Being handy

I’ve always believed in trying to do things myself before calling for help. Not big things–surgery is best kept to the experts, after all–but little things like hanging up a picture, changing my oil, I always try to figure it out on my own first.

So I guess it’s no surprise that I would take to sewing. I have created a shoddy quilt out of old shirts, which entailed hand-cutting, stuffing, and sewing twenty t-shirts together. It worked out pretty well, even though I’ve never made a blanket before. It’s amazing what some determination and a WikiHow can do.

When my boyfriend mentioned he was thinking of getting some shirts tailored, I said I’d gladly give it a shot before he go off and spend a bunch of money on a tailor. And off I went with one of his less-favorite shirts!

Just this morning I sewed according to my measurements, and took it in about an inch and a half all the way around–a bit more at the armpits. And now, well, it looks pretty good! Still waiting on his opinion, but I think it came out alright, especially for a first try.

I love trying things like this, because it makes me feel powerful! Not dragon-slaying powerful, but nonetheless I feel better about myself. Finding new skills gives me confidence. It’s an added bonus that well-fitting clothes give people confidence too, so this is really a win-win. Not to mention, it gives me an excuse to be an introvert for a day:)

Top 5 fashion tips for the male introvert

Hello, handsome gentlemen! I’m a strong proponent of the idea that just because someone is introverted doesn’t mean they don’t like people. It just means that they enjoy and require some time alone, and being surrounded by people for too long can be tiring.

Our personal style tells the world what kind of person we are. For an introvert who wants to feel good about how he looks but also might want to fade into the background to recharge after awhile, the best outfit is one that is stylish, but not too loud or bright. Something flexible, that allows you to both stand out and hide away when you want to.

These are my top five fashion choices for the male introvert! And don’t worry, girls, I have a post for female fashion choices too—click here!

For anyone who doesn’t identify as either gender, don’t fret! The tips are pretty gender neutral. Read both and apply them as you see fit, picking some from each and creating a fashion collage just for you:).

5. Simplicity

Men, I know fashion is a bit more limited for you than for the ladies. There’s simply not as many choices. While women get to choose from a wide array of shoes and pants and skirts and tops and dresses and jewelry and accessories and makeup and hairstyles, men are unfortunately given less opportunity for individuality. This is okay! It allows you to be perfectly stylish, and yet able to fade into the crowd. A black suit may look similar to other black suits, but a well fitted one can make you look amazing. Subtle changes to the simple look—a semi-vibrant tie, a nice watch—can make you stand out from a crowd just enough to keep your personality without attracting too much attention.

4. Removable statement piece

The best part about such a limited palette to work with means that a small statement piece goes a long way. I already mentioned the semi-vibrant tie and nice watch, but have you considered cufflinks? A vintage hat for outside? Something that you can take off when you want to get out of the spot light but allows for compliments otherwise make you both stylish and in control.

3. Black

Black is the new black, because black is never out of style—especially for men. While bright colors are great when you’re feeling bright, after awhile you can begin to feel like you’re wearing a costume. When your clothes don’t reflect how you feel, you can begin to feel worse, faster, as insecurities about how you look kick in. Black and dark colors are versatile, and can say “talk to me!” just as easily as “I need a break.” Whereas a yellow or pink shirt signals that you’re “on,” all the time, darker colors give you more of an option.

2. Make-up

Hear me out! When you’re going out and trying to decide what to wear, the best tip is to wear something that makes you feel handsome. You want to feel good about how you look, no matter what you’re wearing. If you have acne, that can be hard to accomplish. I’m not saying to splash on the mascara, but a dab of concealer can make all the difference. If you’re nervous, have a female friend, family member, or significant other help you buy some that matches your skin tone. If you live with a female family member, their skin tone is likely similar to yours, and you could ask to borrow it (or ask them to apply it for you). It may be a bit unconventional, but a little make up goes a long way in both the looks and confidence department. If you want to keep experimenting, a light eyeliner can really bring out the eyes without making it look too feminine. Ask an experienced make up user to teach you how at first; using subtle eyeliner subtly can be tricky. In the same vein, a tweezer and five minutes can change not just your eyebrows, but your whole life.

1. Layers

Layers are pretty high up on the women’s list as well—it’s a pretty gender-neutral tip. It’s natural to feel safer, more comfortable, and more secure when your body is covered up. It also offers versatility, like the removable statement piece. You can have your light shirt for when you’re “on,” and then put on a black jacket for when you’re “off.”  Depending on your preference, a beard could also serve this purpose by “hiding” your face from people—though, if you don’t normally have a beard, growing one may make you feel more uncomfortable. The goal is to wear an outfit that helps you, not hinders you. Layers give you the option to change your outfit to match your emotions. A nice layer can keep you stylish and give you self-confidence. The bottom line is, dress for confidence!

Scarves, Sweatshirts, and Loose-fitting Clothing

It is hot. Like, really hot. Like, “Can we please have class inside?” hot.

However, I am in the strange position of wearing scarves, sweatshirts, and loose-fitting clothing a grand majority of the time.

I recently made a post about wearing more professional clothing, which part of this follows. Tiny shorts, mini skirts, and tank tops are not even close to being professional, so the more modest clothing is okay. But, when I’m trudging to class, where some people are in pajamas and flip flops, there’s no need to dress like I’m doing something actually important.

Introverted doesn’t always mean insecure, and they may not even be related, but I am definitely both. These two things are huge driving forces to keep me tucked up in my room all the time–the exhaustion from too much social interaction, and the idea that I would be too awkward, too uncomfortable, too ugly while I’m there.

So, the clothing? With form-fitting clothes I’m always sucking in my tummy, making sure I’m not standing weird. I’d rather wear clothes that blur the outline of my body and spend my worrying energy on how my face and hair looks, or how my voice sounds.

Naturally, I’d rather not worry about anything at all, but the sad reality is that it’s hard to do that.

So I suffer in the heat to keep my head held a little higher.