Since the second grade I've approached dressing thematically. I would wake up and think "today I want to be pretty" and put on my twirliest dress, with a slip, tights, matching hair accoutrement and let's not forget the clicking shoes! (Did anyone else beg Mom for shoes that made the loudest click-clack?) Then the next day would be totally different, perhaps "funky." I would conjure my inner Punky Brewster and bust out the acid wash skit, blue shirt & yellow suspenders. I LOVE that my mom supplied me with such ensembles. I could always tell the 'new outfit' shaped boxes under the Christmas tree and ignored the groans and eye rolls of my family as I absconded to try on outfit number 4. What a lucky, lucky girl I was! Stretch pants, vests, feather hair clips, tights, hot pink spandex, jeans patched with leather... these clothes would make today's hipster swoon, I swear.
Obviously, the outer shell has been a concern my entire life. On numerous occasions, my little eight or nine year old mind even considered making a chart to keep from wearing the same outfit more than once a month. I often wonder if this kind of vanity is a weakness and grapple with whether to admit that or not. It can often take me a really long time to get dressed. It's SO important and what if I just don't know what to wear that day!? I wish I could roll out of bed and put on the first shirt I touch... but I just can't. We're taught that it's the inner beauty that counts, which I get and am cool with, but that's not my problem. I can wear messy clothes with holes that are baggy, unflattering, mis-matching, what have you... I just have to decide to and make a "look" out of it. (I'm somewhat comforted by the fact that there are people, stylists, who do this as a career!) It's not like I'm some high fashion slave who needs the next BIG thing. I know my worth as a human being has nothing to do with what I decide to wear, I just need to feel like myself.
Some days this is easier said than done, depending on how much breakfast I've had ( I'm a terrible dresser when I'm hungry) and what my closet is filled with. If I haven't done laundry... it's gets harder. I start to pull out rarely worn items, and then feel weird all day.
One of my resolutions for this new year is to get rid of clothes that don't fit, don't feel right, or aren't unique enough. Life is too short to wear a boring collar, I think, for me at least. I'm so excited for this one, I can't even wait for 2009 to start! The other day I tossed some undies that were too small, then later, a pair that was too big . From now on, if some article of clothing bugs me... I'm getting rid of it or making it better somehow.
Inspired by my friend Cal's crochet tutorials and mission to wear something handmade everyday, I decided to do my first fix up job. Now, it's just and old JCrew 'normal' sweater I've had it since I moved to NY in 2003. Despite it's being super warm and functional, it's not really that cute. Yet, I still find myself wearing it again and again all winter and it never feels quite right.