Tabatha Wharton



a year in the life of my evolving, offbeat aesthetic as i navigate being
a mid-30s-femme-grown-up-emo-punk-single-mom-graduate-student-non-profit-employee-fashionista.

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I struggle with the middle.

I was telling someone in my cohort the other day about how I really have two modes of operation when it comes to getting dressed — just this side of camera ready (or, often, actually camera/stage ready) or former stay-at-home-mom recluse. I’m either a full face of makeup and accessorized outfit and a minimum hour prep time … or I can’t remember when I last washed my hair and have been wearing the same sweatpants for 2-3 days and I’m lucky to know if I last used my daytime or nighttime moisturizer on my bare face.

But that middle ground, that half-effort place, is one I struggle with.

It may be indicative of my personality, as I default to pretty much super-invested all in or sardonic lack of fucks to give. I don’t know how to do anything part way on purpose. That includes leaving my house in some manner of dress.

I’m working on it, as evidenced here.

I only had class, but I knew I had errands to run afterwards. The weather was warm and pleasant but still a bit brisk in the shade. This puffer vest is about a million years old and was my standby coat when I was so pregnant with my first child that literally nothing would fit around the 67 lbs of baby belly I was hauling everywhere.

And it makes me think about those things we hold on to, long after they’re trendy or popular, because they serve a function and we like them. I think that’s where a real sense of style may lay — in the things you keep to put on your body with complete disregard to what the outside world may think of them. It helps when they’re quality pieces that may, at the time, have felt overpriced for what they were. It’s easy to pick up cheap basics anywhere … I mean I literally do it all the time … but there’s something to be said in deciding you don’t want to have to buy the same thing over and over and over because it wears out after three washes or whatever.

So. My favorite color is purple. I like this puffy vest despite it being older than I can actually remember and having seen some slightly better days. I also like my beat-up boots and fake leather stuff and apparently I’m on a non-traditional sweatshirt kick but I literally own sweatshirts that are over 20 years old and I still wear them so there are worse things I could be hoarding and maybe someday the middle won’t feel so elusive because I’ll just love most of what I wear and I won’t concern myself with society’s ideas of propriety.

Maybe I’m already there and I just don’t realize it.

Black fine knit sweatshirt: People Like Frank
White cotton layering tank: Express
Black faux leather panel atheisure leggings (in tall!) & grey knit infinity scarf: Old Navy
Purple puffy vest: J. Crew
Quartz earrings: Pluma Jewelry
Sunglasses: Kate Spade
Convertible moto boots: Dr. Martens