Learning to be Myself

Learning to be Myself | Sophster-Toaster

I can’t believe it took me 31 years to realize I should just wear what I like. I shouldn’t be worried about showing too much; if someone has a problem with my cute crop top or unlined bra, that’s about them, not about me. I shouldn’t ask myself if my love for campy fringe is too much… too much for whom? and of course it is, that’s what makes it camp! This outfit might not seem like much of a statement, but stepping out in it, and feeling more confident than ever, was a big step for me and symbolic of the changes I’ve been trying to make for myself.

Maybe it’s the roller derby – and spending the last six months feeling my body become stronger and faster – but I felt great in this: the first crop top I have ever purchased. I wore it to a barbecue and didn’t feel the usual need to cover up or apologize for my female figure, like I’ve been trained to do since that summer my legs grew several inches and the boys noticed before I did.

I fell in love with the perfect black fringe and brightly coloured pom pom trim of these sandals the second I saw them last summer, but didn’t buy them because I was worried they would be too bold to fit in with my current wardrobe. When I saw that they were on clearance this spring, and about to slip through my fingers, I realized that I was being silly and if I loved something that much, it was obviously part of my core style. I have since worn them so often, they have found a permanent position on the little mat by my front door because of course¬†they suit me.

I’ve had to learn, over the past two decades, to trust my taste, learn to stop fretting over other people’s expectations and opinions about my body and the way I choose to decorate it (because it’s super weird that they feel the need to tell me, anyway) and, really, learn how to be myself.

Learning to be Myself | Sophster-Toaster Learning to be Myself | Sophster-Toaster Learning to be Myself | Sophster-Toaster Learning to be Myself | Sophster-Toaster

Top American Apparel
Skirt Steady Clothing

All photos by me.

Crop Top Confidence

Crop Top Confidence | Sophster-Toaster

I’ve always wanted to be a crop top person. I’ve admired the look, and the confidence it takes to pull it off, from the last time they were popular, through now. I’ve always had an urge to tug and tie my t-shirts and button ups at my waist to get a better fit for my short torso but consistently chicken out between checking my outfit in the mirror and leaving my bedroom for the day. I end up tucking my shirt in and having it billow out and fit poorly all day instead. It’s not a lack of confidence in my body that makes me untie my shirt and tuck it into my skirt, I think it’s more a lack of confidence in my style.

Then I noticed, while working my booth at local markets, just how many women – of all sizes and ages – were rocking crop tops this year, how great they all looked and how envious I felt of them. I decided this was the year I would trust myself and my style and start wearing cropped and tied up tops whenever I felt like it. Admittedly, there is a bit of a body confidence hurdle to overcome, especially when summer tan lines make me feel like I’m wearing a big sign that shouts, “hey! this is weird for me,” but the feeling that my clothes fit properly and knowing I’m brave enough to do something that makes me nervous, in public no less, ends up actually boosting my confidence in the end.

Crop Top Confidence | Sophster-Toaster Crop Top Confidence | Sophster-Toaster Crop Top Confidence | Sophster-Toaster Crop Top Confidence | Sophster-Toaster Crop Top Confidence | Sophster-Toaster Crop Top Confidence | Sophster-Toaster

T-shirt Craft Arts Market
Skirt so old and altered, I actually can’t remember
Shoes ModCloth
Camera Bag Amazon
Earrings Claire’s

All photos by me and Matt Harrison.