
But fashion? You should never be afraid of fashion risks. People sometimes seem so afraid of wearing something a little outré, but fashion is, honestly, SO low-risk. So what if that pixie cut turns out to suck? Hair grows back. That blue hair dye ended up fading to a moldy grey? Bleach it out, dye it over, or just live with it. No one died, kids! Everyone still have intact phalanges. We’re all gonna be fine. So when I feel intimidated by a fashion trend, I try to double-dog-dare myself into trying it out. After all, if I’m afraid to wear yellow eyeliner, a statement with very low stakes, what on earth will I think about REAL dangers, like falling in love or following your dreams?
1) Play with your hair
This one’s almost a freebie, since I’ve been showing off my various follicle follies since I started writing this column. But consider this a gentle reminder if you’re considering a dye-job:
Pastel hair is so hot right now that your boss probably wouldn’t give you a second glance if you went for it. I hope to Goddess that trend continues and one day we have someone with bright green hair in the Oval Office.
2) Unorthodox lipstick
Have you heard of Lime Crime? Cruelty-free makeup in super-saturated, super-opaque formulas in the hues of unicorn vomit? The minute this brand came to my attention, I wanted some. Badly. Badly enough that I actually bought some online (I’m not an online shopper) in the shade that I was most wary of, yet fascinated by: dark metallic green.
In the case of this lipstick, it was so outside my wheelhouse of purples and berry tones that I was drawn to it like a moth to light: knowing that it could lead to destruction and disaster, yet unable to resist. I could either look like a strange snake-woman, sensual and wild, or a weirdo club goth whose teeth now look kind of weird when she smiles. It’s up to you to judge which one it is, but I’m pretty enamored of it and have worn it (in public!) several times already.
3) Funky Tights
I took a weekend trip to Santa Cruz a few weeks ago to visit a friend who is a train conductor (yes, I only mentioned it because train conductor is such a rad job that I am a little cooler by the power of proximity.) I had time to kill before meeting her, so I cruised downtown SC for a bit. When I saw a sock and stockings shop, I cried, like the Lady of Shallot, “My curse is upon me!” Sure enough, I was only able to drag myself out after spending almost $100 on stockings. I have no control when it comes to fancy and fanciful tights. Here are some funky-fresh leg-casings I left with:
4) Statement Shoes
To be fair, I’m not quite sure what statement I’m making with these bowling shoes:
-but I like them anyway. And I didn’t even have to steal them from a bowling alley: I found them at a thrift store in Sebastopol! Which means…someone ELSE originally stole them. My hands are clean.
5) Costume-y Jackets
I always feel like starting a ground campaign to take over Prussian territories when I wear this military-influenced jacket.
Add a cat for extra pizzaz. I think I have something of a dashing “Captain Haddock” vibe with that mock-turt.
So go ahead! Rock normcore if you want. Be basic if you want. But if you’re up for it? Get your freak on. Either you’ll look rad, feel bold, and be that brave badass everyone admires OR you’ll have amazingly embarrassing photos to LOL at one day from your jetpack-wheelchair while floating above Mars in Oxygen City. To me, that’s a win-win.