Spending so much of my time cultivating an online life that is filled with similar minded people often allows me to forget how "other" my style actually is. That is until I'm standing in a crowd of parents at my sons' school and no one looks like me, I'm again asked if I'm going to a wedding while running errands, or when typing in "fall outfits" only brings up some combination of boyfriend jeans, button up shirts, and blanket scarves in every image and I have to start adding a long string of adverbs to find the right style inspiration that appeals to me. In those moments it is oddly off-putting to me how naturally subversive to the norm I am.
Maybe it's because I spend so much time "oooohing and aaaahing" over blogs and instagram accounts with the same aesthetics that I see my inclination to eclectic, retro styles and my habitual over dressing as common place. In my mind the world is full of people like me, and it is, just not in my immediate physical world.
But, even when I know my appearance is more instagram worthy than grocery store worthy, I still do it. I still step out in a pin-able outfit inspo with #ootd swirling around me because I like living up to the person in my head more than I dislike the stares and odd comments. I voluntarily set myself apart from the world to become a part of the smaller, prettier world of vintage lovers and retrophiles.
And in more ways than just clothing. It's in the home I chose, the furniture that fills it, the music I listen to, and the movies that collect in my netflix queue. It's in the fact that I spend more time in antique and thrift stores than in malls and that I know more about the evolution of corsets than the Kardashians. It's not exactly a subculture but it's pretty dang close and it's definitely a lifestyle choice. Within this world there are smaller subsets that are more defined; pinups and lolitas or rockabilly and burlesque. There are vintage purists who only dress in actual vintage, there are those who create an almost theatrical characterization of past style movements, and there are people like me who dabble in several eras to create an eclectic, modern interpretation of vintage. Skye from My Kingdom for a Hat does a great job of detailing these exact categories in this post here. It's a varied world that encompasses everything from edgy and alternative to elegant and demure, but it's always a celebration of artistry, the human form in all shapes and sizes, and a proclivity for the history and styles of the 20th century.
This outfit is the perfect reflection of my corner of the retrophile world. Part reproduction and part contemporary, I combine bits of old and new to create a wearable look that would never be in a magazine or be labeled #streetstyle. I've taken a trendy, casual piece like an overall dress, found the most unique one that existed in the entire world, and actually managed to make it fancy.
Would this fit in anywhere other than the facebook groups (heyoooooh, mermicorns) I hang out in, retro style hashtags, or stylized pinterest boards? Noooope. But, blending in has never been something I know how to do so I'll just stick with my strengths for now.