Leaping the Bull

Power. I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately: who has it, what it means, why it matters. I’ve been thinking about all the kinds of power there are in the world and, when forceful push comes to mighty shove, which kinds of power truly matter…to me, anyway.

One of the most powerful images I can think of – one that I’m constantly drawn to – is the bull.

Image via American Lady

Yes, yes, this is a fashion blog. I know. Bear with me.

Sometimes, when I get dressed in the morning, I tap into a primal part of myself. Not just “how do I feel today?”, but deeper: Who am I? What do I want to represent, to feel, as I go through my day? Whenever I get dressed with that depth in mind, I find myself going about my life with more passion, and a sense of purpose.

That deeper place has directed me, lately, to the mythical Taurus, the bull.

For centuries, the bull has been regarded as an honored figure, and worshiped by countless peoples. To this day, young men and women participate in bull-leaping as a right of passage, a way to assert their adulthood, and their new-found power. While I don’t love the idea of bull runs or bull fighting (hi, animal abuse) I do love the idea of using this animal as a guide, trying to harness its power – figuratively – to inspire my own.

(Click each image to be taken to the item for sale.)


This one’s kind of a duh. Have you ever seen something with the word “bull” in its name, straight on? You don’t look at the hooves, or the head – you stare straight at those quivering shoulders. Screw tiny arms and collarbones – it’s all in the shoulders.

Metal & Texture

I’m not about to go out wearing horns, or plate myself in brass as some sort of self-tribute, but wearing the symbols of all that – iron, brass, anything rough-hewn – makes me feel kind of like a bad-ass…you know, sitting. On the bus. Ahem.

Bold Patterns

The alternative to an amazing fur coat.


When I want to feel powerful, there is nothing more important than something stompy. (In my opinion, bulls have tons of swagger.) Speaking of this being a total non sequitur, everything in this post is on sale. Like, wicked on sale. Just an FYI.


Of course, if you’re not into the patterns, and the metal, and the wicked shoes, there’s always a more direct approach.

It’s actually what I like most about the bull as a totem: it is there, unequivocally, staring straight into your face. As a symbol of fashion, it’s direct, and makes no apologies. I think that’s the way we should all be when it comes to getting dressed in the morning.

Do you have a fashion totem? What inspires you as you get dressed each day?

5 thoughts on “Leaping the Bull

  • March 16, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    Anything with an ancient or vintage appeal. From Nefertiti, Poirot, to digging into my Steampunk imagination. I’m always inspired by the past.

  • March 17, 2011 at 8:28 am

    I love the idea of a fashion totem. What a great concept! And I like your picks for the bull, especially the hooves.

    I had to think awhile about what my totem might be. Definitely not a peacock or bird. Maybe a shark? Sleek but powerful; able to coast below the radar, but bold when necessary. What a neat way to explore one’s personality. Thank you!

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  • March 18, 2011 at 8:09 am

    Really well thought out post! :) The metal and texture part I never would’ve thought of when considering a bull. The fashion totem concept is a good one, although I really have to think about it to figure out what my animalistic fashion inspiration would be.

  • March 30, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    In a similar mythic vein I’d say I might consider Medusa my token. In the most literal sense I have a fairly large tattoed Medusa portrait, but I also like to express myself with a look that’s feminine but dangerous and edgy.

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