Since quarantine started for me in mid-March, I’ve noticed myself turning to the things that comforted me when I was younger. I signed up for a new Neopets account and have been logging on to play mini Flash games or at least to feed my pets and collect my interest from the bank every day for over a month now. I ordered hundreds of pony beads and Rexlace so I could make pony bead animal keychains and tie lanyards. All things I did in elementary school.



When I mentioned to my friend Myla over FaceTime that I was not picking up new hobbies, but old ones I loved in the ‘90s and early ‘00s and she asked me why I thought I was doing it.

I think I’m doing it because being homebound like this reminds me of summer breaks in elementary school all the way up until high school when I could drive. In elementary school, my sister and I didn’t have any extracurricular activities outside of school. And as a single mom, she worked a lot. So in the summers, why she was at work during the day, my sister and I would watch TV and eat cereal and Hot Pockets all day. When my mom married my stepdad in middle school, he was very strict and controlling, so we weren’t technically allowed to leave the house during the day in the summers most of the time. If we did, we’d sneak out and go to the park or meet up with friends in the neighborhood or take the bus to the mall, being sure to get home before he and my mom got back from work. But most days, we just stayed home, watching TV, eating Hot Pockets and Ramen, and taking turns on the family computer to talk to our friends on Myspace.


Being stuck at home like this, feels a lot like my childhood summer vacations. I didn’t have many friend and the few friends I did have, I wasn’t allowed to hang out with them much. So I spent a lot of time at home and in my room entertaining myself. I’ve been eating and snacking on a lot of the same things I did during those summer vacations too. Hot Pockets, Chef Boyardee ravioli, Kraft macaroni and cheese, Neapolitan ice cream, fish sticks. I guess I’ve been embracing/revisiting my inner child I guess.


I’ve also been feeling really nostalgic for the way I dressed in middle school during my emo years. I ordered a pair of bootcut jeans from Abercrombie (a brand I could not afford then) and I have three more pairs of bootcut jeans on their way from Old Navy. The other week I met up with Myla in the park by my apartment. We sat six feet apart under a tree and drank Olympia tall boys. I was wearing my bootcut jeans, a band tee, a zip up hoodie and black hi-top Chucks. I felt like I was back in middle school, running around the neighborhood with my friends. But back then, our version of being bad was loitering outside the 7-Eleven.


A week later, we met up with a couple friends at night in another park with a fire pit and beer and I wore pretty much the same outfit, but with a pullover hoodie of my middle school and my velour Juicy Couture hobo bag. Even walking to the park as the sun was going down reminded me so much of summers with my friends in the suburbs.


For the past couple weeks, I’ve been scouring Poshmark and eBay every day looking for more clothing that reminded me of the way I dressed in middle school. Fitted graphic tees, hoodies, Converse, and lots of Emily the Strange. But the difference now is that I can be a lot more selective, understand what will flatter my body, and I’m just much cuter than I was back then.

Here’s what I’ve ordered so far:



And here’s what else I’m planning to order:


I’m still searching for the perfect pair of Dickies and skater jeans. I basically want to look like a cross between current day Hayley Williams and 2002 Avril Lavigne.






I’ve been wanting more of that feeling of youthful abandon. I’ve been getting it in waves the past couple of years going to see my boyfriend’s bands play house shows and in venues I used to frequent as a teenager. I really miss that. And if and when we can return to that, I’m excited to compound on that feeling with my middle school/emo revival look.



xoxo



I recently started a new job where I’m required to be more creative and decisive than I’ve needed to be at work in a little while. In the weeks leading up to starting this new job, I started ordering clothes. I always dressed nice and put together at my last job, but the overwhelming majority of the office was extremely casual (like running shorts and flip flops), so this new job was a chance to have fun and step it up a notch and no one would care.


But then I thought about how worried I was about doing well at this new job and whether I could still think creatively at work anymore. it’d been about a year and a half since my last super creative job. I didn’t want my wardrobe to get in the way. I didn’t want deciding what to wear in the morning take away from the time valuable time I spend either working on personal writing projects or just enjoying a cup of coffee and preparing for the day ahead. And I didn’t want to end up at work in an outfit that didn’t feel quite right and that I’d be fussing with all day and would just ruin my confidence. Which has happened more times than I’d like to admit. I wanted to have one less decision to make every day.


On my last day at my previous job, I wore a navy blue boilersuit/coverall/utility jumpsuit/whatever you want to call it. I found it at Lucky Vintage in Seattle for $30. It mostly fit me like a glove. The lady at the register said that it’d been there a while and so many people tried to get it on and make it work but couldn’t. It was meant to be! I had my sister do a few alterations on it to make it truly fit me like a glove. I felt so strong and powerful and confident and sexy and cool wearing it on my last day.


I thought how that was how I wanted to feel every day at my new job. But I’d need more jumpsuits like that.


I’m not new to uniform dressing. I adopted it for the three months I worked at the Stranger in 2015. I was inspired by an article in Harper’s Bazaar about this art director at a huge ad agency in New York who’d been wearing the same outfit to work for the past three years (by the looks of her Instagram, it looks like she still wears this uniform. So she’s been doing it for eight years now). I thought her uniform was so cute and stylist and a little androgynous (which is my weakness) that I adopted pretty much the same look with my little spin on it: a white sleeveless button-up shirt with a scalloped hem collar, black skinny jeans, a gray cardigan, all-black vans, a black ribbon tied around my neck and my hair in bun.



I loved it. I felt cool and put together everyday. And no one ever said anything about it. But I quickly became miserable at that job and by the time I left and found a new job, that outfit felt tainted somehow so I retired it. Then over the next few years, my personal style started to develop and then solidify, so I was having fun dressing and expressing that.


But now that I have a strong sense of what my personal style is, I think I’m ready to give uniform dressing another try. This time, with jumpsuits. When I was searching for the perfect jumpsuit that would fit me as well as my vintage navy blue one, I remembered the jumpsuits Paramore wore during the After Laughter album cycle that they’d gotten from Big Bud Press, a small clothing brand in LA. They come in a bunch of different colors, so I could still wear the same thing every day but get to mix it up with different colors. They’re pretty pricey ($180 each) so I started by purchasing one in Mustang Red in XXS and it fit me like a glove. Props to them because the jumpsuits are unisex and go from XXS to 5XL. The torso is slightly long on me. Maybe by and inch or two, which I could have my sister tailor for me if I decide to. Once I knew that I liked the jumpsuit and new my size, I started ordering more colors off Poshmark and Depop. So far I’ve got the Mustang Red, Gross Green, Basic Black, Vintage White Tee and Sunshine Yellow. Plus my vintage navy blue one. I’d still like the Royal Blue, a purple and maybe a pink.


I’ve started wearing a few of them to work, but it’s only been two weeks since I started the job and they’re slowly starting to show up in the mail so I haven’t fully transitioned into the uniform yet. When I thought of this idea a few days before my first day, I was upset that I hadn’t thought of it sooner, because then I could have started the job with the uniform already in place. But I think it’s better this way because people at work can see different facets of my style and know I have a strong preference for jumpsuits and slowly transitioning into the uniform will also allow me to slowly transition out of it in the future if I decide to or sprinkle in non-uniform outfits at work without it being a shock.


Since I have a creative job at a small ad agency, I think the jumpsuits will be the perfect uniform because they’re still put together and polished since they’re tailored and fit me so well, but they’re still fun and stylish and well-suited for a creative.


I’ve been styling them with my hair slightly wavy and messy, checkered vans and white Nike ankle socks with a black swoosh. But I should switch it up with so many of my sneakers. My gray New Balances with the black or white jumpsuits, my black adidas Gazelles, my Reebok Club C 85 zip, my AF1s, my silver metallic on white adidas Superstars, high-top Chucks…

I just haven’t figured out what I’ll do in the summer when it might be too hot for utility jumpsuits.



xoxo



I’ve been obsessed with the movie The Warriors since I first saw it in middle school. In the eighth grade, my parents had a Halloween party and I went as a Baseball Furie from the movie with red and black face paint. No one knew who I was. This year for Halloween, my boyfriend’s band was playing a Halloween show at Screwdriver bar/Belltown Yacht Club and I knew I had to bring the costume back. I did the same thing I did in the eighth grade and went with the baseball tee and pants rather than a full uniform. But this time, I went with the iconic yellow face paint. I searched for inspiration photos and found this one that was exactly the vibe I was going for. I loved the photo so much, I decided to recreate it.





The costume was a total hit for the crowd out at the show that night. People were stopping me all night to compliment my costume. I even met a guy dressed as Cowboy from the Warriors gang! I moshed to the last band, Monsterwatch, and it was nice to feel as free as I was in middle school when I first started getting in to cool stuff and moshing with my friends at every show I went to. It was the perfect Halloween.


I wrote the blog post that follows at the end of college about a scene at the end of The Warriors that I didn’t recognize the significance and power of until then, and I wanted to include it here:







I recently re-watched The Warriors and there was a scene that I found particularly striking. After a long night of fighting for their lives running from cops and every gang in New York City, Mercy (left) and Swan (right) finally find themselves on a subway home to Coney Island. A group of cool teens coming from the prom enter the subway and sit across from them. The discomfort builds as the prom couples exchange looks of pity and disapproval at the huge gash on Swan’s cheek, Mercy’s mussed hair, ripped clothes, and dirty hands and feet. Mercy no doubt feels insecure being so unkempt. She was introduced earlier in the film as a spectacle–something to be seen. Throughout the film she grows to be a sympathetic and complex character, whom Swan refers to as a “tough chick.” Having been the strong, beautiful, sexy woman through most of the film, it is difficult to see her now so insecure and vulnerable. For a moment I think, “If only these lame teens could see how good she looks at her best.” Mercy must think this too, because she reaches to try to fix her hair. But Swan stops both of us. He grabs her hand before she can get there. In that moment, he is screaming “YOU ARE ENOUGH."


I love that the makers of this movie allowed our beautiful female lead to be ugly, even for just one scene. Because to assume that a woman is incapable of flaw, and expect that she look perfect at all times (especially after trudging through subway tunnels and engaging in gang war scuffles) is unrealistic, problematic, and insulting.



xoxo