I've always loved putting together an outfit, although it wasn't until high school that I admitted this. I remember talking to my Dad once when I was about 10 and I was very adamant that I would never wear make up or care about how my clothes looked. His response was 'Just you wait, in a couple of years you'll change your mind'. Well, he was wrong about the makeup but he nailed it with the clothes. I love colour coordinating my wardrobe and finding items that match perfectly together. I love op-shopping and finding the perfect cardigan that I've been searching for, and having 10x the same pair of shoes but in different colours so they can go with different outfits.
For Rob's part, his tastes were less narcissistic than mine and focused around comfort levels. I have always claimed that I would choose comfort over style but I don't know if I'm entirely telling myself the truth.
But although I'm pretty happy with how I dress now and I think I manage to tread the line of comfort and lookin' good, there were many painful years of trial and error (mainly error) to get to this point. Let's start at age 8 (Gina) and age 6 (Rob).
Next up we have ages 10 (Gina) and 8 (Rob). Desperately not wanting to look like a girl (but still being proud of being female), I took to wearing baggy oversized clothes and imagining myself as a much more adventurous sort than I truly was. Being a spy was a big one. I would fawn over the 'Spy Gear' in the David Jones and Myer toy sections (they seemed to have the best spy gear range) that I couldn't afford. In particular I wanted a 'Spy night glove', which was just some lights you'd clip to your hand so you could break open safes and the like in the dark. My Dad decided that we could make one (so I could learn about batteries and science stuff) instead of forking out dollars for something that would inevitably break, get lost or thrown out. I still have the glove today.
Rob favoured the simpler approach of a bright pink body tube. He would shuffle around the house wearing nothing but this thin tube of material. It was pretty hilarious.
13 (Gina) and 11 (Rob). First days of high school are always daunting and scary. Still a proud tomboy, I would soon find out how mean girls can be. I was pretty okay on the bullying front; I had enough friends that even though I was low-level bullied until year 12 I managed to get through reasonably unscathed. The thing I most remember about my first day at school was that when I was washing my hands in the girls' bathroom, another girl came out and started screaming that a boy was in the bathroom and then laughing at my face. For some reason it didn't much bother me. Maybe because having Rob as a brother had instilled in me that everyone is different and it doesn't matter what we look like or how we act, we are all just humans.
Rob, for the most part, loved school. He would run out to the bus when it came by to pick him up and for a while pretty much wore his school uniform everywhere (not just at school).
15 (Gina) and 13 (Rob). My tomboy phase, although spanning several years, came to a head when my body hit puberty. Most of my fashion of this era consisted of baggy open button-up shirts over tee shirts and cargo shorts. I was inspired by the fashion sense of Gordo from the popular children's show Lizzy Maguire.
Rob's tastes weren't dictated by popular culture; instead he went for the more natural look.
17 (Gina) and 15 (Rob). Everyone has a hippy phase, right? Where you just really like flares and corduroy and vintage kitsch kitchenware? I was chatting to a pal about the various fashion phases I've gone through and she talked about how the style of the 'hippy' was a way I could experiment with my femininity but still be kinda scruffy like a tomboy. I thought she raised a good point.
Rob around this time grew very attached to some 'happy' pants I bought on a whim at the kind of store that would sell beaded bracelets, incense and tarot cards. They were made of a patchwork of crazy patterned materials and Rob loved them. He even started wearing them to school instead of the uniform pants.
Rob (18) was most famous in our family for co-opting our father's leather jackets and transforming them into works of vegemite art.
Me now (25). It's scary to think about my age. About how much I wish I'd already done with my life and how many things I want to do before I turn 27 (which is a special number to me) and when I turn 27 I'll basically be 30 and isn't that when you're supposed to have your life together? That seems to be what the movies tell me. Either that or that you shouldn't lose the child in you or shouldn't wish to grow up too fast? Maybe I need to watch BIG again.
Anyway, I'm pretty happy with my ability to dress myself now. If I was able to just decide on one style I really like, I'd be able to downsize my wardrobe. But somedays I want to look a bit fancy in my culottes and cardys (see below) and sometimes I want to wear dresses and denim or check shirts and cotton skirts. And sometimes it's jeans and a t-shirt or it's nothing.
Sometimes I think if I just stick to buying a limited amount of colours then I'll be okay. You know, just red, blue and green. And black I guess. Oh and mustard yellow. And you can't forget purple or the occasional orange. And you know sometimes brown can look really nice. You see my problem!
Basically, my choice of what to wear these days comes down to "Can I draw that?" If I can't draw it, is there any reason for me to have it?
That's it for this post. I hope you enjoyed a glimpse into some of the many fashions I and my brother have had.