Written by Sarah
I never thought I’d wear skinny jeans. Really, I didn’t. I dismissed them as something for the under 16-crowd, or the long-limbed (read: not me) among us. That’s not to say that I didn’t think other women looked great in them. I even saw women wearing them whose bodies closely resembled mine – but I still refused to get a pair. A quick look through my Pinterest style board reveals that I apparently love the idea of straight-cut and skinny denim. (That and skirts…love me some skirts!) I just couldn’t bring myself to walk into the dressing room, try them on, and see myself in the mirror. I guess I figured the earth might open up and swallow me whole or something. I’m not sure exactly.
Then, a few weeks ago, I happened to mention to my mom that I’d found a great pair of jeans at American Eagle. They were bootcut without being too fitted in the leg, with just enough rise to make me feel fabulous when I looked in the mirror. She promised to look for a second pair when she went to the outlet mall. The day of their trip, I got a text asking which jeans I wanted. I called to clarify, and she offered to get me a pair of skinny jeans.
Right before she called, I’d read Carolyn’s post about style prejudice. Carolyn got me thinking about what my style prejudices might be – maybe skinny jeans were one of them. My mom added that the jeans were on sale, along with the ones I’d wanted initially, and were cheaper if you bought two pairs. I decided to go for it.
As soon as I put them on, I loved them. I couldn’t believe I’d waited so long to try them. They were just stretchy enough to hug my legs nicely, and stopped just below my ankle – the perfect length. I immediately dug through my closet, found the perfect blousy top to pair with them, and had my ever-patient husband take a picture to document the moment.
Blouse – Old Navy (hand-me-down), jeans – American Eagle, flats – TOMS
Buoyed by the success of this snap fashion decision, I then decided to cut my hair. Yeah, I know. It’s not something you do on a whim. I’d read a post on “The Tiny Twig” some months back about having awesome heavy bangs, and I’d toyed with the idea ever since. What would I look like with bangs? Would I be that awesome hip mama who rocks a cute haircut while playing with her kids at the park? I couldn’t shake the tiny nagging fear that I’d end up as a caricature of myself as a child, swath of blunt-cut bangs and all, however. Sure, I’d had the cute side bangs as an adult that could be hidden with bobby pins, but this was a serious commitment – a whole new hairstyle. I made the appointment a few days in advance, and was able to make it after work one evening, which I took as a sign that this was meant to work out ok.
I prepped myself on my breaks at work that day by re-reading the above post, scouring Pinterest, and reading blog posts about bangs. I even found an old podcast on my iPod where the author of the “Tiny Twig” blog had been interviewed about her heavy bangs. I decided that I would make heavy bangs work for me, since evidently lots of other people had done it before.
The girl who cuts my hair has done so for a few years and always does a fantastic job. Though I don’t wear my hair as short as I used to, I still trust her to give me a great cut. I had no doubt that she’d cut the perfect heavy bangs for me.
Sweet little Emily really wanted to pose for pictures with Mommy!
On Emily: sleeper – Carter’s. On Sarah: Top – Target, tank – J. JIll (hand-me-down), jeans – Citizens of Humanity (thrifted), sandals – Target, necklace and earrings – gifts
I absolutely love my heavy bangs. They’re perfect for summer, because I always feel like wearing my hair up. Heavy bangs make my hair look styled, even when I just pinned it back and quickly blowdried the front. I love the double takes I’ve gotten from people who didn’t know I cut my hair (which was pretty much everyone) and the sudden rush of creativity I’ve had when getting dressed in the mornings.
The bottom line? It’s ok to take a little risk with your style. Hair grows back, and you don’t have to buy everything you try on (thank goodness!). Bold colors, patterns, and fun trends can help you discover a side of yourself that you didn’t know existed.
I love my skinny jeans. I love my heavy bangs. I didn’t ever hear myself saying either of those, but I’m certainly glad I didn’t listen to the voice of caution in this case. Getting dressed should be fun. Take the plunge, try something new, and enjoy it!
Sarah writes here 2-3 times a month about body image issues, wardrobe tips, new feminism, and more!