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.


Apparently, I am reaching that place in my momdom where I am embarrassing because everyone stares and I always wear black and am sometimes kinda creepy.


Now, some of that I can help; some of it is people needing to mind their own and honestly, learn how to maneuver in a crowd because slow walking is Satan’s work and not in the fun way. They’re probably staring because I’m pushing past their glacial pace, but I have three places to simultaneously be and eight things I need to do so pull it to the curb, Linda, and let the grown-ups without extra sets of hands get to work.

Although, I once had a person, upon our first meeting, tell me that the only other people in this town that dress like me are the locally-famous troupe of drag queens, which was meant to be and received as a compliment. So okay maybe I don’t fit in that much and have a penchant for over the top … everything.

So, I made the concerted effort to look more … toned down … while on strict mom duty. Which means wearing the jeans I bought for my Jessica Jones cosplay as they’re the only not dark/black jeans I own, and I rocked my local representations because I may have moved back to the suburbs … but I’ve always been a city girl at heart.

Also, skulls. Who doesn’t love skulls? It is almost Proper Spooky Season.

OF NOTE HOWEVER, are the two new pins from my friends at Slim x Düde for my not-denim jacket (already boasting two gifted pins from an unknown Etsy shop and a subtle pride pin from my campus’s LGBTQIA+ office) — their signature “Keep Dayton Funky” emblem honoring the great history of funk music rooted right here in Dayton, O., and a new button that fits in with the “my body, my rules” style of parenting and life-living philosophies. This new number is a curvy little bunny saying “Hippity Hoppity I’m NOT your property” all sassy and full of goddess-given TRUTH. She’s such a substantial little pin that I had to move available real estate beyond my lapels onto the front chest pockets to make space for such a declarative treasure, giving this little bun-bun the prominent attention she deserves.

Clearly, legally, I belong to no one, even if I do still get legitimate phone calls for a name and a prefix that are just someone I used to be a short lifetime ago. But for every dude who tells me to smile or mansplains something I’ve actually written whole academically researched articles about all on my little lonesome, this is a great reminder to sit down and STFU.

In all seriousness, I personally know the gentlemen behind the Slim x Düde scenes and they both practice what they preach/produce. So, if you’re looking for ways to support local Dayton businesses, check them out, as well as Clash Dayton for whom I will soon be doing my NINTH runway gig and the ladies and gentlemen of which I love so wholeheartedly as family, the Heart triumvirate of stores, and BRIM, from where I discovered one of my favorite pairs of earrings and a couple of spectacular hats (all of which are Oregon District - based businesses, who need the love right now something fierce). I am also happy to give anyone my personal reviews of my experiences at pretty much every OD eatery/bar … I think there’s only maybe two I haven’t visited … as well as suggestions of good gift-giving ideas that help build up one of the best parts of this city stronger and better than ever.

Disclaimer: I was gifted the pins with zero obligation and I purchased the tank with my own dollars because as I said, the Oregon needs the love and support as we move forward as a city and community. There are NO affiliate links in this post. I am genuinely supporting local businesses/people because I have the capability and the platform to do so. The end.

Black skull “Dayton Til I Die” tank: Heart Mercantile
White cotton layering tank, light wash deconstructed jeans, & silver cut-out star necklace: Old Navy
Olive cropped utility jacket & octagonal hoop earrings: Target
”Keep Dayton Funky” & “Hippity Hoppity I’m NOT Your Property” pins: Slim x Düde
Floral and checkerboard Vans: DSW
Black sunglasses: Kate Spade