I can count on one hand the number of times I visited Eastland Mall  as a kid and it was always tagging along with a friend and their parents and never with any money of my own to spend there. Pretty much everything I had was thrifted or second hand.

Around seventh or eighth grade, Seattle Grunge was getting huge. I was fascinated by the flannels and ripped jeans, but I also had a soft spot for the 70s looks of Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix & the Doors.

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I thrifted the most amazingly perfect ripped jeans. They were the perfect Seattle Grunge jeans and I had found this dark green floral shirt/blouse/dress/thing - it was flowy and free formed and came down to about mid-thigh. I felt cool when I put them on... And then I went to school...

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Kat Mykals
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That's where my Socials Studied teacher, a statuesque, monolith of a woman at just over 6 feet tall, proclaimed loudly as I sat in the front row of class that I looked like a homeless person. When I tell you I was devastated, I mean I was gutted. I never wore that outfit again and a little creative part of me died that day.

Fast forward to my 20s and 30s and I found myself doing anything I could to not attract too much attention with how I dressed, sticking mainly to jeans and t-shirts - to the point that over the last decade, band tees and jeans are pretty much my uniform at this point. They have been easy and require zero mental load to get dressed... What are we wearing today? Ope. Looks like a band tee and some ripped jeans... While I do have plenty of photos at events in dresses over the years, those were rarities as 99% of my days have been spent in jeans and tees.

Now, I still thrift and that's almost exclusively where I source my wardrobe - not out of necessity anymore so much but because I love the thrill of the hunt. It's an adventure! And honestly, I loathe paying full retail for things, especially when I know I can almost always thrift it.

When I thrift, I regularly pick up fun pieces that are bold and colorful or have fun prints... But I'm too scared to actually wear them... And then I get overwhelmed with the quantity of clothes I have at home and I end up purging all of those bold, colorful, fun print things because the part of me that loves them hasn't been brave enough to wear them and when you purge, you don't keep the things you never wear.

This has been going on for several years.

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Kat Mykals
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I've started peppering in some of those fun things here and there (Hello, green plaid pants!) and back in April I decided I was going to challenge myself to stop wearing jeans. I am still wearing my band tees but I'm pushing myself way out of my comfort zone to create outfits with what I call "non-pants pants" (read: not denim), dresses, and skirts. In the last few months I've only worn jeans once and it was because I was going to an animal rescue to volunteer.

I'm not going to lie - It has been weird and uncomfortable and some days I'm not sure if my choice in outfit even really all works together but I've been doing it. Sometimes I snap a pic and send it to my daughter to get her feedback on the outfit of the day.

But I've been doing it and it's been hard but it's also been really freeing. I wore leopard print leggings under a bleach-washed denim skirt with a pair of burgundy doc martens the other day and I don't know if it looked good or not. I don't know if it looked "cool" or not. What I do know is that there is a weird little teenage version of myself in my heart and she likes our weird and quirky wardrobe choices lately.

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Recently, I attended the annual Governor's Luncheon - an annual event where Indiana Governor Holcomb came to visit the city of Evansville. Held at Ford Center. it was packed full of all kinds of business people and community members, and since I am the Brand Manager for GBF, and part of the management team here at Townsquare, I was asked to attend.

So what does the weird kid who has been experimenting with being more adventurous with the way she dresses wear to a Governor's Luncheon, surrounded by men and women in businesses attire, suits, and ties? Well, she slaps on a cute skirt, a Slipknot tee, and a white blazer - all of which she thrifted.

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Kat Mykals
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Is it the most professional thing I could have worn? Probably not, but it was still professional while being 100% authentic to who I am and that felt pretty darn good. So if you see me and I'm wearing something besides jeans and a tee shirt, just know I'm channeling my inner weird little girl and she's happy.

Also if you've made it this far, here's your reminder that words have power because it's been about 30 years since that teacher said that to me but I still remember exactly how it made me feel. Choose your words carefully and be kind whenever you can. ❤

25 Personalized License Plates Rejected by the Indiana BMV

Every year the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles sifts through applications for personalized license plates, and every year hundreds are rejected below are 25 of the more than 1,000 rejected license plates that the BMV received between January and December of 2023. You'll also find a link to the full list of rejected personalized license plates below.

Gallery Credit: Kat Mykals

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