birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

The Power Clash

I am a big fan of a big outfit. I embrace the world of color and pattern in my wardrobe and my closet proves it. There is often a battle between stripes and polkas to see who is represented in my "shirt department." Polka dots were always the leader until the resent surge of the stripes. I try to not choose my favorite and just wear all the patterns together: Stripes with paisley, polka dots with stripes, animal prints and stripes, and polka dot with paisley. The combinations are nearly infinite. I often get comments on my outfits. Once my boss, who I don't think should comment on an employees outfit unless it doesn't mean the office dress code, said "That's an interesting outfit." Slightly offended I replied, "I'll take that as a compliment."

I wear the outfits that are shown in the stores advertisements, that everyone loves but is afraid to wear. When people compliment me on my clothes I see it as a compliment on my moxie. This past Friday, I wore a very Nicole outfit. It was a bold red and orange patterned dress over distressed cropped jeans and red dankso mary jane clogs. I got 5 compliments on my dress/outfit, including a "How you doin?" from a guy in the liquor store, like my boss's comment, I am taking that one as a compliment too.

I use my outfits as not only as way to express myself, but also as a way to lift my mood, a sort of fashion anti-depressant. When I was struggling at a job I hated, surrounded by equally miserable employees wearing, gray black and earth tones, I would arrive to work on my sky blue Vespa, with a polka oil cloth messenger bag wearing a purple and blue paisley pencil skirt, a navy and white polka dot dress shirt and a bright yellow cardigan. It was professional and quirky at the same time, what my friends would call a “very Nicole outfit.” I am sure it really means an outfit meant to catch your eye in advertising, but not to be really worn in public, maybe it means that both my personality and my fashion sense are both fans of the power clash.

Aunt Jemima Red

That Dress