Personal Style

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about style and how I present myself.

In the last few months, I’ve dyed pink streaks in my hair and gotten a tattoo in a very visible spot (my inner wrist). I don’t think either of these actions is that transgressive anymore, but I still considered possible—I don’t want to say consequences, but reactions, maybe? My family is fairly conservative, and while they weren’t vocally disapproving, they weren’t necessarily approving. I work at Catholic University, which has a certain image, and my boss is retiring at the end of the month, and we’re hiring a new director—what would his or her first impression of their new admin assistant be if I had a tattoo and pink hair? I decided it didn’t really matter to me, not more than the fact that my religious and political views differ from many of my coworkers’. How well I do my job is the point, and they’ll find out soon enough that I am smart and hardworking.

Somehow, this question of how I present myself got twined up in the question of internet privacy. A few of my friends have quit Facebook entirely. I blog and Tweet and use Facebook. I don’t feel that there’s a big gap between who I am professionally and who I am personally. I don’t post things I’m not comfortable sharing with the world at large. When I need to vent, I email my besties. Granted, there are a few pictures on Facebook where I’ve got a little drunkface going on, or am showing a rather ill-advised amount of cleavage, but—well, let she who hasn’t sinned in those areas throw the first stones, you know?

I feel like if you follow me online in any capacity, you have a pretty good sense of who I am. Mostly cheerful. Introspective. Anxious sometimes. Eager to help or cheerlead. Passionate about the things I love, which include books and theatre and my friends and cookies.

Actually, I feel like I have a better handle on how I present myself online than I do in person. I’m thirty, and I’m just now developing my own style. For the longest time, I couldn’t care less about clothes. Now I’m making a point of not buying something unless I really love it. I discovered ModCloth and that’s been a huge help.
At a party recently, the subject of style came up. My friend Jenn and I decided to describe our girlfriends’ styles: Sexy Casual, Natural Chic, Classic with a Twist, Conservative Classic, Girly Boho. I was deemed Fun & Flirty, and that works for me. My fashion staples include headbands, brightly-colored flats or giant heels, dramatic eyes (sparkly eye-shadow, purple eyeliner, etc), deep v-necks, above-the-knee A-line skirts, ruffled cardigans, strapless dresses, and bright colors (royal blue or teal, yellow, pink, coral, red).

How would you describe your personal style? Do you think there’s a big difference in how you present yourself online and off?

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