"Too Costumey?" No such thing!

I'm aware this sentiment may be controversial, because there are those that are adamant that wearing a "costume" in every day situations is anathema to them. I myself have never really understood this, maybe because I don't feel tied to the normal social strictures.

As a person who enjoys being on the stage in a costume and exploring another persona, I feel costumes can bring benefits. If you are wanting to dress more dramatically, or keen to try a different style, sometimes it is difficult to know where to start.
If you head to your most approximate costume...for example, Twenties flapper dresses, you can try the style without having to think too much about it, and by trying you can work out which parts to keep and which to discard. 

I feel strongly that we don't allow ourselves and each other to play with our adornment. There are so many fashion police ready to crucify someone for putting a foot to the left or right of their own standards. And that is all they are, standards they have set up by themselves, and should be for themselves as well. But somehow we feel OK to extrapolate our taste on to others.

I could cry when I see people being stifled by society's norms. Being a gender warrior I have had more to do with this than most, meeting those trans* folks who all their life have felt too scared to dress the way they feel inside. Can you imagine? It's just cloth! No one will be murdered by someone removing some fabric from between their legs aka wear a skirt.

Isn't it fantastic when you see someone feeling themselves in their clothing and in their skin? Don't you want that for everyone, including yourself? Maybe if we stopped judging others we might also loosen our own stringently held beliefs, to allow a small play time here and there.

The only time I feel someone might be costumey is when they are wearing an outfit that is overwhelming their personality. The clothes are wearing them rather than vice versa.
Of course this will happen at first when trying a new look, but then we should listen to our instinct...not our judgemental voice...and refine until it feels right for us! Until we feel free and funky and just right. Until we finally feel we are letting our souls express on the outside of our body.
Naturally there are certain looks that are more elegant than others, and looks that are inherently more boisterous. These will suit different personalities, and some people will swap from one day to the next.

As long as we are all having fun being creative, expressing our true selves and letting each other be...I see "being costumey" can be the gateway to a new sartorial world.

'Til next time,
keep on creating
and showing your real beauty to the world.

Jazzy Jack


  1. It's the truth - however you dress it up! Happy costuming.

  2. I think it's so true you should dress according to your personality. It also helps others to understand who you are. Hubby didn't even recognise you in the first picture!

  3. Clever! Will definitely continue exploring :-D

  4. He's not the only one. No glasses and blond long hair could throw a person!
    Hmmm what am I telling others about myself? Scary thought!!

  5. Oh I LOVE this!!! What a pitty we only wear costumes in the childhood. I see we are very similar, that´s the reason why we understand each other so well!!
    Look what I´ve done !!! ;)))

    wish you a wonderful weekend my dearest friend
    thinking of you..
    Dana :)

  6. I so much appreciate seeing people dress in creative unusual ways. I am so intrigued by it yet at the same time fear it for myself. I hide and don't want to be noticed too much. Especially in my work setting. I feel much more free experimenting when I'm home. I think if there is a costume/era type look I could live in everyday if given a choice it would be futuristic and minimal with asymmetric eye makeup and strange shoes.

  7. You wrote wonderfully, inspiring and full of heart and soul! I agree with you on everything. Only stopping judging has to begin with ourselves - we are not feeling totally free and safe being who we'd like to be, and so we reject freedom in others. It's not the other way around. People who allowed being themselves who they really want to be are the least judgmental people. But it's the hardest thing on earth, to really accept and stop judging ourselves because we all were taught that judgement and criticism are GOOD, and we all must learn that skill. So we learned, a little too well. We question ourselves all the time, even those who on the outside look so brave and unlike others - I see them doing exactly the same thing, they constantly have a need to defend their choices - on the inside, they don't really feel safe to be themselves. We live way too much from our busy "little gray cells" as Mr Poirot would put it. We weren't like that when we were kids. We need to relearn how to be kids again, in some ways. "Why Cinderella's sisters envied her? ALL girls are beautiful!", said little Anya. She was 5 when she saw a disabled person in a wheelchair in the children's museum, I mean really saw, paid attention for the first time - and she thought he was so cute. So accepting and pure... We need to listen to children and learn from children. As long as we don't hurt anyone, including ourselves, we are free to explore. Yes, it would be easier to explore in a more open minded, free society. But we are who build the society, so why don't start with ourselves. I think it all begin within, always.

  8. These photos are so great. I especially love the first one. This is such a difficult subject. And you're right. It's just cloth. But clothing is powerful whether we want to admit it or not. Unfortunately people judge. Sometimes we have to dress a certain way because of comfort or jobs or religion or to protect our loved ones. It takes courage to dress our true selves. It really does. Let's end fashion police brutality! Great post!

  9. Shawna McComber28 March 2015 at 12:38

    What a fantastic, wonderful post, and how delightful you are in your costumes! It's a complicated issue, or rather I think complicated to explain since the idea of a costume means different things to different people. I think you hit the nail on the head when you said some people have to find the costume that is right for them and for others it is right to wear many different ones. I love to wear costumes and act on stage and be someone else, but in my life when I am being me, I do not feel honest if I am not in the right costume, the Shawna costume. I had to work on shedding the teacher-Shawna costume and it was surprisingly hard. If I'd had more than only two sips of coffee I could run with a very clever analogy about being an actor who showed up at the wrong stage in the wrong costume for the wrong play and can't find her dressing room etc. LOL This, dear JJ is a topic I could sit and chat with you about for hours until you tell me to shut up and go home. xoxoxo

  10. Great post. I just read another article recently about this...very issue.


    The participants get a style makeover and all come out looking like cookie cutter versions of the same person. We're all different. We should all dress differently.

    Connie was right though that people will judge. That is human nature. If you are willing to put up with the stares and comments or you just don't give a flying **ck then it is a whole lot easier to be your true self.

    I love all your outfits. They look like so much fun. Just like you wrote...a kid at play. Allowing ourselves to be free to create and enjoy the moment is where bliss steps in and takes over.


  11. Gorgeous post and outfit! You got there before me and expressed it so elegantly! Great minds think alike :-D I'm so happy to know you!! xo Jazzy Jack

  12. How interesting your choice! I wouldn't have guessed but it makes sense. How about taking one aspect like the futuristic and doing a tiny take on it for your dress up moments? Baby steps :-) xo Jazzy Jack

  13. Isn't little Anya amazing? I totally agree we need to return to the playfulness of childhood. I really see my Aspergers has helped me here. Giving ourselves as responsible adults permission to play and make mistakes is so hard and so necessary for creativity. Yes, turning off the "little gray cells" for a while is a good start ;-) I feel our blogging community has helped us develop a playfulness and joy in dressing, and an acceptance of individual ideas.xo Jazzy Jack

  14. Of course you are right. It takes enormous courage in this society so full of fear of difference! I get why people feel they can't explore because they need to protect themselves or others. It's just sad that is the case. Clothing does hold power and so it hides as well as expresses. Which is why it is so powerful when people can finally express themselves. It's a paradox, at once so innocuous and so powerful! Xo Jazzy Jack

  15. What a conversation that would be! Ahh dream on! I admire the way you are exploring your own look. I see you going through exactly the process I describe. In a way you helped inspire this post :-D I don't feel right in an outfit that has no creativity or thought in it...when it doesn't feel complex enough or dramatic enough. Hard to nail down. Just has to be a Jack outfit as you say. Xo Jazzy Jack

  16. Playfulness as openness to life... Children are explorers. Grown ups are often almost exclusively planners. They want certainty and control. I think I forgot to grew up... :)

  17. Thanks for referring me to that article. I just had a lovely explore.
    When people are unsure and frightened of the power of their image, it's so easy to step in and be prescriptive. That's why I focus on play, because it takes the terror away and allows exploration and mistakes.
    Of course I take it to extreme being who I am, but people can play in subtle ways too. As long as they are learning and exploring and accepting. Something I see you doing so well :-) xo Jazzy Jack

  18. Me too! 😊 at least with fashion. I can be a bit intense and serious about other difficult things like homework!

  19. What a great post! Love all your looks here, especially the first and the last photographs.

  20. Yes. Yes! It's fabric. It's funny but if someone dresses in a way that pushes boundaries consistently, there is another form of style prescription that comes into play which expects that form of style all the time. We humans tend to like patterns. Like you I love to play. I like loud, I like soft. I like conservative sometimes too. Dressing in my own way has definitely made me a more confident person. Without question! I think people are wary of difference and judge by appearance as a form of ancient instinctive preservation, but I agree that it gets carried away. I read that article that Suzanne mentioned and I loved watching What Not to Wear, the TV makeover show, but I often disliked the uniformity of style spit out at the end. I love your twirling hippy-type photos. I'm with you though, let's go play!

  21. beate @ bahnwaerterhaeuschen29 March 2015 at 07:10

    where can i sign this!?! you really hit the nail. i believe that if we are more free with our sartorial choices then we will be more relaxed and much happier. because we have switched off that little voice that whispers: "you are not good enough, thats not for you, hide your flaws etc. etc......"""""
    all of my daily clothes must look like costume to the jeans&fleece wearing masses - but in some of the staring eyes i see the desire.......

  22. Love your pictures of your play with clothes in all your styles...We can hear some baroque singing of a lovely contralto voice in the first one! We enjoyed yours and others thoughtful passionate comments. D&M xxxx

  23. Thanks so much Olga. Glad you enjoyed it :-)

  24. I noticed people find it shocking when you dress in "normal" clothes. You have reverse reactions going on! But it is interesting how people find it hard to deal with people dressing outside of the box...whatever that is! Our pattern recognition has helped us so much as humans, but we must be careful it doesn't lock us out from creating! Always love yuor work, whether painterly or sartorial :-) xo jj

  25. Yes! "In some of the staring eyes I see the desire". Wonderful line! And so true. How liberating to not care, and how sad when people are trapped. Our job is to show how to escape! :-) xo Jazzy Jack

  26. Thanks so much. One day I'll work out a way to share my voice on my blog! Xo Jazzy Jack

  27. I love dressing up, either as fancy dress or just every day (it has been said that my "normal" clothes look like a dressing up costume!) and I thoroughly endorse it as a therapeutic, confidence-enhancing activity. Only cloth, yes; but through our choices about which cloth where and how, we speak volumes. And it's such FUN to play!
    Love the outfits, photos, and this post. xxx

  28. I know! There's such freedom to reenter the world of childhood and play. I feel we are too serious with rules etc. as adults. It's true, the paradox is it's only cloth so why have we made it so powerful, and yet because of its power we can gain such joy embodying it.
    Lovely to hear your voice! (See your font?)xo Jazzy Jack


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