Saturday, April 19, 2008

A Style to Call My Own

It didn't take me long to discover that I really had nothing to wear that year in Sweden. I managed to squeak out a few weeks of dressing...until I started to get a wee bit rounder. And then most of what I'd brought with me didn't fit.

To make matters worse, the Swedish girls dressed in a way that was entirely different from my American friends. At first I really couldn't put my finger on exactly what it was other than to say that many of them wore things that I would have been embarassed to wear back home. Like big mohair sweaters (chunky-knit cotton was big back home) and socks with sandals (eeeek!). Some things were the same, like Converse All-Star high tops and jeans. I had become so accustomed to seeing nearly everyone in the states dressing like carbon copies that it took me by surprise to see something different. And I'm ashamed to admit that at the time I thought they did it because they didn't know any better.

Several things, however, became exceedingly apparent to me as the year went on. These Swedish girls each had a unique style that was all their own--and dressed in a manner that I felt intuitively was more "grown up". All the kids in my American high school wore jeans day in and day out. These girls favored slacks and skirts. What I had originally seen as a lack of fashion sense was really a lack of conformity...and a very highly develped sense of personal style. I was really a fish out of water. I had nothing to wear and no style to call my own. Until I met Caryn.

Caryn was another exchange student from the states. Had we not both been far from home that year I am not sure we would have ever become friends, as Caryn dressed in a manner that I found...welllll... frightening. I'll explain more tomorrow...but let it be known that we did indeed become the best of friends, and this girl taught me more about developing style than anyone before or after. So come on back now, y'hear?

(Or mosey on over to my website and take a gander while you are waiting.)


drpeter said...

tell us more!

Aaron said...

I'm with Peter! And do I need to go to a Swedish high school to finally find a sense of style.

Aaron's Blog

Matthew Shields said...

Every one needs to be unique in their own way. You need to "brand" you as you. When I'm coaching my contractors on their style of marketing many time they do follow the croud. They don't do anything different. When you stand out you attract more attention and that is good no matter what the context is.
Contractor marketing

Slenzo said...

Jennifer, are you going to teach us all to be more stylish or just how to find our own styles? this is fascinating, and yes, I too can't wait to hear more! You truly are doing something different from the rest of us!!

S Chambers said...


First off, I love the way you are posting to your blog and am excited to read more.

Some comments:
Fashions are different in Europe than America. American's have no sense of style. especially a style based on simplicity. I was amazed on how much effort Italians put into getting dressed for their Sunday night strolls. Americans are slobs.

You were blessed with getting outside of the States and experiencing new things. Especially in how other people view fashion, perhaps with less of an eye to conformity and more of an eye towards what made them feel good.

Steve Chambers

JW said...

Jennifer, I remember having some kind of "hairy" snow boots when I went skiing in Zermott! Good thing I had that Frontal Labotomy a few years ago!Be good.

Scott said...

Yes you have us all waiting to hear about Caryn. SO post the rest already. :>)

The Road Warrior: discount all inclusive resorts

Tim Birch said...

Fashion and simple used in the same sentence? I admittedly have no fashion sense. I liked going to Nordstrom's and saying 'help' and it was handled. Had the right clothes to go yachting on my bosses boat. Legal note a bonus is legally enforceable, if if you perform to spec.
I am learning!
Green eyed blond from Sweden. What trouble I almost had.

TimBirch – Power to Change

Susan said...

EEWWWW! Socks with sandals still frighten me! This is an interesting story ... waiting to hear the next 'chapter'


Romance Coach, Online Dating Coach said...

And INDEED you have a wonderful wardrobe and image style all your own. when in singles dating, single girls and single women often it is best to embrace a dress style which reflects THEIR looking THEIR best. Especially for those Date0 dating from Online Dating Sites and the Internet Personals, don't you think?

All the best,

April Braswell

Online Dating Coach, Dating Expert, Relationship Coach, Romance Coaching

Online Dating Sites Review, Internet Dating Sites Guide