Reckless:

“To be reckless is to act without thinking or caring about the consequences for an action. Dressing recklessly frees me from the traditional rules of fashion which are always changing …”  –  Gwen Bielicki
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Buffer
Gwen Bielicki
Gwendolyn Bielicki is a fashion reseller on Poshmark, designer, mom of three young women, and a wonderful friend who is incredibly inspiring and thought-provoking when you get the chance to get a glimpse into her mind. (Read her guest post “Labeled, Only by Yourself” if you want to be blessed by that aspect of her!)

She’s an overcomer of depression, anxiety and OCD. A quiet but wise, quirky, imaginative soul with so much beauty to offer the world. Soulful, unconventional and by the beat of her own drum, the word that most reflects her style is “Reckless”.

She explained: “To be reckless is to act without thinking or caring about the consequences for an action. Dressing recklessly frees me from the traditional rules of fashion which are always changing–so why give [them] dominion over our choices? …”

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Buffer
The heart of her shopping decisions and her resale business is this reckless individuality and acceptance, regardless of popularity or trendiness: “… If wearing brands for the sake of their popularity alone is the status quo then “reckless style” is the wearing of alternative clothing and brands that represent individuality and promote a message of acceptance.”
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Buffer
Model Christy Alisa, Styled by Gwen Bielicki for her store Reckless Resale | Photo Credit: Masterpiece Chicago
When asked about sentimental pieces she owns that have a story, she told me: “I have a denim vest purchased with the earings from my summer job for my senior year of high school. In addition I collected a significant amount of denim skirts and jackets that would pass the strict dress code of the private school I was attending. Imagine my surprise on the first day of school when I discovered there was a ban of all denim that year (for reasons that made little to no sense to a teenager). I had to abandon the style I had carefully created to express myself that important school year. That turned out to be the beginning of a difficult time in my life for many reasons not all denim related. I guess I keep it because it reminds me of the style I wanted to express at seventeen, and I never want to lose that girl! Also, it’s super cool, is weathered in all the right places and adds a touch of vintage chic to any outfit.”
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Buffer
Gwen Bielicki | Favorite Sentimental Piece: Weathered Denim Vest

Gwen’s Style Journey:

“… I grew up in a religious community that placed multiple restrictions on clothing and behavior…Thankfully, I had parents that allowed me to experiment with fashion by pushing the boundaries of these restrictions. They didn’t always approve of my choices, but it was just enough freedom to express myself through the mode of fashion. …

        …It’s actually been a confusing journey. When I reached the age where I was no longer under the pressure to meet someone else’s requirements, and before I could commit to a consistent style, I was married and shortly after became a mother. My clothing was then dictated by occasion or function. Although, I did subconsciously maintain my attraction to wearing denim but I couldn’t verbally define my style until I was challenged to do so by another significant change in life…

        …When transitioning from teaching theater to a career in women’s fashion. I was at the point in my theater career that I was no longer teaching, but administrating which is not naturally in my skill set. So considering our long term plans, I decided to explore my second favorite form of art: fashion.

Here I was able to transition my experience with the elements of design as pertains to the stage to a style that expresses my love for the color, the lights, and the sounds around all around us.

For that reason, I describe my style and the style of clothing I sell as ‘street chic.’ It’s the kind of style you wear around town. Jackets in unique styles, graphic tees with ironic quotes or abstract art, denim jeans or short skirts with tights, comfy cool shoes, scarves and/or statement accessories, and almost always, a hat.”

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Buffer

Gwen Bielicki | “For that reason, I describe my style and the style of clothing I sell as ‘street chic.’  … It’s the kind of style you wear around town. Jackets in unique styles, graphic tees with ironic quotes or abstract art, denim jeans or short skirts with tights, comfy cool shoes, scarves and/or statement accessories, and almost always, a hat.”

A big aspect of her Reckless style comes from choosing not to worry about what others think of her fashion choices and letting it be all her own, whatever she feels in the moment. This isn’t always easy:

“I think people have a positive impression of my style when I express confidence. When my confidence wanes, I am tempted to worry what people think of my style, but their opinion is not as important as my own.”

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Buffer
I asked her if she’s ever felt misunderstood for her style choices, and she told me of how she’s felt judged in the midst of the experimental process of redefining her style: “I’ve had a few friends that like to call themselves “honest” express a negative opinion of my reckless style.”
There’s no denying that this hurts, but she’s learned to accept that some won’t understand her form of self-expression and to be satisfied that she knows herself better than they do–What matters most is knowing who you are and authentically displaying exactly that!
“You can’t change anyone’s mind, so it really doesn’t matter with they think. It’s just like when my Dad used to hoot at us when we would attempt to tattle on our siblings, ‘Whooooooo Cares?’”
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Buffer

Model Christy Alisa, Styled by Gwen Bielicki | Photo Credit: Masterpiece Chicago

Gwen is a creative and spontaneous soul; She delights in her imagination. “Fairies and floral, literary and historical references, abstract prints and embellishments” are things she loves adding to her looks. She appreciates beauty and life in all forms, and loves and accepts the beautiful, reckless chaos of the reality that life isn’t always within our control:
“I’m old enough to know that things don’t always work out the way you want. I’m content to watch the picture of my life create itself around me … I can’t think of what I’m going to leave behind, but look forward to the life going on around me right now.”
I asked her what she values most, and she told me:

“Life. In all of it’s forms. From the newborn infant to the blossoms in spring, it’s one thing that will always bring me hope and joy.”
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Buffer
Gwen has curated a beautiful selection of clothes for sale in her Poshmark closet! | Models: Becca Morello, Gwen’s daughter Hannah Bielicki, and Niara | Photo Credit: Sharon Dickey
She told me about her process for deciding what to wear: “Occasion [is the most important deciding factor]. Plans for the day always dictate what I choose to wear. After that, I choose colors and fabrics based on my mood. If I’m feeling content and cute, it’s usually pink. But when fighting pain or depression, it’s the texture of a garment that’s most important. Fabric that is soft, warm, and comfortable helps me relax and face the obstacles ahead”

“I’ve always lived in the North Midwest and love experiencing the four seasons, so I gravitate naturally to seasonal colors to reflect and celebrate the seasons pallet. My “happy colors” must be pink, burgundy, olive green, and blue as these colors repeat themselves throughout every season of my capsule wardrobe.”
Pink is a very happy, comforting and sentimental color to her: “… a beautiful pink lace scarf embroidered with gold threads [was] given to me by all three of my daughters. They had noticed I was struggling with depression and was symptomatically wearing darker and darker colors. They said at the time ‘Mom, you don’t wear enough pink these days. We love you, and think you look best in pink.’ It has become my favorite scarf just as pink has become my favorite good mood color.”

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Buffer
Gwen Bielicki in a super cute pink outfit
She told me she avoids “Black near the face. As a super pale girl, it’s not flattering to my skin tone and tends to age me. When I do wear black tops or LBD’s I add something around neckline like a silk scarf or a beaded necklace to soften the harsh color.”

Often, you’ll find her comfy in:

“Yoga pants, soft v-neck tees, and my slide on slippers with the pink pom poms for around the house. For trips to the market and running errands you’ll find me in vintage flare jeans, a fitted tee, a dressed down tailored jacket, kicks and most likely, a hat. But I’ve found that if I’m dressed for the right occasion, I’m always comfortable.”

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Buffer

Gwen Bielicki

To Gwen, kindness is what makes a person beautiful.

Something people may not see at first glance is how much she would love to talk with them, and that she may require some patience and understanding in conversation:

“You see, I’m an introvert with adhd. So even if I could overcome my fear to talk comfortably in social gatherings, I’ll probably forget what we were talking about in the first place.”

“…I’m more deaf than daft. I struggle with an auditory processing disorder and it takes me a bit longer than others to communicate well, especially in loud or busy environments. At times, I’ve been perceived as being rude, stupid, careless, and even rebellious for my lack of quick response and banter. Sometimes I just want to ask “can you give me a minute?” when pressed to perform and communicate at an uncomfortable pace. Over the years, I’ve learned the skills necessary find success even in difficult situations, but it has not been an easy road.”

Comfort and a presence of approachability are very important to her.
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Buffer

Gwen Bielicki | Heart-Painted Denim Jacket she designed.

“I want my style to project friendliness and approachability. When dressing up for a fashion event, it’s going to be the type of outfit I can comfortably and confidently wear to meet up with my tribe for drinks at the pub after.”
“…even though I’m an introvert with many fears and hang-ups I still love meeting new people. I wish they knew that I love small intimate gatherings with gourmet tapas and Salon style conversations, but I sometimes miss these opportunities when I allow fear to hold me back.”
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Buffer
Model Christy Alisa, Styled by Gwen Bielicki | Photo Credit: Masterpiece Chicago
“Since high school, my attempt to compliment the style of another woman was to say (with a Valley Girl lilt) ‘O my gosh! I love your (insert object of clothing here)!’ Until I realized how rude that sounded. It was then I started making a habit of looking at their face, not just at their ensemble. It’s then I can honestly look them in the eye and say, ‘Oh my gosh, I love your style, that (object of clothing) looks so good on you!’ I always get a friendly smile and sometimes a tip on where to get it for myself (sometimes on sale)! So I guess I’d enjoy being complimented similarly.

But the best compliment would be for them to say, ‘I love your style, it’s so Reckless!”

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Buffer

Gwen’s Daughter Hannah Bielicki, modeling for Gwen’s Poshmark business: Reckless Resale | Photo Credit: Sharon Dickey

Gwen’s an overcomer–I see her as a peaceful warrior who has confidently battled insecurity; organized but spontaneous; imaginative and emotional, but intelligent; quirky but relatable; quiet but friendly– and many other juxtaposed things.
She told me that an iconic aspect of her style, despite her recklessness, is symmetry: “…The human mind is predisposed to appreciate symmetry, but my OCD heightens the appeal for the aesthetic, so perhaps my style is a little more ironic than iconic.”
Gwen’s style embraces the fact that there’s nothing cookie-cut about being human: Throw in emotion and all of life’s contradictions and you’ve got one beautiful mess–It’s simply impossible to be defined by one singular style. This authenticity is one big thing that makes her reckless style so wonderful.
Full Interview Transcript:
Alissa: If you had to describe your style in one word, what would it be? Why? Gwen: Reckless. To be reckless is to act without thinking or caring about the consequences for an action. Dressing recklessly frees me from the traditional rules of fashion which are always changing so why give dominion over our choices? If wearing brands for the sake of their popularity alone is the status quo then reckless “style” is the wearing of alternative clothing and brands that represent individuality and promote a message of acceptance. Alissa: What matters most when you’re choosing what to wear? GwenOccasion. Plans for the day always dictate what I choose to wear. After that, I choose colors and fabrics based on my mood. If I’m feeling content and cute, it’s usually pink. But when fighting pain or depression, it’s the texture of a garment that’s most important. Fabric that is soft, warm, and comfortable helps me relax and face the obstacles ahead Alissa: What kinds of clothes do you feel most comfortable in? GwenYoga pants, soft v-neck tees, and my slide on slippers with the pink pom poms for around the house. For trips to the market and running errands you’ll find me in vintage flare jeans, a fitted tee, a dressed down tailored jacket, kicks and most likely, a hat. But I’ve found that if I’m dressed for the right occasion, I’m always comfortable. Alissa: What colors do you most gravitate towards wearing? – What are your “happy colors”? GwenI’ve always lived in the North Midwest and love experiencing the four seasons, so I gravitate naturally to seasonal colors to reflect and celebrate the seasons pallet. My “happy colors” must be pink, burgundy, olive green, and blue as these colors repeat themselves throughout every season of my capsule wardrobe. Alissa: What colors do you avoid? GwenBlack near the face. As a super pale girl, it’s not flattering to my skin tone and tends to age me. When I do wear black tops or LBD’s I add something around neckline like a silk scarf or a beaded necklace to soften the harsh color. Alissa: Do you have any patterns or symbols that you especially love adding to your style? GwenFairies and floral, literary and historical references, abstract prints and embellishments. Alissa: What do you think is most iconic about your style? GwenSymmetry. The human mind is predisposed to appreciate symmetry, but my OCD heightens the appeal for the aesthetic, so perhaps my style is a little more ironic that iconic. Alissa: Do you have any favorite pieces that are sentimental to you? What’s their story? GwenI have  few, but there’s two that stand out the most. I have a denim vest purchased with the earings from my summer job for my senior year of high school. In addition I collected a significant amount of denim skirts and jackets that would pass the strict dress code of the private school I was attending. Imagine my surprise on the first day of school when I discovered there was a ban of all denim that year (for reasons that made little to no sense to a teenager). I had to abandon the style I had carefully created to express myself that important school year. That turned out to be the beginning of a difficult time in my life for many reasons not all denim related. I guess I keep it because it reminds me of the style I wanted to express at seventeen, and I never want to lose that girl! Also, it’s super cool, is weathered in all the right places and adds a touch of vintage chic to any outfit. The second is a beautiful pink lace scarf embroidered with gold threads given to me by all three of my daughters. They had noticed I was struggling with depression and was symptomatically wearing darker and darker colors. They said at the time “Mom, you don’t wear enough pink these days. We love you, and think you look best in pink.” It has become my favorite scarf just as pink has become my favorite good mood color. Alissa: How well do you think your style encapsulates who you are? – What do you think your style says about you? GwenI want my style to project friendliness and approachability. When dressing up for a fashion event, it’s going to be the type of outfit I can comfortably and confidently wear to meet up with my tribe for drinks at the pub after. Alissa: Have you ever worn something that didn’t feel like “you”? – What was it like? GwenI grew up in a religious community that placed multiple restrictions on clothing and behavior. Thankfully, I had parents that allowed me to experiment with fashion by pushing the boundaries of these restrictions. They didn’t always approve of my choices, but it was just enough freedom to express myself through the mode of fashion. Alissa: When did you start feeling like your clothes said something real about who you are? GwenIt’s actually been a confusing journey. When I reached the age where I was no longer under the pressure to meet someone else’s requirements, and before I could commit to a consistent style, I was married and shortly after became a mother. My clothing was then dictated by occasion or function. Although, I did subconsciously maintain my attraction to wearing denim but I couldn’t verbally define my style until I was challenged to do so by another significant change in life. Alissa: What did it take to define your style? What was your journey? GwenWhen transitioning from teaching theater to a career in women’s fashion. I was at the point in my theater career that I was no longer teaching, but administrating which is not naturally in my skill set. So considering our long term plans, I decided to explore my second favorite form of art, fashion. Here I was able to transition my experience with the elements of design as pertains to the stage to a style that expresses my love for the color, the lights, and the sounds around all around us. For that reason, I describe my style and the style of clothing I sell as “street chic.” It’s the kind of style you wear around town. Jackets in unique styles, graphic tees with ironic quotes or abstract art, denim jeans or short skirts with tights, comfy cool shoes, scarves and/or statement accessories, and almost always, a hat. Alissa: What do you think people’s impression is of you and your style? GwenI think people have a positive impression of my style when I express confidence. When my confidence wanes, I am tempted to worry what people think of my style, but their opinion is not as important as my own. Alissa: What do you wish people would understand when they see you? / What do you wish people could see in you? GwenThat even though I’m an introvert with many fears and hang ups I still love meeting new people. I wish they knew that I love small intimate gatherings with gourmet tapas and Salon style conversations, but I sometimes miss these opportunities when I allow fear to hold me back. Alissa: We all have insecurities… It’s part of what makes us human, and i believe it’s actually a huge thing that helps people connect and understand each other. What do you struggle with? GwenFailure. I come from a large family and a community where indicators for success were measured. I was always the smallest and weakest and struggled with every level of development At some point I conflated failure to keep up, with being a failure. Alissa: Have you ever felt misunderstood because of your style or how you look? – How does it feel to be misunderstood? GwenYes, when experimenting with different looks and styles. I’ve have a few friends that like to call themselves “honest” express a negative opinion of my reckless style. I was hurt some, but when you learn to be ok with that fact that not everyone is going to “get” you, you get the satisfaction of know more than they, and that’s all that matters. Alissa: What’s something you think people misunderstand about you? GwenThat I’m more deaf than daft. I struggle with an auditory processing disorder and it takes me a bit longer than others to communicate well, especially in loud or busy environments. At times, I’ve been perceived as being rude, stupid, careless, and even rebellious for my lack of quick response and banter. Sometimes I just want to ask “can you give me a minute?” when pressed to perform and communicate at an uncomfortable pace. Over the years, I’ve learned the skills necessary find success even in difficult situations, but it has not been an easy road. Alissa: If people were not judgmental, what do you think your style would tell them about you? GwenYou can’t change anyone’s mind, so it really doesn’t matter with they think. It’s just like when my Dad used to hoot at us when we would attempt to tattle on our siblings, “Whooooooo Cares?” Alissa: If you saw somebody dressed just like you/in an outfit similar to yours, what would you assume about them? GwenThey must be cool. Alissa: What do you think makes a person “beautiful”? GwenKindness. Alissa: What do you think is the most beautiful thing about life/in the world? GwenCreation. Alissa: If you could paint a picture of what you wish life was like, what would it look like? GwenI don’t think I could do that, waaaaayyyy to much pressure. I’m old enough to know that things don’t always work out the way you want. I’m content to watch the picture of my life create itself around me. Alissa: Life gives us a lot of worthy things to pay attention to–Which are the most important to you?/What do you value most? GwenLife. In all of it’s forms. From the newborn infant to the blossoms in spring, it’s one thing that will always bring me hope and joy. Alissa: What do you hope your existence brings to the world? GwenI can’t think of what I’m going to leave behind, but look forward to the life going on around me right now. Alissa: What’s something you love/value about who you are? GwenImagination Alissa: What’s something people couldn’t possibly know by just looking at you? GwenThat I’d like to talk to them, but I may not be able to. You see, I’m an introvert with adhd. So even if I could overcome my fear to talk comfortably in social gatherings, I’ll probably forget what we were talking about in the first place. Alissa: What would be an AMAZING compliment? – Regarding your style? – Regarding your personality? GwenSince high school, my attempt to compliment the style of another woman was to say (with a Valley Girl lilt) “O my gosh! I love your (insert object of clothing here)!” Until I realized how rude that sounded. It was then I started making a habit of looking at their face, not just at their ensemble. It’s then I can honestly look them in the eye and say, “O my gosh, I love your style, that (object of clothing) looks so good on you!” I always get a friendly smile and sometimes a tip on where to get it for myself (sometimes on sale)! So I guess I’d enjoy being complimented similarly. But the best compliment would be for them to say, “I love your style, it’s so Reckless!”

Pin It on Pinterest

Shares
Share This
%d bloggers like this: