DOWN THE MEMORY LANE
When I worked in an engineering office my closet was full of suits. Nice, coordinated, and… boring. I felt as the suit gave me a presence in a male dominated space; it was literally my "suit of armor".
Occasionally a young female architect came by our office. She dressed ”outrageously” (as defined by our conservative firm). She showed skin, wore clothes never found in Macy's and created a stir between my male colleagues with each visit. Interestingly, once I got to know her better, I found her to be the sweetest, shyest person and her provocative dressing was her suit of armor for the world.
I quit my job when kids came and gave the suits away. In time, we started renovating houses and sturdy denim became my uniform. I remember one day coming home drenched in construction dust, showering and quickly changing into a formal evening gown. How bizarre it felt to switch personalities by merely switching clothes.
Dressing for occupation or lifestyle makes decisions simple. But kids grow up, jobs come and go. If you can wear anything, what do you choose? You must have stood in front of full closet, thinking “what should I wear?” at least once. Or twice…
Getting dressed is maybe the simplest tool of self-discovery. It helps with the process of re-defining who I am, what I love. Each time we change our hairdo or try a new dress, don’t we re-invent ourselves in some manner? We are interesting creatures - probably never truly understood by others. Even more curious, we spend a lifetime trying to find ourselves – while we are the only ones holding the answer.
There are hundreds of guides of “What To Wear”, “How To Look The Best”. However, the question is: Who determines “the Best”? Which standards do we use? It can be confusing. I hear from our clients that when a daughter or a friend wants to borrow their outfit, that’s the best compliment. Naturally, so - we feel admired, relevant, young at heart. Yet, we strive so hard to fit within our culture or group, while quietly crave to express ourselves, differently from others. Which side is more important to you? No wrong or right here. The only thing that matters is that your message is yours. Unique, just like you. Minding fashion does not mean one is shallow. Clothing can be a tool of expression, learning, as well as being fun. How about looking in a mirror and saying “This is me. There is not a single thing wrong with me. I love my two ears, love my round belly. We have been together for a while and this body has been a great friend. Now, what style represents Me today?”
Not the imaginary “best Me”.Just a true "Me", the best I can express.
Marie Kondo wrote a fabulous little book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”, advising us to keep only the items in the closet that give us joy. That makes so much sense! Honestly, on a tough day, the main thing that gets me out of bed is having fun of choosing the outfit. The little TLC, a small gift of joy to myself.
BE YOUR OWN FRIEND
When we give up the right to decide what gives us joy, even to a fashion or health guru, we give up our birth right to know who we are. We name somebody else to be more qualified to tell us. Or we torture ourselves for every fault we can find. Why? We don’t tell a friend “you should be like..." but we do it to ourselves all the time. In a mirror. Stop. There are no rewards for that.
Today is a day to do what you want. To say, feel, wear what you want. The decision can start as easy as choosing the color of the belt! Allow yourself few extra minutes to play and not feel guilty. To feel the joy of playing. It's priceless.
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