Are You In-Love? Why Style Matters in Relationships

14 Feb

On this day of love, I have but one question — are you in love with your style?

{Are You In-Love? Why Style Matters in Relationships}
A long time ago — there was a ring, a date and a future planned. But, it took months of insomnia for me to realize that this future hardly included anything that looked like me or felt like me.

In this relationship, I became a vanilla cookie cutter of mannequin and catalogue style because that’s what made him happy and made him comfortable.

And, let’s face it … if you come out dressed to the nines for a special event and your loved one says: “Oh, you’re wearing that?” It doesn’t matter how much you love the outfit, the female nature is to change into something that will leave her lover floored as she walks in the room — clothes and all. So back to the dressing room I would go …

This happened so much that soon my vintage was packed away and my bold colors were buried under a slew of more plain basic options.

Two weeks after the relationship ended and the wedding called off, my sister and I were shopping when I came across a pair of shoes. Her reaction as I tried them on: “Well, they certainly are you — definitely Robin shoes!”

As we walked out the door, I was absolutely giddy — babbling away about how these were now my “first-date” shoes, because if any fellow would make a sideways glance at them, or crack a wise-ass remark, then I would know, he was not the guy for me — after all, I had spent years taming down my eccentric style, trying to fit into a cookie cutter that was just not me.

Those shoes brought another pivotal standard for moving my life forward. The more I knew that if my ex would have hated it (shoes, dress, hat, etc.), the more I knew “it” was bringing me closer to fully expressing “RobinEsque” again.

Looking forward to the future with my son at the beach on the day I decided to not get married.

The joy, and strength, drawn from that knowledge was a powerful factor in me learning what kind of fellow might suit me in the future, as well as what kind of woman I would be.

I had always dreamt of being a “lady” — someone who would wear hats on a daily basis, even gloves — dressing to the nines whenever the whim would fancy and in donning the clothes of yesteryear not just on special occasions but for everyday life.

Finally, I realized that time was now for deciding how I wanted the rest of my life to go. From that relationship, I came back to myself stronger and bolder than I had ever been. Isn’t funny how loosing something can make appreciation and passion grow even more deeply?

{So} What’s the Take-Away

Fashion is more than clothes, it’s personal expression.

Thanks to my good friend, and art historian, Lee Sandstead, I watched “Don Juan DeMarco” around the same time I bought my “first-date” shoes.

From it, I walked away with my mantra: I refuse to surrender my life to the momentum of mediocrity. The line, albeit tweaked by me, came from a scene where Marlin Brando and his wife were obviously in that bed-time routine rut, symbolic of their love and lives.

How we dress often reflects how we are living our lives — and the choice is ours: Do we want to survive? Or do we want to thrive? Will we live in fear? Or will we live out-loud?

Obviously, a difference in opinion on fashion and style was not the root of my relationship’s faults, however, it was indicative of the mismatch.

Still, in the course of it, I chose to live by surviving and I chose to live in fear.

This blog acts as summit of the journey of a woman once withered, now vibrantly alive, and shouting from the mountain top that living a fully expressed life is entirely possible and absolutely worth traveling the road less worn.

Thanks for joining me here and expressing your own style, which has you head over heels in love!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Join the Facebook fan page discussion:
Do you have something you notoriously wear on the “first date”? What is it? And, why?


6 Responses to “Are You In-Love? Why Style Matters in Relationships”

  1. Jen February 14, 2011 at 10:28 AM #

    Beautiful! I know the feeling, Robin! When I was going through my divorce I went shopping and bought a wild, flowery clutch bag and was so giddy to imagine – and dismiss – the comments I know my ex would have made about it. I am in love with my style, but you still inspire me to be more intentional with it!


    • Thrifty Vintage Chic February 14, 2011 at 7:18 PM #

      Jen, that is amazing … and I suspect there are lots of other women (and even men) who had their style stifled in unhealthy relationships. I would love to see a picture of this “tribute to the ex” clutch — please do post it on the Facebook page for us all to ooh and ahh over!


  2. Laurie February 14, 2011 at 4:26 PM #

    Great post! You know, to just take this one step further. I did write down what I did want in a partner. After each first date I had to consult my criteria list to see what I had learned. If he did not meet my expectations, then no second date.

    I really liked wearing my Grandmother’s clothes on my dates. 🙂 Hot silk velvet dress and cute Pendelton (Jackie O-type) suits.


    • Thrifty Vintage Chic February 14, 2011 at 7:45 PM #

      Thanks, Laurie! Checklists and hardcore vintage are a great way for figuring out in a jiffy if the “stranger” across the table from you has the possibility of being Mr. Right.


  3. Jennifer Fink February 14, 2011 at 6:20 PM #

    I’m not “in love” with my style, but there’s a very good reason. Over the past 15 months I have been losing weight working towards a healthy goal. I can no longer shop at Lane Bryant (too big!) and haven’t found the “me” style yet because I keep changing.

    This piece comes at an interesting time because I have the urge to go to one of my new favorite stores, let them know what I’m doing, then try on EVERYTHING that I like and see what “fits”. I’m not ready to invest in spring wear yet so this would be a futile experience for the store (temporarily). I have been giving serious considerations to the local GoodWill store so it’s possible that a few “new” things will end up in my temporary wardrobe from thrift shops.

    It’s an interesting place to be at, a new body (every month almost) and an opportunity to redefine who am I style wise. I no longer have a small window of options to shop from (plus size) so it’s exciting but also a bit strange not to know who I am in terms of style.

    Guess I’ll have to wait to see!


    • Thrifty Vintage Chic February 14, 2011 at 8:19 PM #

      CONGRATULATIONS, Jennifer! You are doing extraordinary work!! I can only imagine how much fun it is to “try on” lots of different styles, as well as equally frustrating to not stay married to any one article of clothing.

      My suggestions is that during this time of experimenting, just take note of what makes you happiest in your temporary selections — the colors, patterns, cuts, lines and even attitude of the clothes.

      This way when you are ready to start assembling your permanent wardrobe you already know what you are looking for — and also, in the meantime, this little checklist of what you like (and what works) will help you fill in the gaps quickly as you do continue to loose weight!

      Again, Bravo!!


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