A t-shirt and jeans is pretty much my favorite way to dress. And I am always on the lookout for fresh new t-shirts to add to my repertoire. So today when I found myself in the dressing room with three tees I was hopeful that I would find a new favorite. There was a simple black v-neck (a classic and always a go-to for me), an off-pink (because I love a little pink!) and a greenish-grey with a red strawberry front and center. After trying them all, the one with the most potential was the strawberry tee … but I wasn’t sure if the background color was good for me. I don’t often ask for an outside opinion but I was on the fence and I peeked out of my dressing room to find a mother and daughter team trying on dresses – so I gave it a try and asked their opinions – about the color. I asked if they knew what the color was – blue, green, grey? And then I asked them if the color washed me out. I could tell that the mother wasn’t sure what I was talking about and the daughter looked at me for a moment before telling me that the color was more of a blue-grey. Then she said, ‘it’s a bit Junior, with the strawberry on the front.’ Hmmm. That was unexpected. A bit Junior? Meaning more specifically …. it’s a bit Junior for you! I thanked them (for what – the insult?) and snuck back into my dressing room, took off the tee, replaced it with my white v-neck tee, and promptly left.
This is the thing about asking opinions; you may not always like what you hear. I thought I was asking about a color choice and what I got in return was a bit of a put-down disguised as an opinion. It started to really upset me and made me question my wardrobe – do I tend to dress Junior? I went through all of my outfits in my head, one by one, and asked myself if they were too young for me. It was worrisome, I will not sugar-coat it. I picked apart dresses and skirts that were above the knee, sleeveless tops that exposed my arms, cropped sweaters that hit just at the pant, and pants where the waist was a bit on the low side. But in the process I realized something; I like my clothes. I have gotten to a place where I make fewer mistakes, and when I do make a mistake, I take it back right away. The things in my wardrobe are my things – they belong with me and I belong with them. We are a match.
I wouldn’t have bought the strawberry tee in the end; not because it was ‘Junior’ but because the color wasn’t right for me. Deep down, I knew that. I just hadn’t trusted my instincts. This experience left me with a truth: I don’t need to ask someone else what I already know for myself. Next time, I hope I won’t ask and trust that I will have more self-confidence in the dressing room. Because the only opinion that matters is my own. Please remember that, too!
Photo by Alexandra