The pants that were not: seeing success in a different way

Friends, today I’m letting it all hang out. Settle in.

Earlier this year, I talked about my wardrobe plans, and assessing what I really wear and what I’d like to wear.

One of the things I thought I’d like to incorporate into my wardrobe is close-fitting, ankle-length trousers. And not the the low-rise professional office worker version that lots of modern women wear these days. The high-waisted, out of the 50s and 60s cigarette pant style. Not so tight that you can’t breathe or sit comfortably, but definitely a bit figure-hugging. One of the iconic Audrey Hepburn looks, if you will.

Source: Barnaby Jack, “Style Icon: Audrey Hepburn”

So I started sewing some pants. They were really cute! And I hate them.

I bought Gertie’s pattern, Butterick B5895.

B5895 Source: Butterick

 

Cute, right? Rochelle has made them and they were darling, and Ebone from California Bluebell is sensational in hers.

My goal was to make them ankle-length, and to use a stretch fabric for comfort. As a muslin, I used some random red stretch twill from my stash. I measured the pattern pieces to death, and decided to cut an 8 but grade the hips to a 10. In the end I never inserted the zipper but I suspect I could have stood more room still below the waist and above the crotch (you obviously can’t see it but it would be much tighter across the back with the zipper, since I didn’t baste that shut). But moving along, since that’s not the point of this post.

I got the pockets and legs constructed, pin basted the waistband onto the pants, and tried them on. (All you get is a mirror shot in the guest bedroom, sorry.)

photo

Maybe you’re going to look at that photo and say, “But Tasha, they look really cute! They’d be totally adorable with [X, Y, Z]. OMG, I can just see it now!” And since I can’t see my head attached to that photo, I’m actually thinking that, too. But nope.

(So please—no comments saying, “Oh but they’re so cute you should totally finish them” because I’ll know you didn’t actually read the rest of the post. Neener, neener. ;) )

My feelings aren’t really related to the fit, or their cuteness. The point is I looked at myself in this style in the mirror and I felt like I was wearing someone else’s clothes! I sometimes have a vision of myself frolicking along in trousers like this, cute Breton striped tees and adorable flats. But every time I try it, it doesn’t feel right. So I’ll keep the latter two, but save the former for someone else.

Just because you like a style (and hell, I’d go so far as to say I’ve adored this style of cigarette pants and their shorter capri cousins for years and years!) doesn’t mean it will work for you, and it can be a surprise! Physically yep, I think I can pull them off. But how do I feel in my head about them, seeing them on my body? Weird. Not my style. And not in an “I’m afraid to push my boundaries” way. And not in an “If I just change a little thing here and there, it will make all the difference and I’ll love them in version 2.0 or 3.0″ way.

It’s an “I can appreciate and respect that not everything I like in the fashion world makes me feel happy and good about myself when I’m personally wearing it” way. Because those pants are actually pretty damn cute, but they don’t make me feel good. At least not currently. Sure, maybe I’ll try again in a few years. But I’m sewing for me now, not some future wardrobe.

In the end, when we go through all the efforts and trial and error to make things with our own hands, with the skills we’ve learned after much cursing and ripping out and re-learning, we must remember that success isn’t based on only skill or grade of execution, or counted in finished garments alone. Sometimes, there’s more on the (sewing) table than that.

Yes, I could finish the trousers, and I’d be proud of the adorable printed facings inside the pockets and waistband, and that I finally did some straight topstitching without going all wonky for once, and the fact that I graded something at the hips for the first time and it was more-or-less successful on the very first attempt. And the fact that they really are adorable trousers.

But that’s not the only reason you sew clothing for yourself, and it’s not the only reason to consider a project a success.

Should we not feel damn near FANTASTIC about what we make to put on our own bodies? It’s okay if, along the way, we find out that something we love on other people doesn’t actually do it for us personally. If you don’t try it out, how else will you learn what you really love to wear and what you feel good in? And then when you feel good in something you made yourself, and you feel good about the item itself, too…. there’s where FANTASTIC comes in.

And even if you don’t sew for yourself, a lot of what I’ve said in this post still applies. There’s real power in knowing what you like and feel good in, and making that happen. And not being afraid to try different things. And also not being afraid to say when some of those things just aren’t working for you!

I think success can sometimes be found in recognizing what does NOT work for you just as much as what does work for you. This is a case where I’ve recognized that this style (adore it as I may) doesn’t feel right for me. So success can have many faces.

I’m not going to finish the pants, but I’m still calling this project a success.

What’s next on my sewing table? You’ll have to wait and see!

Filed: Sewing

Tagged: ,

Golly, 60 Comments!

  • They are cute pants and look really well put together, but I understand completely what you mean by it just not working for you. I adore tunic length tops with tights underneath, I think it’s a look that’s super cute on so many people. But I just can’t wear it. I;ve always felt awkward and not right whenever I try, and nothing anyone says will convince me otherwise.

    So I stick to styles that make me happy, cute tops and cardigans layered over top (which I’m starting to knit myself!), and mostly pants (although I haven’t yet been successful sewing them – I”m a little envious of how good yours turned out, no matter what you feel about them) with a few skirts thrown in. I’m working on expanding my “cute top” wardrobe right now!

    You’re right, it’s all about how you feel in your clothes – there’s no point in wearing something that doesn’t make you happy – or worse yet, makes you feel self-concious and not-you.

    Reply

    • Cute top wardrobe is definitely something I need to work on, too! I lean towards sewing button downs, however there’s certain styles I don’t care for with them. Like again, for some reason on *me* I feel a button down and a full skirt looks too “square”, for lack of a better term. So I need to focus on some tops that are different. All in time! :)

      Reply

  • I totally identify with this post. I see people making and wearing so many fantastic dresses and skirts, but when I try to wear the same kind of dress or skirt, not only do I not feel fantastic–I don’t feel like me. I feel like I’m wearing someone else’s clothes, just like you described, and it makes me feel weird and bad about myself. Apparently the way that I see myself and my style is inextricably linked to wearing pants. As a new sewist, I get down sometimes because I think about how much easier it would be to make a skirt than to try making pants, but why bother with something I know I would never feel good in? Surely the effort to make the clothes that make me feel good is worth it.

    Reply

    • Yes, why bother indeed! It may seem like more of a challenge to sew pants than skirts, but if that’s what you love, then that’s what you should pursue. Even if you face some setbacks along the way, it’ll be worth it! I don’t know if you gravitate towards wider legged styles or not, but for what it’s worth, I’ve had really nice luck with them because they’re *much* more forgiving. :)

      Reply

  • Yes, yes, yes. I totally know how you feel. A good example for me is really figure-hugging, vintage styles. I’m a pretty classic exaggerated hourglass shape (a little less exaggerated due to my layer of winter padding, but that’s another story…) and styles that tend to look really amazing on me make me feel costumey and not like myself. They look good, other people tell me I look good, but I just don’t feel like me. I think you have to embrace your preferences and not force yourself to wear something you don’t like; it’s part of growing as a seamstress and accomplishing your own dream wardrobe.

    Reply

    • Yes, exactly! Just because someone tells you something looks good on you (and maybe you even recognize that yourself), doesn’t mean you feel right in it. I know sometimes modern (well vintage too for that matter!) women’s fashion magazines focus on finding shape that work for your body, hiding “figure flaws” (I hate that term) and such, but at the end of the day, you might be able to carry a style but if YOU don’t love it on you, then what’s the point. It’s a long journey to that dream wardrobe but worth it. :)

      Reply

  • OK despite your warning, I am going to say that I really like those pants and they look cute on you BUT I absolutely agree with you about how important it is to feel ‘right’ in your clothes. There’s nothing worse than talking yourself into wearing something you honestly feel iffy about and are then totally uncomfortable in. I haven’t been sewing for very long, but I’ve come to realise that the gorgeous full-skirted 50s dress patterns I bought early on are just not something I’d ever wear. I love that style, but it just doesn’t feel right on me. You’re spot on about success taking different forms; it can be very hard to pull back from something you’ve laboured over to spot it!

    Reply

    • Yes, that is certainly true! And good for you for recognizing a style that you like that doesn’t work for you. For a long time I didn’t like full skirts on myself, until I realized the issue wasn’t the skirt but the BRA I was wearing with the skirt. Being short but rather busty, with a short torso meant that I just felt dumpy really easy in that style until I had a much more supportive bra. I was surprised at the difference it made in my own perception of that look on me!

      Reply

  • How about cutting them off for Bermuda shorts? That’s what I ended up doing with my first pair of skinny pants. The fit looks great and everyone needs shorts for working in the garden or washing the car.

    Reply

    • That’s a really good idea! I do love shorts and they’re on my list to sew for summer, although I tend to like them a little looser. However I do really like the pocket shape on these pants, so it might be worth taking a chop and seeing if the pattern would be a nice fit for shorts (even if I ended up going up a size in a future shorts version).

      Reply

  • I think it’s tricky to sew your own things. If you try something new — a new style, a different amount of ease than you’re used to, whatever — it’s a lot more work and emotional investment than just trying something on at the store. There’s an investment there . You have an incentive to lie to yourself that it really is so fantastic, that you really do feel great in it. It’s hard to say, yes, I sewed this, and I chose the style and fabric, it fits (or not), it involved these skills I’ve developed — and yet I don’t like it and won’t wear it. I think our clothes, handmade ones, too, have a weirdly strong ability to tie us up with guilt. It’s different from the “it’s new and therefore weird” feeling that I remember I got when I tried on my first non-baggy jeans as a teenager, which I hated, though they’re a style I liked once I got used to it. (Without wrapping up all the weird “my changing body” teenager-y stuff up into that, but I digress.)

    Maybe it’s because our clothes are an outward expression of self, and it’s easy to project something different than our “authentic selves” (which is nonsense, but that’s exactly my point) while still “getting it right” in other ways. Dressing is about so many things, and feelings are definitely part of it, you know? In a very un-trivial way!

    I think it’s easy, too, to feel the “shoulds.” I should like this, I should think I look good in this, I should embody Audrey’s style, I should feel differently about it. So BRAVO for allowing yourself to step out of the shoulds and the guilt — a failed pair of pants is a small price to pay! As my mom says, there’s still a lot to learn from failures! It’s mighty freeing to acknowledge a failure, without letting the fear of it influence things!

    Reply

    • I love your insightful comment Shannon, thanks for sharing! You are so right, there’s a lot more to sewing than just taking fabric + pattern + sewing = clothing. We do invest a lot more emotionally than we probably even stop to think we do. I remember last year when I sewed my first (and still only) jacket, for Sew for Victory. When I finished the very last finishing detail, I held it in my hands and almost cried. Not out of unhappiness, but some weird mix of being relieved I was finished, a little sad to have finished, and this kind of sheer happiness and awe that I couldn’t believe I’d made something like that. It overwhelmed me in the most surprising way I would never have expected!

      Reply

  • I really enjoyed reading this and I agree. Very much. It’s not about whether your body can ‘carry off’ a style, it’s much more psychological than that! It can work the other way too, for example I pretty much look like an expectant mother in tunics but I just love that relaxed festival-going vibe (if that’s the place I’m in that day!). I’m also really glad you posted something you made that you didn’t like. I did the same thing recently. It’s easy to assume when you read a lot of making blogs that everyone else’s projects are always really cute and successful. In reality it’s a lot more hit and miss than that! I’m experimenting a lot with different styles right now too and I think it’s perfectly ok to decide that what you love on others is not for you. Cherish the differences, is what I say :)

    Reply

    • Yes!! And your love of tunic topics is exactly why I will happily wear all shades of yellow with abandon, never mind the fact that I have a yellow undertone to my skin and they make me look sallow. I love them and simply do not care, because they make me happy! :D

      Reply

  • I’ve had this happen numerous times. I generally end up finishing the garment and giving it away because I feel bad about it not getting worn.

    Reply

  • I totally here you. BUT! Maybe you could offer them to someone else who is more or less your shape/size and they would love to finish them. You can share you success with someone else. Just a thought. After all they really are cute. And in case your wondering, I’m not begging for new pants. I’m just a tad to stumptuous (and I’m totally stealing that word from another great blog).

    Reply

  • I have felt this way with haircuts. One cut in particular was shorter than I usually do, with layers that were way different (shorter?) than I prefer. EVERYONE told me I looked amazing, but for a couple of days, I cried when I looked at myself in the mirror because I looked like a stranger! It was an objectively good cut, but just not what I preferred.

    Reply

    • Actually I’m going through that with my own haircut right now, so I totally know what you mean. Everyone loves it, Mel loves it, I love the cut and the ease of care and everything, but I’m not quite sure I love it on my own head. lol

      Reply

  • I feel exactly the same way, about this exact pattern.. I made them over the weekend, and apart from the fact that they don’t fit me that well, they don’t look like I’d hoped on me. I always have an image of what the pattern will look like on me, and its always a better image than what it actually turns out like.
    I think I imagine my body like the model and then once made realise I have more lumps and bumps than the picture haha..
    At the moment I’m making the Georgia dress and I really think it will suit my figure and if it doesn’t I fear I may cry lol.
    Oh dear. Live and learn eh

    Reply

    • Understanding and embracing your body it definitely part of the process, and can really color our perception of what we wear and how we feel in it. It can take a long time nailing down what we feel good in! Good luck with your Georgia dress, even if it takes a few tries to get it right! It’s a very cute style. :)

      Reply

  • I understand how you feel and I’ve been there. Good for you for trying something out just the same. I’ve got that pattern in my stash for summer and much like you it will be a let’s see if I like this sort of experience. I”m glad to see I’m not the only one stretching my comfort zone a bit and glad someone was willing to write a post about something that did not make them happy.

    Reply

  • I am standing up and applauding you! Very well said! There’s no point in wearing something that does not make you feel fantastic. I call this a success for sure!

    Reply

  • natalie webb March 4, 2014 at 5:24pm

    I get what your saying, alot of the ready to wear clothes i own ive just bought to look normal or cool even though im not that into it, ive just started to get into sewing big time but think it will be awhile before i try and tackle trousers. Especially with vintage its all beautiful so its like what will suit me and what do i think is gorgeous for its own sake.only trial and error will show ^¤^

    Reply

  • You tried making the pants, so you definitely get credit for exploration/experimenting. Anything that doesn’t make you feel like you isn’t worth it – I’ve had the same experience with a similar style…adorable red pants that fit, looked cute on, and…made me feel like an impostor PRETENDING to be Jenn. No matter what top or shoes I paired with them, they weren’t me. And that’s OK.

    Amen to owning who you are — and accepting who you aren’t.

    Reply

  • Thank you for posing this! I struggle with this all the time. Sometimes I get so caught up in the idea of trying to emulate a certain look that I don’t stop to think about if it’s really “me.” I feel like developing one’s personal style can be a lifelong process – and that’s OK. But it helps when we are honest with ourselves, as you demonstrate here, rather than trying to force ourselves to do things that aren’t really right for us.

    bonmarchecouture.blogspot.com

    Reply

  • I had the exact same epiphany after I made this pattern, plus my bf also hated the look. I had decided no more high waisted pants for me and then I had a new issue of patrones delivered to my house a few weeks ago and lo and behold I fell in love with a pair of high waisted trousers in it. The difference was that they were a modern skinny pant with seaming details and I’m now just about to start muslin #5 because I’m determined they be perfect and despite the fitting issues I’ve been working on fixing they look great on me. Go figure.

    Reply

  • Good thoughts. Sometimes we all have project like this that just aren’t us. But since you can’t really know till you actually try, kudos for trying!

    Reply

  • I really admire that you aren’t going to finish them, because I think it can be easy to get caught up in that weird obligation mindset. If they don’t work–in whatever way, be it physically or psychologically or whatever–then they don’t work and there’s no shame in discerning that and acting on it! This oddly makes me feel better about not totally finishing a dress I started a while back that just wasn’t working like I thought it would, so thanks for that. =) Can’t wait to see whatever it is that you make next!

    Reply

  • Mmm. Red is a killer colour – it grabs attention and it’s hard to feel comfortable grabbing that attention in a garment you are not that familiar with wearing. Perhaps try other styles (cropped?) and in darker colours or a pattern to see what you think? I have a pair like this in check and they are quite flattering and I have shorter legs. Solid colours are sometimes harder to wear than patterns. And for YEARS I avoided the 50s fit and flare dress. I am small and short bodied and they made me feel shorter! I changed my mind after experimenting with a better undergarments and higher heels and getting the scale of patterns right on my frame. Now it’s my favourite style.

    Reply

  • I can totally understand what you mean about just not liking how something looks on you, regardless of how “flattering” it should be according to other people. I felt the same way about purple for years. I was always told that lilac is my best color, but I just associated it too closely with very primary, crayon, grape purple, which I hate.
    Finally I just made a minimal commitment by having an work-out tee in this color.
    Now I love that particular shade of lilac or light lavender!
    So I would suggest you could finish them and maybe keep them for hanging around the house to see if the style grows on you over time. Sometimes the “unfamiliar-ness” is half the problem.

    Check out my new post:
    http://sewsewvintage.blogspot.com/2014/03/t-shirt-recycled-to-pillow-tutorial.html

    Reply

  • Great post. Although I know this post is about more than cigarette pants, I have to say that I can identify with this exact problem. I love the idea of this type of pant, but it NEVER seems to look right on me…or it’s like you said–it might look fine but it just doesn’t feel right. For me personally, I think it had a lot to do with my body type. I have thicker thighs and a big ole butt…I feel better in a looser leg

    Reply

  • I too love cigarette pants on other people; but on me I feel happier with a wider leg (despite the short legs I came with). Frills are another thing that make me feel really weird; apparently they look ok to other people, but not to me when on me.

    Reply

  • Sagely wise words, dear Tasha. I wholeheartedly agree that finding success in what doesn’t work for us (be in the scope of our wardrobe or any other area of our lives) is every bit as important as recognizing what does. Indeed, I think that in many cases, it can be hallmark of greatness (one need only think of folks’ whose style is defined by a select number of garments that always seem to look sublime on them to be reminded of this fact and all the other pieces they’ve clearly eschewed in favour of what suits them best).

    ♥ Jessica

    Reply

  • You could finish them and then either give them away or sell them on instagram/this blog. Or you could cut them into shorts like another reader said. I’m sorry that they didn’t work out. It sucks when you’ve spent a load of time making something and it just isn’t right for whatever reason.

    Reply

  • I understand this problem all too well! Every so often I think “That’s a gorgeous style, I am going to make one of those!” and by the time it is all sewn together I just think that it isn’t me, and it wasn’t a good idea in the first place XD
    One of these banes of my existence is pencil fitted dresses. I can wear them really well and actually love them on me, but I am super specific about them. I own ONE, that my partner bought for me RTW. And I wear it to death. I just started making up a Butterick one from the late 80s early 90s in a green and black paisley, and so far it is working. I had to add some pretty drastic bust/waist darts as I’m a fuller figure with a large bust and anything that is straight cut looks like a sack on me. I’m hopeful – so far it is looking pretty nice, and I am reasonably happy with it as is. Once it is lined and the zip is in, that’ll be the test!

    Reply

  • I absolutely agree, if it doesn’t feel like you it isn’t for you! There’s no point in forcing yourself to wear something from somebody else’s wardrobe. I love watching photos of skinny boyish figure type girls in jeans and oversized sweaters but I know that it wouldn’t fit me at all and I’d feel bad in such clothes. So I stick to colourful dresses! *^v^*

    Reply

  • Oh yes. You are expressing exactly why my sewing has ground to a halt recently. I see amazing dresses and trousers on other people and I think “Oooh – perfect! ” But when I actually think about having to WEAR them, I run away screaming. I know what makes me feel happy and confident in myself. And it is not a 50’s dress and high heels, however cute Ms Clackett looks every day of her sweet life! I want to dress like ME -and goodness knows it has taken me long enough to find out who that person is!

    Reply

  • I’m totally with you Tasha. I love cigarette pants but they aren’t good for my figure. We do have to try things and experiment, but it’s okay if it doesn’t work well for us. But the pants are very cute and you definitely could make someone very happy by offering them! ;-)

    I am looking forward to see what´s next on your sewing table!

    Miss Beta xx

    Reply

  • A fantastic post, as usual. I read a lot of different vintage bloggers, and every one of them has a unique style. There are some that I absolutely love, but I know I wouldn’t feel great wearing myself. I’ve experimented with different looks, just to be sure I’m getting out of my comfort zone, and nope, it just isn’t me. It is a good realization to come to, I think, as it can help focus your wardrobe efforts on clothes you love and make that are fantastic!

    Also: I frogged my entire Knit for Victory sweater two weeks ago because it didn’t fit the way I wanted, and after reading everything from you and Rochelle at Lucky Lucille, I’m not settling for anything less than LOVE in a garment I make or buy. I have a better pattern to try, and hopefully #2 will be “the one”!!

    Can’t wait to see what you make next!

    Reply

  • Oh wow your pants are beautiful! I love the colour of them and they are so well constructed. I totally understand what you mean, when I think of my creation in my head, it never looks the same way it did in my head when I’ve finally made it. I feel disappointed, but have learnt to be proud of myself that I have actually made something. I love Audrey Hepburn’s look and Katharine Hepburn always looked amazing in trousers too! XxxX
    http:thesecondhandrose.blogspot.co.uk

    Reply

  • I am definitely with you there, I have abandoned projects when it’s been clear whatever I was making was not going to work for me. Our spare time is too precious to be spending finishing projects we’ll never wear!

    I know for sure that more people should think this way, including what they wear that they’ve bought, not everyone suits everything or feels comfortable or good in everything. I know I’m am short, overweight, busty with a stomach :-( Some things I look good in, some I look very short and very wide!

    Reply

  • My fiance once told me some self-helpy comment about getting rid of any clothes that doesn’t “nurture” you. At the time I thought it was a stupid phrase that demands too much of your wardrobe. It doesn’t just have to fit, it has to nurture me? But you know, he was totally right. I have plenty of clothes that looks fine on me but it really isn’t me and certainly doesn’t nurture me. There’s plenty of clothes out there (to buy or to make) that will suit me perfectly. Life’s too short to keep wearing or making the stuff that doesn’t.

    Reply

  • This post. All of it. You have really hit the nail on the head that keeps me from doing a lot of sewing. I get so fearful that I will work so hard and spend so much time only to create something that I hate, not for its quality or poor fit, but because it simply doesn’t look good on me. I am terrified of this! This same sort of attitude can go for shopping on-line too! Which is another reason I don’t buy on-line all that much. I have often seen items in shops, loved them on the hanger, then once they were on my body I was like “Oh, huh, this actually doesn’t work.” So I can totally relate to everything you said, it this “different kind of success” is really refreshing to read on a blog, and I agree, it is a success! You will never know unless you try! Which is why I try on a lot of clothes when I go out!

    Thank you for this post!
    xoxo
    -Janey

    Reply

  • I totally get where you’re coming from. There are a lot of styles I love on other people that I don’t feel right wearing myself. Especially since your aim is to have a closet full of clothes you wear, it’s good that you nixed these.

    That said. I really do think they’re cute!

    Reply

  • It’s so really, it’s true that cepantalon is very well done, and very beautiful but if you do not like and if you do not like you in, it was not much of interest to revive a another project … It’s never a failure because they learn techniques, you learn to be yourself too …

    I hope to see very quickly the next project, and then I confess that I’m crazy about your dresses so fingers crossed!

    Laetitia

    Reply

  • I’ve also had a thing for cigarette pants but I’m just not the right shape and what looks fab on one person would look pretty poor on me.

    Good on you for sticking to your guns – looking forward to seeing what you come up with next!

    Reply

  • […] few of favourite posts that I’ve read today:- By Gum By Golly – The pants that were not: seeing success in a different way (I completely understand where she’s coming from I love fashions but there plenty of them out […]

    Reply

  • It’s great to try things but it is also great to know yourself. Thank you for a wonderful post and a wonderful blog! I am working on wide-legged pants :-)

    Reply

  • As usual, this was a very well put blog post. I don’t usually post my sewing non-successes, but I did the other week and it felt and good and was a great way to examine the why of my fail. I wish more bloggers posted their less-than-knockout sewing projects, I think we would all feel a little better to know we’re not the only one struggling out there.

    Reply

  • I sympathize entirely. I’ve also been thinking of trying out cigarette pants, but I’m rather suspicious that they’d make me feel like a turnip and are probably best reserved for other people. I gave up a long while ago on wearing things that made me feel any other than fabulously myself, and just because it’s great vintage and looks good on other people doesn’t mean it will make me feel or look like them!
    I’m thirdsing (I think) the shorts idea, but that might have something to do with the pair of red shorts I want to make for myself.

    Reply

  • The pants are cute, but the look is not for everyone. I applaud your honesty in admitting how you felt in them. I’ve had a few garments that I thought I’d like and then just never felt “right” when wearing them. The unsuitable clothing became a distraction to whatever I was doing. The suggestion to cut them off as shorts is a good one. Then you don’t have to feel like you wasted time or money.

    Reply

  • While I understand what you’re saying, and agree with it in large part, I’ve also seen many women convince themselves that they can’t pull off a certain look and it’s entirely some weird, self-limiting image in their heads. They can’t relax and let themselves be fabulous. I’m not saying that this is what you’re doing, but I offer this story as a point of conversation:

    I’ve seen this self-limiting clothing choice in my lovely sister-in-law. We went on a marathon shopping spree in advance of a week-long business trip a few years ago. I convinced her to buy a shirt she wasn’t totally confident about, and she wore it only during the trip. Two years later, in desperation for something to wear to a bridal shower, she pulled the top out. Though she got lots of compliments, she confessed to me that she didn’t like it, but wanted the bride to see her in something “new” and she didn’t have time to shop.

    Later, when she saw photos of herself, she was shocked. She couldn’t deny it any longer – she looked fantastic in the top.

    I wish, for her sake, that she’d let herself blossom on the outside.

    Reply

  • I just want to chime in and say I feel the same way. I have a lot of clothes in my closet, but wear few of them, mainly because I like the style but after I get it home I just don’t feel like its really me.

    I’m glad you wrote this post it really gave me some insight that its okay to like certain styles of clothes even if its not something you’d find in your wardrobe.

    Reply

  • […] Tasha’s thoughts on accepting when styles don’t always work for us is great. There’s tons of styles I think look great on other ladies, but I know would never […]

    Reply

  • Marie Roche March 7, 2014 at 4:14pm

    Your post was very thought provoking. I cannot recall how many times I would wear something given to me that just wasn’t me but I would feel pressure to wear it. I admire your conclusion and most heartily agree. I have sewn for myself for years now and find that I gravitate toward what makes me feel good about myself; your post has made me feel OK about doing this.
    I found it very encouraging to read that you consider these pants a success because finding out that you don’t care for something is actually just as helpful as finding something you like.
    Thank you for this post, I found it very encouraging.

    Reply

  • […] know these are perfectly nice clothes, but they just don’t feel like me.  Tasha from By Gum, By Golly!  wrote about this same dilemma the other day – much more coherently than […]

    Reply

  • Nicely said Tasha! I think we can all relate to liking a style of clothing, but not feeling entirely comfortable wearing it. Plus, life’s too short to finish off a pair of pants (any other garment) you know you won’t wear…even if they do look cute ;o)

    Reply

  • I’m so glad you’re shedding light on this subject because I often feel the exact same way! It’s funny because I think the only time I ever wore my version of these pants was the day I took blog photos in them. They’re adorable but I just don’t feel very emotionally comfortable in them lol. …I didn’t feel emotionally comfortable in the blonde hair I had then either so I look back on that outfit post and wonder who that girl is on my blog bahaha! But seriously, I know just what you mean and it’s so refreshing to hear you looked at the experience as a success. What and excellent outlook to have!

    Reply

  • […] in the back of my head. It was telling me, “Pssst… remember those red cigarette pants you abandoned last spring? Butterick B5895? Maybe you should try them […]

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>