I have just recently come to a stunning, world altering realization: I no longer have to dress for the office.
I know, obvious right? But after spending 10 hours a day, 5 days a week in office clothing for 13 years, it comprises some 75% of my wardrobe. Another 10% is "going out clothes" (with some crossover with officewear) and the rest were camping/cleaning/yardwork style grubbies.
Now I'm a student. Not only that, but I'm an online student. I don't have to get up and put on a conservative skirt or dress and sit in a cubicle all day while I represent a company. I get to represent myself.
This is an amazing thing. When I was a teenager looking to find my "style," it was pre-Internet. We lived in a small town with one available plus-size store (Lane Bryant) and they were back in their conservative, loose-fitting, "woman of a certain age" phase (you know, the styles that got farmed out to Catherines). So as a teenager I was in outfits suitable for a 33 year old office worker. I often just wore things out of my mom's closet. I never got to develop a style, because I was entirely limited to what was available.
Now I can lust after e-shakti dresses and others on the internet. I can wear a man's suit and wingtips out on the town to mess with peoples' gender perceptions. I can push boundaries. Finally, as a 33 year old, I can wear whateverthehell I want.
But I'm not a fatshionista. I don't choose to make high-end clothing labels a priority in my life, and really don't see much of a point in handbags (I own one purse). I am, thanks to the fatshion blogs and others, developing a specific set of styles I want to play with more to see which feel right. I think it's going to depend on my mood of the day. I still love menswear, but high-end formal menswear. I would spend more on a suit than I ever would on a dress. I have my Donna Reed days and my punk days. Maybe my taste will settle into a style, and maybe it won't. But the choice is finally up to me instead of a company dress code. You wouldn't believe how powerful that feels.
So here's a Fatshion pic:
my sewing machine. Extended-calf boots from Payless. This is my "flirty nerdy" look, but really needs some zero-prescription glasses with square black plastic frames. Alas, the low-script reading glasses I got from the dollar store would have been perfect, but they gave up the ghost (and a lens) that afternoon.