with apologies to potatoes

01 May

I’m not what you would call a…fashionable person.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’d like to be.  Most of my favorite blogs are style blogs (hello, friends, hello!) and I periodically pick up issues of Glamour magazine and read them front to back, but somehow it never really pulls together.  No matter how many trends I try, no matter how many hair tricks I tackle or online skin tone analyses I undertake, I inevitably look like five feet of potatoes wrapped in your grandma’s gardening clothes.

Potatoes of the world, I am not trying to insult you.  You are a noble starch, and you are very sexy to other root vegetables, I’m sure.


I think a big part of my consternation is not being able to decide on my own style identity.  When I go to the store, it’s easy for me to walk through the women’s department and say, “Oh, that shirt looks like Laura.  Those shoes look like Tess. Those earrings are utterly Brittney.”  When I’m seriously looking for myself, however, all of these individual pieces blend together in an incomprehensible tornado of “OMGSTUFF”.  After a long day at Ross, I have nightmares about drowning in jeans and wake up screaming about the appropriate month to start wearing sandals.  It’s just not hardwired into my system.

In an effort to try to coordinate my style identity, I have crafted the two Very Scientific diagrams below, analyzing my style aspirations and when I just look like ass.  Note that none of my style issues really have to do with my body.  I’m not waiting to be thinner here, or taller, or less pale.  It’s all an issue of what I put on.  Take a look, and offer your own thoughts.

at least i'm wearing pants


Posted by on May 1, 2010 in Uncategorized


14 responses to “with apologies to potatoes

  1. Vanessa

    May 1, 2010 at 10:21 pm

    I love the diagrams (including the cat, I lol’d), and I bet you usually look nothing like potatoes. The funny thing is… I still tend to wonder why you can draw a diagram of the dream you, yet can’t make it happen. Maybe you should just find all those things you drew and give ’em a go. Or maybe I’m missing the point.

    • Jessica

      May 1, 2010 at 10:29 pm

      Eh, always easier to draw something like that, you know? If stripes make a drawing look funny, you can just kind of change the drawing. If stripes make a BELLY look funny, then you’re just kind of out of luck.

      Man, I WISH it was as easy to look lovely and stylish as it was to draw a lovely stylish little person!

      • Alice

        May 2, 2010 at 12:55 pm

        I spent a lot of time this winter trying to find practical, stylish, versatile boots. I don’t think they actually exist for purchase. I’m not sure how other people have acquired them.

  2. Vanessa

    May 1, 2010 at 10:25 pm

    P.S. I am adding a category to that poll you had awhile ago: More amusing diagrams. I like your drawings!

  3. sarah

    May 1, 2010 at 11:27 pm

    you know, i actually think that “actual” jessica is a little bit cuter. fwiw.

  4. ck

    May 2, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    The use of drawings remind me of Hyperbole and a Half (which is an amazing blog you should check out)! I was glad to see them.

    So, I guess what I’m saying is, MOAR DRAWRINGS PLEASE

  5. Kelly

    May 2, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    I feel the same way. I know it’s silly because I have a uh, fashion blog, but most of the reason I have that blog in the first place is because I feel like I need to put a LOT of work and thought into making myself a presentable person. And even after I’ve put a lot of thought into it, I still feel like I have to talk it out, really look at pictures of myself, and oftentimes still ask for feedback or help.

    I’m not inherently chic and I don’t feel that style comes naturally to me at all. I feel like I really have to put WORK into it. And yeah, a lot of times it doesn’t even work out even after all the effort!

  6. lisa

    May 2, 2010 at 7:42 pm

    Aww thanks for the shout-out in the third hello link! Like the other commenters, I really like the drawings you put in this post. (The cat amused me and reminded me of how Simon the cat sneaks into Sal’s outfit posts sometimes.) I also agree with the other commenters in that you probably look nothing like a sack of potatoes.

    As for shopping, one trick I use to prevent the OMGSTUFF thing from happening is to look at things online first. If I’ve looked at enough pairs of jeans to figure out what I do and don’t like (straight-leg? bootcut? skinny? what kind of wash? pocket embroidery–yes/no?), I have an idea of what I’m looking for once I start shopping and I can hone in on items that might work.

  7. bixbythebat

    May 3, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    Yay, I love your drawings! I’m addicted to stripes. They’re pretty much all I wear. Stripes, and Converse sneakers. The thing about living in Oregon is that it’s almost impossible to find boots that are both cool and not completely useless. I’ve seen some kick-butt wicked awesome boots, but they’d be instantly ruined if you stepped in a puddle. Boo-urns.

    Also, I sympathize with your hair situation. Mine’s basically impossible to control. I’m been compared to a Fraggle more than once.

  8. Jena

    May 3, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    You, my dear, need to start a web comic. Obviously you’ve got mad drawing skillz, and you’re one of the best storytellers I know. Throw in a Jessica sized sense of humor and a little bit of time and voila! Something amazing that your readers would love and would bring you even more fame and fortune (and by fortune I mean I’ll bake you cookies).

  9. Melissa

    May 4, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    I am so with you on the “tucking jeans into boots” thing. I’ve never been able to pull that off!

  10. Winona

    May 5, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    Dear Jessica,

    I love this post and I love your drawings and I love you and I think you should move closer to me so I can glorp onto you and Brittney’s friendship because you are awesome.

    That is all.


  11. Anonymous

    May 7, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    I hadn’t found really functional boots until I came to San Francisco. Union square is like a magical shopping land where if you find a sale you might actually be able to afford something. Also, for cute shoes in general look at They have an actual store but it’s kind of out of your way though it’s in Oregon. I got a super cool pair of magenta boots there that keep the water out and are magenta, need I say more. Also I find you can get some comfy jeans in stores meant for slightly older women. Like cold water creek and j jill. Also, I think I know the purse you are talking about and you need to retire it, it’s quite old. I recently got rid of my bowler hat from 9th grade. Some clothing needs to be gently put out to pasture. (Nikki Again)

  12. Rebekah

    July 3, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    I know I’m late to this party, but I love your illustrations with a fiery passion? If I drew 1/8th as well as you, I’d follow suit.

    Like everyone else said, your drawings are GREAT and it’d be fabulous to see more of them.


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