The Champagne Life on a DIY Budget Since 2007

My Writing Shirt

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt

Even after all the girl power, the uplifting, insipiring, unreal everything that was TxSC CAMP (I *swear* I’m getting to that post soon), I still find myself procrastinating and putting off writing or posting things that should be an absolute gimme just because I’m comparing myself to others way too much, and too often. I still have impostor syndrome, and am still finding it hard to motivate myself to get things done.

The daily life of a writer is so often isolating, and in the wake of CAMP one of the first things I did was create a co-working session at my house once a week with some of my favorite, uplifting, ambitious, creative and downright contagiously positive Austin women, but on the other four days of the week I still find it’s hard to block out the noise of social media and the world at large, focus on my own unique voice, and get in the zone to put my valuable, personal insight out there into the universe.

And that’s where my writing shirt comes in.

shoestring writing shirt ootd

Shirt: Uptown Cheapskate // Jeans: Twice // Glasses: WarbyParker // Notebook: In Blue Handmade

Back in January, I wrote about three resolutions from other writers that really struck me, including Phoebe Lapine at Feed Me Phoebe who wrote about her new rituals to anchor her day in the new year, and the idea of wearing a “writer’s shirt” to be more productive, and more present, was something I also immediately wanted to put into practice.  Sometimes (OK, all the time) I need help getting the contents of my head out onto the page in a way that makes me proud and ends the cycle of self-criticism that stifles my urge to publish more often these days. But, beyond a shadow of a doubt, I believe in the power of fashion to shift your headspace from one place to another in a positive way, to change your mood and help you manifest the version of yourself you need, right then, right there, in that moment. (I learned from the best of ’em: the guru who is Iona in Pretty in Pink.)

So, for the past three months, I’ve been donning this writer’s shirt when I need that extra confidence to be creative and add my unique, valuable voice the clutter of the internets. And it really has helped me cut through the bullshit in my own brain.

Why did I choose such an outrageous shirt as my writer’s shirt?

Because it is, whether I want to acknowledge it or not, JUST SO ME. It’s leopard print, which immediately makes me feel sexy and strong. It’s gold metallic, which immediately makes me feel luxe in some sort of way. Together, they’re ridiculously and stereotypically Italian-American, which reminds me of my roots and keeps me honest, in a way that Boston always did and that I’m missing now that I’m 2,500 miles from home. It’s an enormous dollar sign, which reminds me that, at the end of the day, I’m not a stylist or a photographer or a tastemaker or even a fashion blogger, though I may be a “lifestyle expert” to some who (thank you!) appreciate my unique lifestyle take on the world, but at my core I’m a personal finance & DIY writer. And personal finance writers are, despite any cool veneer we may have cultivated, big fat money and business nerds. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Lastly, it’s a sleeveless muscle shirt that forces me to focus on my arms, which — in the words of my former college skating teammates at our 15-year reunion in February — used to be pipes that resembled Madonna or Michelle Obama, and now resemble Jell-O. They’re something I want to focus on, but more than that superficial reason, they’re indicative of my dedication to regain my former athlete self, focusing less on social scenes and more on the health & wellness of myself, my family, and my friends.

my writing shirt inblue handmade notebook

I also bought a ridiculous pair of writer’s pants, but you’ll have to come back another time to find out what those are all about. As well as why I love this girl-BamBam leather bound notebook from In Blue Handmade (and the fact that they’re from Asheville, NC!) so very, very much.

Do you have an outfit that immediately helps you become a better version of yourself? I’d LOVE to hear all about it!

All photos by the lovely, super talented, utterly genuine & stunningly talented Chelsea Laine Francis, who you’ll see & learn much more from on this site very, very soon!

  • Ashley Weeks Cart

    Keep doing you, girl. It’s so hard to block out all the noise noise noise noise and stay true to your own voice. Love this trick! Keep writing, you talented lass you! xx

    • shoestringmag

      Thanks lovey! Miss you like whoa. Hope all is well in your world. Sending hugs from ATX. We *will* get that girlie creative weekend on the books one of these days. xoxo

  • Catelyn Silapachai

    Great post Melis! So you’re telling me wearing PJs all day might not result in my best work?! 🙂 Look forward to more posts from you!

    • shoestringmag

      Thanks lady. I love our Monday sessions, and this shirt, but you’ll never catch me badmouthing PJs, either — some days the loungewear/Netflix in the backgroud/dogs on the couch combo is just what I need, too. 😉

  • shoestringmag

    Thank YOU for the inspiration! Can’t wait to see your Writers Shirt 2.0, and so thankful to Vijay for putting us in touch. Here’s to many more awesome posts, recipes, and fashion TK. xo