Wednesday, November 13, 2019

What 2019 Taught Me About My Clothing And Style Of Dress

My dear friends and Mermaid Junkies, 

Who knew there was something called embodied cognition? I should have guessed because quite frankly I've been on a quest to understand what in the hellfire and brimstone has been emerging from my spirited yet, disenchanted wobbliness when it comes to what I'm wearing. Since childhood, I've fluctuated with my clothing. I love two separate styles, absolutely polar opposite of each other and to be quite honest with you, I NEEDED to bring this to the forefront- meaning, to blog about it, because it has started to drive me up a proverbial wall!

I mean, y'all, I'm darn near 50 years old, and I still can't stay in one lane when it comes down to tie me up with a style of dress. Until last week, I had always wondered why I would get on a tangent, and I'm ALL IN until I become disillusioned and I'm off to the next ’sparkly’ thing that's caught my attention. I've explained a little about why I'm learning that I'm this way, and it's not directly because I grew up in a household with a mother that was very black and white, with regards to how a person should live. ”Dont colour outside of the lines. It's either black or white Raquel, there is no grey.” All of this time, I thought I was all or nothing because I was raised this way. Don't misunderstand, I'm sure my background plays some portion of me being wishy-washy (add to that I'm a Pisces, and all three of my signs: sun, moon, & rising are all in the water element.) However, until I began studying embodied cognition, was I able to really understand my different tastes and why I was incapable of incorporating the two. Like, why can't I just reconcile to wearing both styles together? I know, I know, It sounds easy enough, though, doesn't It? I just can not do it for the life of me!

I'm going to go really deep into this subject because just as I was sound boarding off of my dearly beloved gardener today, I thought to myself that if I've struggled with this thing about my wardrobe, undoubtedly other women must have too. Well- maybe not, I am a rather odd bird, so bear with me on this lengthy post. I plan to get you and I to an understanding, and it's bound to take me some time to get there. Like, er...a few thousand words. Shall I?
Me and my Aunt Sena. 
I won't give the extended descriptive definition to the term enclothed cognition, because I'd like to illustrate through a few examples from my own life. And then you tell me at the end if you've come to relate with me at all. ( Me, silently praying you don't unsubscribe from my newsletter because er...that there Raquel is out of her ever-loving mind!) Love ya, mean it...

Do you remember in 2017 when I first began my blog from scratch, I was all for the whole Mermaid Junkie everything. I wore clothes like below, and I have worn all of my 47 bangles for decades. In fact, I wore my bracelets, never removing them except for the four times I bore my children. That's how attached I was to my silver. Not only attached but they were much more than a bunch of jewellery that I wore. (It was about keeping and having one thing that I could call all my own, and never caved, as I had done for the entire duration of my previous marriage.)

I was coined” the gal with all the cool bracelets.” Not many folks knew me as Raquel; they knew me as, ”that gal that wears all of those bangles.”

After having removed my bangles for the year 2019, and going from the gipsy look to the Victorian look (remember, I go all in and commit when I make my mind up to do something), I learned so many things in this year and thought I'd share my conclusions.

Like I stated before, even before this week of learning what embodied cognition was, I knew there was something to wearing a particular clothing style and then representing that type of behaviour. Every time I've worn Victorian clothing; my personality becomes one of seriousness, solemnity, modesty, refinement, feelings of high self-respect and assertiveness. I also believe that I feel this way because when I was previously married, I was riddled with snide remarks. Instead of standing for my truth, I caved in and just began wearing clothing more suited for a society inclined to fit in with the crowd.

When I wear my hippy style of clothing and bangles, I feel that I'm taken less seriously, immature, with a streak of disregard {a little badass}. I know now where this stems from. This year (2019) was an experiment.
In my previous marriage, there were many years that my ex-husband attempted to convince me to stop wearing my bangles, and this really disturbed me, because I felt like I had to conform completely. Who was I? I slowly over the years was stripped of all I was as an individual. I had been wearing my bracelets from the time I was 15 years old. That's when I received my first one as a gift from my Aunt Sena. I fought through the years to wear them because, with everything else in my life, I felt I had to ultimately give up every piece of what made me an individual. It sounds odd, I know, especially if you've never experienced mental abuse and gaslighting from a narcissist. But that's a whole other story and one I'll probably never write about. Except for the small mention in a blog post here and there. It's not a place I feel is healthy for me to regurgitate. Anyway, after divorcing my ex, I no longer had to fight for the one thing of how to dress and feel accepted, because I now wear what I love. I'm not going to be influenced by a man telling me how much cuter and attractive I am if I wear cute hippy styled clothing with a crap ton of jewellery on. Do you know why, because I love who I am no matter what I'm wearing and I'm not here to please anyone ever again, and I make no bones about it! I am not my clothing; I am a woman that loves herself regardless of being labelled by the world. Isn't that what the world and other folks in our direct circle of influence do? They try to get us (you and me) to do what they want because they want to feel comfortable. They are selfish. They want us to change so that they will feel better. ”Raquel, people will look down on you, other men will not find you as attractive, and that affects my self-worth, so stop dressing old fashioned, so that I can feel better.” Mostly, much of the world does this. And I'll tell you why, those people that want to change you and me, first of all, is because we allow them to train us and secondly they are absolutely saturated with a shallow sense of self-worth themselves. They get their acceptance from the world and what the world thinks of them. Their value comes from other folks validating them.
This is me many years before I began swapping out my modern clothing to clothing from the Victorian era. 

So, all in all, I am wearing what I feel in the mood for. However, I have noticed that each day I awake, I tend to lean towards my Victorian clothing. Slipping on an old fashioned hand-sewn dress that favours Tasha Tudor, or Laura Ingalls Wilder has stolen my old fashioned soul, and I think it always will.

P.S. Did you know that if you have Amazon Prime, it also means that you have prime video, as well? Just last week the entire series of Little House on the Prairie has been added? So this evening it's an evening of Little House while I enjoy a good cup of tea and a slice of homemade angel food cake with strawberry toppings and whip cream!

What's your opinion of clothing and style? I'm so curious.

Most affably yours til my next swim, Raquelxxx


  1. Honestly? It was having cancer at 50 that did it for me. That gave me a visceral understanding of how fleeting life is, and for goodness sake, why not wear what I love? I lost much of caring what people think. I suppose it would be a different story if one were wearing t-shirts emblazoned with hurtful sayings, and I can think of other ways to weaponize clothing (we've all heard horror stories of the mother of the bride/groom showing up in lacy white), but just following our heart is a positive thing. Again, life is fleeting and when we do step over to the other side, how much better for our loved ones to remember the real us, expressed truthfully? My wardrobe used to be the most jumbled hodge-podge until I realized this, and now it becomes more unified as I slowly replace this-and-that moving toward a vision.

    I also found your description of your mood in Victorian clothing interesting. I reenacted for some time in 1855 clothing and each time I was in the venue the feelings I experienced were similar to what you expressed: very centered, womanly, calmly confident, and deeply at peace.

    1. Kimberly, I find that interesting as well. I had no idea, thank you for sharing that about feelings. Isn't clothing a fascinating idea. I know my mind is always going 90 to nothing, and it excites me because I find all of life such an exciting voyage. Thank you Kimberly for sharing. I adore you and thank you again for your friendship. Love you, Racxxx


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