Style Diet: Saying “I’ll See You Later” to Beloved Clothes
Full disclosure: what I’m about to bumble on about could be considered a textbook first world problem. That said, I’ve heard writers say – and movies and books about writing – that one will have the best success in coming across more authentic if you write about what you know.
I know clothes. I’ve committed my life to them (knowing what they can do for the wearer). Most important, I love clothes. This summer I am on a project where my days dictate what would be suitable. Now I am a firm believer in dressing for the job you want. But like many things, that advice is true perhaps eighty percent of the time. I’m thinking, for the next few months, I may have to give in to the other twenty percent. Standing defiant, firm in my own fashion wearing a power suit on a set while it’s pissing rain at midnight may not be the best look, right?
All this to say is that I’m putting some clothes – mostly casual and durable clothes (think jeans, overalls, t shirts, and sporting base layer from outdoorsy stores) – on high rotation. At home, I’m saying, “I’ll see you later,” to my dresses, blazers, and heels.
I want you all to know that I can almost hear the groans and see the eyerolls – rationally I feel it a bit too – but this me. I love clothes and wearing them so it’s a tiny bit sad when they are hanging beautifully in my closet awaiting their next day out. They’ll be waiting longer than they may even think they will be.
To compartmentalize this phase in my life I’ve placed a rack of clothing that is can-take-the-elements-set-suitable away from the rest of my clothes. Practically speaking I don’t want them to dirty up the others. Emotionally speaking, I don’t want to start World War Three in my own home. Thus, I’m establishing some co-habitation boundaries. I don’t want the clothes to be jealous, or sad, or upset; see I care about them too much. Rather, I decided for the next little while my two worlds – work and not working – will be separate.
This situation is helping me, too, gain some more real time empathy for others that may have a work uniform dictated for them. I think about medical workers, first responders, food service, custodians, and anyone else that have their 9-to-5 look established for them. It’s a bit of a get-up-and-wear-my-uniform and get on with the day type of thing. Don’t overthink it, just do it. Of course, I’d encourage all pick things that you like within the set uniform.
Perhaps you can choose a colour of scrubs or wear the trouser instead of a skirt.
One could always have more fun with the items not specified in the guidelines – be it shoes, undergarments, jewelry, or adding a personal piece like a scarf or hat – to make it more their own.
I take comfort, too, in knowing that uniformed people everywhere can hopefully have fun on their time off and wear what they really want.
That’s the thing, I think: wearing what you want within the zone you are in. I understand that if you wear coveralls for your job that you are restricted. You’re literally covered. But maybe you can find a way to express yourself with an item?
For me, for the next few months, it will be about a piece of jewelry or a splash of colour unseen. Something just for me.
I want to do this for me – and I encourage y’all to consider it too – because if I feel good, I’ll perform better. You can too. It’s science.
Oh, I’ve got to run. Time to head back to set.