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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Okay, so as you may know I’ve been running on about a two-week posting schedule because I started shooting these selfies in September and have adjusted as necessary. Since I didn’t have the foresight to wear Halloween outfits within that two-week trajectory to share them leading up to the actual holiday, you’ll get those outfits today and tomorrow — and I actually only wore this two days ago, so you’ll deal.

Now, this is a pretty average “casual” outfit for me when I actually try to look human because I’m say, representative parenting or something. I at least try to save the hot mess look until winter when all the other parents and teachers have also given up hope.

But I had the strangest experience of my sartorial adult life while attending a school function with other parents. I had a full-grown unknown to me adult male watch me for at least 15 minutes (to the point I was uncomfortable as I could feel his stare), then approach me unprompted and ask me if I was “dressed up for Halloween or if those are just your clothes.”


Yes, I’m wearing a Halloween themed t-shirt … that I will 100% wear year round because it’s epic. But aside from that … it was not a Halloween themed event. I was not the only human in a loosely holiday identified t-shirt. And! Coincidentally! The school colors for the district the event was held at are orange and black! So arguably I was showing school spirit! Unintentionally, but.

And clearly we all know that I have looked far more witchy on any given Tuesday, and I’ve talked before about small kids calling me a witch in public and how I address that (although usually then I’m wearing my dark lipstick and usually a long skirt or dress …) but like … what the hell? It wasn’t complimentary either — there was a distinct confrontational, aggressive vibe about the exchange, and there were kids EVERYWHERE. I was so surprised by the exchange and immediately protective of my space that I just stared at him and said “My clothes” because I mean, I’m a bad feminist I guess. Also I’m really bad at smart quips in person.

Then this dude just nods his head while giving me a once-over and walks away into the crowd.

It gave me the grossest feeling and had me on edge the rest of the evening.

I’m aware I dress a little differently. I’m aware I stand out in a crowd because I’m tall and because of my hat when I wear it and sometimes how I do my makeup but like … there were so many other moms wearing almost exactly the same kind of outfit as me. There were people as tall and taller than me. There was no reason I could discern why this guy needed to target me to bother, whatever his logic or thought process.

Anyway. I guess just a reminder that living in this body in this world today isn’t always awesome. Sometimes all it takes is one creepy dude to make you question yourself and fight the shame demons you thought you’d done a good job of sequestering up until now.

Grey sleeveless “But First … Hocus Pocus” t-shirt, black lace-trim racerback tank, olive cropped utility jacket, & octagonal hoop earrings: Target
Striped dolman sleeve cocoon cardigan & Moon druzy necklace: TJ Maxx (I think?)
Black deconstructed skinny jeans: Old Navy
Black leather star choker: Express
Black wool hat: H&M
Amethyst crystal necklace: my childhood
Pins: gifted
Sunglasses: Kate Spade
Studded leather booties: Catherine Malandrino