I can still remember the desperation in my plea as I ran to my mothers room begging for a new outfit from the mall. Like any 6th grader of that era I raced home to catch my daily dose of TRL, eager for their Monday video premiere. With my eyes glued to the screen I waited for Carson Daly to play J.Lo’s new video “If you had my love” as she stood next to him in all her golden brown glory.
I heard the string intro and I waited for some great dance moves to pick up and show off at tomorrows lunch period but I was totally distracted by her white cashmere sweater and flowing drawstring pant. She looked like some type of futuristic angel, with frosty eye shadow shaking her hips in what looked like the lounge room of a spaceship. (every late 90’s video had some silly outer space theme.) I knew this outfit was my one way ticket to cools-ville and combined with some funky footwork I’d be the talk of the school. My mother was quick to remind me how much money we didn’t have to waste on an outfit, so I came prepared with a fist full of cash I had saved from birthday cards, allowance and baby sitting church members children and with a chuckle we made a trip to the mall. I’m uncertain what store we got my ill fitting cargo pants from but i do know they were seriously 90’s with a million pockets and I couldn’t have been more excited.
The next day I strolled into school with my frosted butterfly clipped hair, my hard earned cargo pants, air-force-one’s that had seen better days, and my mothers mock neck sweater which was slightly too big but did the trick… and I was THEE BOMB.COM. I strolled into school like a boss and receiving compliments all morning and a hand full of comparisons to the actual J.Lo video. I had nailed it, clearly a style icon and had to keep my “cool” strolling through the halls from class to class.
Lunch period had arrived and now was my real time to shine and claim my throne of flyness. We all gathered and started to bust a few moves from our favorite videos. Me being the queen of the dance floor decided to show my new found hip shaking moves that matched my outfit’s coolness but it ended up being the end of my reign. I’m not sure if I was hitting a little too hard, or if someone had it out for my crown but my swinging arms found an open chocolate milk carton and I was covered. My Grammy award winning performance was ruined and I now stood there looking as if I had “sharted” backwards and now a joke of the court I once ruled. I had been dethroned by my school lunch and pulled what was left of my ego back to my pond of outcast dreadfully prepping myself for one hell of a lecture when I got home.
Since then I have dreaded the delicateness of wearing all white outfits. The maturity level called to keep white actually WHITE seemed to allude me and I decided to leave it up to Lisa Raye, Kanye, and blushing brides. 15 years after being stripped of my crown I had the BAWLS to have an all white moment for my press coverage of the “Fashion on the Hudson” show. My outfit made it through two train rides, a few subway benches, a greasy egg sandwich washed down with iced coffee and Korean BBQ. Had I been guarded by the fashion gawds? Did a fairy sprinkle my outfit during the night preventing all threats of stains? Of course not.
I have never stopped being a spazz nor will I ever hang up my dancing shoes… but what I have done is stopped being fearful of getting a little dirty and trying so hard for the acceptance of others. In 6th grade I dressed like a star and put on a performance to make others love me. I didn’t wear white because it made me feel good about myself but because I wanted to have more friends and didn’t truly appreciate the ones I had. I’m happy I got covered in chocolate milk because what iI was doing wasn’t really me, it was a road to prolonging my journey of discovering who I really am. I know now If I had been fully accepted by the cool coward I would have been getting praised for who I projected to be, instead of who I was.
Now I am finally mature enough to wear white, not because i’m more attentive of my surroundings or careful not to spill things, but because I choose to wear white. I wanted to wear something to celebrate the summers sun, and match the clouds in the sky. I wanted to wear something to celebrate me and beat the summer heat, not because of what I saw on TV or on a trend roll call. I wore all white like a grown up who knows who she is and won’t measure her worth by a few stains on her clothes or on her journey.
I receive my top Rise & Shine top in the mail from Old Navy (similar here) a few days before and paired it with my thrifted pencil skirt (similar here) , Fringe and turquoise stone necklace from Forever21 (Similar here) , shoes from Vincent Camuto, and bag from Target (similar here) .