After wasting another Friday night of my youth eating nachos, scrolling Tumblr, and watching old episodes of The Hills that some kind philanthropist had illegally uploaded to YouTube, I realized that it was time to take action. With my heart thudding in my ears, I wrapped my leopard print Snuggie tightly around my dry December skin, took a deep breath… and purchased a one-way plane ticket. I’m finally moving from Ohio to Los Angeles.
A week from today, I’ll be hopping off a plane at LAX with a dream, a cardigan, and a heavily sedated cat. Despite my nerves, I’m definitely ready to leave the Midwest behind and start fresh on the West Coast– but, uhh, I’m not sure if my closet is. I’m a generally confident person, but I’m admittedly pretty scared of embarrassing myself with my down-home wardrobe.
I… own a lot of American Eagle. A lot of 12-dollar shoes from the Charlotte Russe bargain shelf, a lot of screenprinted sweatshirts from church outings, a lot of Wal-Mart headbands. I’ve worn sweatpants to an Olive Garden more times than I care to admit. My knowledge of LA style is mostly Katy Perry video-based, sure, but I have a feeling that Vera Bradley tote bags aren’t exactly haute couture outside of Cleveland.
I’m not ashamed of who I am or where I grew up, by any means, but I’m a little worried that my Ohioan fashion sense is going to make me look like a tourist in my own neighborhood. What if I stick out so obviously that people take advantage of my country-girl naivety? What if I implode from shock when I realize that not every American citizen owns seven pairs of Crocs in various colors, including camo? Mandie posted a few days ago about her “Midwest Pleasant Face” and how it’s haunted her in New York. “I look friendly. I am friendly, and I generally assume people around me to be the same,” she says. I seriously relate. Not only is my resting face friendly, but so are my DSW boots. So is my hand-me-down Coach wristlet full of Dillard’s coupons. So is my dorky makeup meant to withstand the harsh winter winds. I am very, very Ohio.
The next few months will definitely be an adventure– both for me and for my dresser drawers. I hope I’ll be able to find a balance between being my same old self and trying on my LA Citizen costume. And if my attempts to change up my wardrobe totally fail? The Vera Bradley heartland is always just a plane ride away.