The Season of In-Between
In-between weather like fall is hard to dress for, especially in New York. The temperatures throughout the day are so drastically different that you could be shivering in the morning and then be sweating profusely in the afternoon. When the weather is no longer strictly in the 70s and 80s, every morning becomes a struggle—should I wear long sleeves or short sleeves? Would a sweater suffice or do I need a jacket?
Transitioning into autumnal colors is equally challenging because fall has its own set of hues that are wildly different from those of other seasons. Confession: I think fall colors are beautiful, but they are tricky because I am mostly a pastel person and actually don’t own a lot of colors like mustard and royal purple. Another obstacle to stocking fall clothing for me is practicality. New York often plunges into winter overnight, making it seem silly to buy light items that I could wear for only maybe one or two weeks. (I’m exaggerating a little here, but you get my point.)
This dress from tocco closet is one of the few true fall pieces I own. It represents to me not only this beautiful in-between season but also my own in-between style. While I love the girly kawaii style of LIZ LISA and Ank Rouge, I am also drawn to the sweet, ladylike kawaii style of tocco closet and LODISPOTTO. The tug of war between the two equally beautiful styles makes for some difficult shopping decisions.
This is perhaps indicative of the in-between state I’m in in life. Being between the ages of 20 and 30, I feel like I’m a girl and a woman. I am somewhat grown up, but not entirely mature. I have a pretty solid sense of myself, but am also still open to change. Thinking about this reminds me of the Japanese manga Kodomo no Omocha (こどものおもちゃ), a coming-of-age story of a girl who realizes that she is not as mature as she thought after going a series of ups and downs. (Highly recommended!) This in-between state can be exciting, but it can also be uncomfortable.
Am I girly kawaii or ladylike kawaii? Am I a girl or a woman? Should I act more like 20 or should I act more like 30? My answer to all of these questions is both. As I accumulate more life experiences, I realize that everyone is constantly in some kind of in-between state because things are always changing and because everyone is different. There is no one answer or way of doing things. We create labels to understand and define things, but we often turn them into boundaries with which we restrict ourselves and stifle our own potentials.
Adding this piece to my wardrobe means that I’m open to trying new colors and styles, that I am both girly and ladylike kawaii, and that I can be a girl and a woman. Embrace both seemingly conflicting ends of an in-between state and the discomfort of existing in that space. I’m taking my first step with this dress. What about you?