Self Expression & Fashion

So, I am so so so so so so so so so sorry that I missed posting last week.

I made a vow to myself that I would never miss a week and that I would do this every Thursday for at least a year and see if anyone cared about my thoughts or ideas or pictures.

I’m still not 100% anyone does…but I like it – so I keep doing it.

But my deepest apologizes for missing a week. But it was probably Sunday or so when I even realized it.

So let’s get on with the post today!

I  wanted to talk about my thoughts on fashion and self expression.

So let’s start with these few disclaimers:

-This is all MY opinion and you may think differently and that’s perfectly fine.

-This will probably be a bit undertoned with feminism and equal rights. But I don’t know. We’ll see how it goes.

-That’s all but only two disclaimers looked a little lazy to me.


I want to mention something that I mentioned in my first post.

I used to not ‘do fashion’ AT ALL.

This is real life, serious, 100% for truth, I owned one dress for most of the time I was in college. I wore it to every job interview I went on. See my post about the Dress-pocalypse to see what my closet looks like now to know why that is so funny.

I owned approximately 20 shirts (and I wore approximately 12 of them), three pairs of pants, one skirt, and two dresses. (I acquired a second one my senior year).

And the shirts were a mixture of old show t-shirts, VF Outlet off-brand tops, and Old Navy V-Necks. I seriously had an obscene amount of those. Like, I would wait for Black Friday and buy ten at a time for three dollars (because Old Navy).


Here’s some pictures of me in my high school/college days and dressing like a dude:

For example – here’s a personal anecdote – we had a career and internship fair every semester when I was at KU – and we had to dress professionally for said event. And you could meet with TONS of reps for positions and internships and it was a great networking event for all involved.


You needed to dress business professional. Many students donned blazers, sensible flats, statement necklaces, rocked neutrals and ties and stuff. Yeah, I had NONE of that.

This is what I wore:


So it has definitely been a long way in figuring out my style:

Mid-Century Housewife mixed with a Quirky Teacher mixed with A Millenial

And that may change – but the first two are definitely true.

However, for right now, what I want to talk about is how clothes play into your idea of self expression.

I mean, theoretically, three years ago when I was starting my senior year I was mostly the same person I am now. But my style has changed. Does that mean I’ve changed? Or is it just my environment?

I mean, I’ve certainly changed. I now have a degree, I’ve had two real grown up jobs, have been on a job search, fell in love with a life partner, gotten an IUD, found out that Harrisburg is a cool town. I’ve cried a lot. My anxiety is worse. But my love with Preston is deeper. My old friends are all but gone but my new friends have never made me have a Saturday alone…unless I wanted one.

But, I’m still bossy and weird and quirky and LOUD and fun and love theatre and boys and cute stuff.


I read this article and it was talking about how geniuses often wear the same clothes because it’s less for them to think about. Think like Steve Jobs in his black turtle neck and jeans, or Mark Zuckerberg in his constant rotation of heathered T-Shirts. They just buy ten of each thing and like one suit. That way they don’t have to think about getting dressed. They can just focus on the ideas, their own genius, and creation.

And I am VERY torn about these two ideas.

My ideas are expressions. Why can’t I rule the world in an adorable little frock? Why can’t #girlbosses wear pink blazers and polka dots and be taken seriously. WHO DECIDED that neutrals are neutrals? On one hand I consider myself a smart, educated, creative, and analytical person. However, ya girl LOVELOVELOVES polka dots, prints with cooking utensils, and a great pair of tights.

I think that I can wear a pie dress and still plan logistics. I can go barefoot and still win a client or an account. I can wear stretchy fabric and meet revenue goals. My self expression is all about creating a memorable ‘whole package’. I understand the idea of being SO smart that your clothes don’t matter – but I had all these internal debates about is it a difference in field, location, age, gender, etc.?

So I decided that I would open up to other friends:

These are some quotes about varying ideas of how clothing plays into people’s self expression.

*Thank you to all who answered my question on several different platforms! I pulled a few from each to show how different people feel in their clothes!

What role does clothing play in your self expression?

“My dress is one part defiance in what is deemed socially normal, one part personal expression and one part fun.”

-Adrienne G.

” I think clothing can definitely be a source of self expression, but for me personally, it isn’t my sole source, or my most identifying one.”

-Samantha S.


“For me it’s like armor but also all about mood. Deciding how much effort or how I want to dress myself from day to day completely changed depending on my mood and how I choose to present myself to others each day.”

-Emily M.

It’s definitely part of my “dimensions of self”. It’s my cosplay. It creates excitement within my students. It sets me apart from my peers. It is my ways of having bright blue hair and tattoos without actually having them because it’s frowned upon in my field.”

-Tina E.


It’s a part of not only my aspiring future career as a teacher, but also a way for me to express when I want to be edgy while going out with friends, and when I just want to bum things down a bit and throw on a shirt and relax!” 

-Reggie C.

“None at all. I’m pretty basic. As long as it’s clean and modest, I’ll wear it. And NOT red, yellow or orange because I hate those colors.”

-Shelia H.

“My outfits represent a side of me I knew was deep down inside but always felt ugly when I couldn’t find cute things in my size. I started wearing dresses two years ago when I first found out about Modcloth. When I put on a dress, I light up. I feel pretty and it lets me showcase my weirdnesss I mean just look at that smile”

-Claudia S.


“I feel depending on how you dress, helps maintain your mood. Generally, you don’t want to dress to impress random strangers walking by you, but it’s okay to want to look good for yourself.”

-Destiny B.


“They play a HUGE role! I wear my personality. I mean, I have that personality, but it is reflected in my clothes. Even my “slummy” days, when I’m just in t-shirts and jeans, my t-shirts are very me.”

-Jamie H.


“My choice in clothing these days show how happy I’ve become with myself. When I was younger I was very depressed, my clothes showed that. And even though I still like the punk/emo/goth looks, it’s nearly just a part of my style now. Dress to feel good about myself rather than just to get dressed.”

-Maria D.


The Results:

Mixed opinions. These are just a few. I had approximately 80 answers over five different platforms.

I had people say “if it fits, I wear it”. I had people who equated their outfits to their terrible relationship with their mother and her constant criticism.

A surprising amount of women identified it as armor.

I had friends who identify as trans discuss what fashion has meant for their journey. I’ve had men, women, teachers, actors, dog groomers, nannies, professors, lawyers, full time Mom’s, bloggers, students, etc. It was very diverse. People discussed how clothing helped get them out of their depression, feel more confident and happier, and better adjusted for the day.

So…the results. Clothing is a very important part of ourselves…just not in the negative way that these Zuckerberg/Jobs/Gates types make us feel.

Clothing has the ability to lighten a day. Many of the above relate their outfits with wanting to dress for the day.

So next time someone says you’re shallow for LOVING your closet – just show them the research. This very limited, social media driven, and short term research.

I’ve made this point before and I will likely (read, definitely) say it again!

As long as you are happy and comfortable in your own skin – then the confidence will come!

So here’s the “end of blog” spiel!

Follow me on Instagram: @Abby_Hoy

If you want to follow my darling, Preston – you can click here!

Like my Facebook page here 

Follow me on Snapchat for a more ‘day to day’ look at mine & Preston’s life!: @abby_cadabra

I also will be doing a ‘review’ of what you could do for a day in downtown Harrisburg.

Subscribe for updates! I did my fall fashion for some pumpkin spice fall looks! Did you get a chance to see my travel blog? Be sure to check out my recent fashion posts that shows off my Dress-Pocalypse and my twelve tips for thrifting! I also posted my thoughts about aging and things I’ve learned in life.Check out my adorable post about Preston and I rocking some adorable famous couple inspired outfits! Check out my earlier post about your summer reading list,my top 10 plus size stores, or my thoughts about loving your body!

Comment for topics you would like to see me cover! Like to help my self esteem! What do you think so far? More fashion? More lifestyle? Do you like the mix?

Question of the Day: What role does clothing play with your feeling of self expression?

Check out mine & Preston’s amazon wishlist for our future home here! (and if you REALLY love us, send us some stuff!)

My next few blog ideas: Do you want to see my new house stock pile? Seasonal transition? Another haul? Maybe one about those ten pieces that make up a wardrobe. But I’m not sure. I want to know what you are interested in hearing about? My Top 10 Embarrassing Stories? 20 Facts from Your Blogger? A team up with another blogger? Haul? A show off of my Barbie lot? Want me to style you? Let me know!

Love all you wonderful ladies (and gents!) out there!

How Very,


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