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Sep 25, 2010

Are you a "Sticker-outer" or a "Blender-inner"?


Friends, I can't talk about corduroy pants today, I need a break.  Rest assured everything's progressing fine.

But my cranberry confection has got me thinking...

There are two kinds of people: those that dress to stick out and those that dress to blend in.

I am making no judgments here, just a statement of what I suspect to be true. We all probably have a little of both types in us.  Still, one predominates.

Think about it.

You might assume that people who sew their own clothes would tend to be sticker-outers, but no.  My suspicion is that most people who sew want to blend in, albeit in higher quality fabrics and clothes with better fit than they can find in most stores.  Dare I presume that Nancy is a blender-inner?  (Nancy...are you out there?)

How about Gertie?

Or Shona?


See how easy?  (Visible tattoos and red hair are dead giveaways.)

I'm a little unsure about Elizabeth.  She presents herself as a blender-inner but she was an opera singer, after all!


Me, on the other hand, I bet you think I'm a total s-o.  In fact, I am much more of a b-i in my personal style.

(Confession: some of my more outre self-sewn outfits I consider blog-togs.  They're primarily made for the blog and the occasional night on the town that's usually a dog walk or a quick trip to the Korean deli for milk.  But I'm always open to invitations to high-profile events!)

 

Cathy, on the other hand: a true s-o.



There are many famous sticker-outers, as you might imagine, both real and fictional.


Scarlett O'Hara is a classic sticker-outer.  Remember when she showed up at the dance for the Confederacy in her mourning gown?


Cousin Melanie, in constrast, is a blender-inner.



Remember Bette Davis (or is that Shona again?) in Jezebel?  Yup, sticker-outer.


There are famous mother-daughter sticker-outers...


Famous sticker-outers playing famous sticker-outers...


Not all sticker-outers are women:




But male sticker-outers, unless they're rock stars, tend to have a difficult time of it.  Most of America isn't open to the male sticker-outer, imo.

Now how about some blender-inners?

Ethan HawkeYawn.


Julia Roberts.  Zzzzz....


Erstwhile couple Reese and Jake.


Is it over yet?  (Oh, for a dose of Lana Turner!)

Dear readers, we only get in trouble when we think we're one type but we're really the other.  For example, a lot of us were probably raised to be blender-inners and have all kinds of conflicts expressing our true, latent sticker-outer.  

We tend to resent people who glory in their full sticker-outerness guilt-free and criticize them when deep down we'd like to be emulating them....sort of.



So how about you?

Are you a dyed-in-the-mousy-brown-wool blender-inner?  Or a take-no-prisoners, Bob-Mackie-or-die sticker-outer?

Would you secretly like to unleash your inner Lady Gaga but don't look good in meat?

Who are you REALLY?  (And who would you like to be?)

Jump in!

41 comments:

  1. I'm one but I'd like to be the other and am will be working on it...
    ;)
    Have a great Saturday!


    http://jungleworldcitizen.blogspot.com/

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  2. In my youth, a def SO. Now that I'm old, I've become a BI with occasional bursts of SOness.

    But I do think it's relative. SOness in Omaha, Nebraska would not likely translate to S0ness in NYC or LA. And in this part of the country, BIness=invisible.
    Mermie

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  3. Yeh, I can ditto that. I used to be a definite "stick-outer". One of the reasons that I kept up sewing in my teens was to de/re-construct and make clothes that were a tad outre (Hey it was the 80's). Now as a woman who is both rapidly approaching her "second life", and the plus-size clothes rail, there is absolutely nothing in RTW that I would want to wear. It is all just too "beige" and uniform to even contemplate. Being able to make your own clothes is a really great way of expressing your individuality and creativity.

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  4. I am a blender-inner and I learned this about myself during my time living in Las Vegas (during the '80s). I worked in a CPA firm and I was used to the gray suits worn by everyone on the East Coast. However, many women in Las Vegas (accountants) wore a much wider range of styles (print dresses!) and it was acceptable there. That's when I realized that I want my clothing to serve as a backdrop for ME. I don't want my clothes to draw all the attention.

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  5. I identify with jungleworldcitizen; in my youth definite SO! I shaved my head, dyed it crazy colors, wore outrageous thrifted clothes! Now, that I'm a "grown up" during the week I'm a BI because of my pretty buttoned up job where being a SO would be a detriment and not a help. On Friday and the weekends though it's a different story as my personal style tends to SO. People in this town don't often see women in 1940s wartime fashions and I get asked a lot if I'm in a play. I don't do it to intentionally stick out like I did as a teen, but because it is the style that I like the most and that I feel suits me the best.

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  6. Let's say, I don't mind blending in as long as I feel free to stick out ;). I don't have the energy for sticker-outering every day, but I sure do love it when I go for it. Though, do I feel less of an urge to dress as skanktastically as possible than I did when I was 18. I think my ideal is a personal style that's quirky and expressive of me without being way off the rails.

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  7. Hmmm.... I think I'm more of an SO in personality than dress. Although there was that period right after high school where I had purple hair... Thanks for the shout out!

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  8. I mostly blend in, but I think I stick out in places. I dress better than the khaki and polo army at work because I enjoy dressing up for my job. I guess I stick out a little there.

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  9. I have to BI at work. Can't let the story be about my skirt or shoes. But I'm a SO at heart. Also at weddings, new year's eve, etc.

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  10. i guess for each one of us there are times when we are one or the other, i don't think we can draw a clear line... thank you for a wonderful reading:)... currently I'm living in India in a big city in which i rarely see non-asian people, so that makes me an european sticker-out by default

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  11. I'm a qualified SO. I like to stand out - but not because I'm outrageous. Also, I've always had a curvy figure with large breasts which means, for as long as I can remember, I've been an SO whether I like it or not. I've had to come to terms with that. I say, why not take the good with the bad?

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  12. I'm a BI posing as a SO! Sometimes, it's exhausting and I have to be a BI for a few days. :-)

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  13. Another CPA here...my idea of SO when I worked for one of the Big 8 (at that time, so i'm dating myself..) was to wear red suits and refuse to wear navy blue..I still have an aversion to navy blue suits and like lots of color..yeah, that's about as SO as this girl can get...

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  14. As BIs go, I'm an SO, but I'm awfully SO for a BI?

    Aww, who'm I kidding? I'm a wimpy BI, afraid of her own shadow. But I miss my old SO self, and I read blogs like yours to get my courage back up.

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  15. lol. I have to agree with some of the previous posters. I'm a moderate SO, but compared to the true SO, I'm a BI. For San Francisco and my peeps, I'm nothing out of the ordinary. But when I dress this way elsewhere, such as San Diego, I'm a definite SO.

    And sometimes one doesn't have the energy or a good enough hair day to SO. ;)

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  16. Interesting....

    Any SO's who are BI-curious?

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  17. I'm definitely an SO. I perform for a living, so it's inevitable. I'm an introvert otherwise, but I still want to be noticed - just not necessarily to talk about it!

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  18. Rather than my usual lurking, I decided to comment on this post simply because it's such food for thought. Plus I'm on some weird 40-something road to self-discovery, blah, blah. Although I was raised to blend-in and carried this look off through high school, I'm really a SO. In college, it was crazy hair colors and thrift store clothes (my roommate would pretend not to know me when she saw me on campus), then I had to go out and work, so I had to do my best to blend in (really struggled with this). I still work in a corporate blend-in world, but business casual dress is a blessing. Most days I blend, but only for so long -- then I show up looking like I fell in a crayola box, or wear one of my handmade frocks which undoubtedly has a lobster or skull print. Most times, I try to blend so as not to embarrass hubby who is a shameless BI. But, now having reached the ripe old age of 45.... less just say my tolerance for BI is lessening and the skull print doc martens have come out of the closet along with my Blondie chuck taylors.

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  19. If I know rappers, and I'm pretty sure I do (?), I bet Snoop is done with that ensemble. You should see if you could borrow the accessories for your reunion. The headdress and bag are sooooo in. You'd be a sticker outer fo sho.

    I think the cranberry suit will be a nice in between. It's got classic lines and the color is not wild but rather refined for night. The setting and time of day will tame the outfit.

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  20. I spent a lot of my younger years as a BI but I've noticed as I get older I'm becoming more of a SO. But I agree with one of the earlier comments that it is relative-- I'm sure that sticking out in South Carolina is not the same as in a big city!

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  21. Having spent most of my life feeling invisible in one way or another, I've been quite comfortable as a true BI. But I've hit 50 now, and feel like it's time to throw off that invisibility cloak and become a SO. Not too much success yet, but baby steps, baby steps!

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  22. Jut take them in five-inch heels, Elle!

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  23. I think I am more of a BI but my husband thinks I have a strange/quirky taste for clothes and he can never second guess my choice in fabrics or clothes!

    Btw, love your blog. I usually just lurk about but decided to comment on this occasion :) Loving the merlot corduroy and I have a severe envy going on of your extensive sewing machine colection :)

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  24. Have you been to the suburbs lately Peter? I don't actually blend in; you should see how women dress out here on Long Island! I am not out there in the sense that those ladies on Advanced Style are out there certainly, that's a little much for me these days! My younger self was into funky and lots of color. I did go to art school after all. But I dress very differently than most women do here.

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  25. Yeah, I would have pegged Nancy as a sticker-outer. She sewed a gorgeous bright yellow coat last year, sewed an amazing leather skirt that would have never occurred to me.

    Peter - you are right on that we just need to be true to ourselves. I resent being nudged to wear flashier things than I like and others might go nuts wearing the quiet styles I prefer.

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  26. How about a rebellious BIer? I worked in corporate settings from a young age, so open rebellion wasn't an option. However, being tall, thin and wearing fashion forward Vogue designer clothes in anything but navy, wearing big jewellery/scarves/hats and getting my dead straight hair cut into shapes helped me survive. That and bright coloured linings in dark corporate looking suits. Now I'm not so thin, retired, and going through a phase where I find oddly cut Japanese clothes really appeally along with anything that screams colour. I used to think it was the biggest joke that I could look like I spent a ton of money when I spent next to nothing thanks to sale fabric bins and vintage accessories. Now, if I could only make shoes. Oh, and my ever so BI other half has finally given up calling me gaudy.
    Heather

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  27. my hair normally SO's. depends what mood i'm in when i wake as to the clothes. i teach 4 year olds so i try to wear clothes they will appreciate! well, that's what i tell everyone! ;)

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  28. I've never blended a day in my life.

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  29. Mostly I think I'm a blender-inner. However, as I am approaching 'a certain age' I am beginning to see the attractions of being a sticker-outer. Having said that, living in a big city means you have to be pretty 'out there' to stick out. I'm going to start working on it.

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  30. I am a BI with SO tendencies. Does that make me SO curious?

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  31. oh, BI definitely. It's my life goal to be ordinary. Growing up in a small town I was a geek and the minister's kid; at high school, still a nerd who didn't go to the school balls; at engineering school in the 80s, highly conspicuous as the only woman in my class (which did give me a valuable beginning of an insight into what it might be like to be a visible minority). Blending in is all I ask...
    Great poem here by Wendy Cope: Being Boring
    http://wonderingminstrels.blogspot.com/2004/01/being-boring-wendy-cope.html

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  32. So SO . . . and hope to remain so until the very end. But, of course, I'm often found in BI attire to get through the daily grind . . . but give me any reason, any reason at all, and my SO identity shines.

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  33. Now and always, a sticker-outer. My dream world is one in which it's so normal for everyone to dress and behave like their unique selves that SOing and BIing become one and the same thing.

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  34. No matter what I wear, I'm a SO. "Mommy look at the lady with the fat legs!" Clothes wise, I tend to make clothes to cover as much of my ugly legs as possible. So it's B-I clothes--long skirts/dresses and long pants. And fit is an issue, because my pants need to have insanely wide legs to fit over compression bandaging. (Take legs bigger than Gertie's waist and then add three inches of bandaging....)

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  35. Laura, I actually never thought about the situation where life kind of forces you to be a SO. I really value your candor; you've helped me think about this issue in a less superficial way.

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  36. I have an easy-to-remember face and naturally crazy hair, so I'm kind of naturally an SO. My dress has always been BI due to a general timidness about fashion; but I've noticed that when I sew, I sew things that stick out. If I can ever get to the point where I sew most of my clothes, I think I will have made the transition to SO.

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  37. I think I have natural SO tendencies because of my red hair (also natural). I stick out whether I like it or not, except when I go on a holiday to Ireland or Scotland. :P

    Though, just like Betty, I am a very big BI because I just don't understand fashion. I'm not really sure what suits me, what to wear to which occassion,... So I just tend to play it safe.

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  38. I like Nancy K's comment on the suburbs - your location affecting whether you are BI or SO. In my hometown in the deep countryside, I was the only girl at school ( out of 150) with short hair ( dare I say 'Rosemary's Baby'). And my outfits were quite out there. But now in a big city, I don't stand out so much. But I can try!

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  39. In my early(ier) twenties and my teens I was a total SO. I worn all the "cool" punk clothes, animal prints, neons, studded jackets, fishnets, brightly coloured hair. Now it seems I just try to BI, mostly because I want people at work to take me seriously.

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  40. Where I live, wearing clothes made of natural fibres that fit is enough to brand you a sticker-outer...

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  41. Hmm. I think I like to think that I am a SO, but really I'm a BI. I definitely have my own personal style that is not quite in line with my peer group (I never wear neutrals, ever), but I don't think my clothes are as wild and crazy as I think they are.

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