This morning getting coffee I was transfixed by this couple dressed very carefully-carelessly unlike anyone else. Well okay unlike anyone else since Bob Dylan and Joan Baez. She was long and lanky with paper-white gazelle legs, heavy long hair the colour of corn with a centre part. Her dress was a vintage crushed turquoise velvet baby doll with long sleeves and so many holes it had a Mark Fast kind of appeal, held together at the side with saftey pins.
She wore tan sandals that looked like my Chloe ones but weren't and she'd painted her lips an incongruous poppy pink. Her pale arms were intertwined with the wool clad ones of her beau, a neo-Dylaner, with a great puff of frizzy beard and a wild mop of hair to match. Even though the sun was pelting down on us, he looked pretty comfy in his three-piece suit. His boots were great clompy leather lace ups just right for hitching down Route 66. They were gooey-eyed over one another and didn't notice me staring but I did stare, because I loved how they seemed so comfortable in their gear, and how that gear really made them stand out. That gear required some major self belief, and I guess subsrcription to a scene that's passing most of us by, but mainly the major self belief.
I went to the park to drink my coffee and there another couple strolled past me. She was wearing opshop brown suede high heels and a strange sundress and red lippy and a man's black fedora. He too was in a mothy-looking suit, with a skinny western string tie like the ones Gram Parsons used to wear. What was happening? Where did all these kooks come from? Were they with the band? Were they the band? It didn't matter.
What mattered was how alive they looked and how marvellous and how free. But also how purposeful. And it got me thinking about self belief and how intrinsic it is to personal style. You really do need a good dose of it to carry off something extraordinary it the get-up department. Without it you just dress like everyone else, or dress to fit in, or to be invisible, or dress like you don't mean it.
So you see self belief is a fantastic thing. And remembering this gave me a bit of mine back.