When I went to Texas, I got a manicure. Not a $25 salon special, but one of those late-night girlfriend manis of questionable quality. It looked something like this:Except that my colors were more like this:
And I kinda dug it, even though an attention-getting look like this isn’t generally my style. I haven’t painted my fingernails in years–I’m a fan of the low-maintenance natural-care plan–and every time I caught sight of my own fingers the bright colors made me smile.
I enjoyed test-driving the artsy look for a few days–if only on my fingernails. But after a few days I was convinced that the look wasn’t for me.
I loved a piece that Laura (aka Hollywood Housewife) wrote about personal style and Pinterest a few months ago. She defined her personal style as “granny rocker prep,” and ever since I read it I’ve been mulling over which three adjectives I’d use to define my own style.
I have a signature style. Like Laura’s, it doesn’t vary much, and I’d call it something like easygoing librarian prep. I’ve deliberately sought out a look that’s friendly and fun. I gravitate towards classic looks like sweater sets and chignons and shift dresses. And I love ginghams and stripes and polka dots and whatever else makes a prepster preppy.
So it’s no wonder I didn’t feel quite at ease with a turquoise and maraschino manicure. An accent nail mani can be described many ways, but those ways do not include the adjectives “easygoing,” “librarian,” or “preppy.” It’s just not me.
(And if I had any doubts about whether or not that look was for me, they were erased in the airport on my way home, where my nails drew interested looks and polite smiles from the strangers. Some women would have enjoyed the looks, but I was wishing I had some gloves.)
I may have a strong artistic streak on the inside, but I am really uncomfortable putting it out there with my wardrobe. Or on my fingernails. Maybe it’s the way I was raised; maybe it’s the introvert in me.
The accent nail mani wasn’t for me, but I’m glad I tried it out. The truth emerges in contrast: this year I’ve learned so much about myself by learning who I’m not.
That’s a lot of self-knowledge for two bottles of nail polish. Not a bad price, if you ask me.
(And to my Texas compadres, you will probably think I’m a total dork for spilling 500 words about a manicure. And you will probably be right. Thanks for teaching me so much about myself in Austin.)
Have you learned a lot about yourself by getting something wrong? Tell us what that looked like in comments.
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I’m linking up with Dear Abby Leigh’s Dress for the Day, where personal style is a springboard to talk about pretty much anything.