Credit: Patricia Saxton
I overhead a conversation in a store today and it is a moment worth sharing. It went something like this: woman asks man what he thinks of the blouse in her hand – man says he doesn’t like it because he doesn’t like anything with birds (actually, it was a print with butterflies) – woman puts the blouse down and doesn’t try it on – because of what man says. Not a big deal you say, except that the woman looked sad – I think she really liked the blouse. We all ask others’ opinions from time to time. But this was more than that: a woman disregarding her own instincts when it comes to her clothing is a slippery slope. Because a woman should dress for herself (as should we all). Dressing is about confidence and letting the outside reflect what you feel on the inside. No one can tell us how we feel on the inside. Only we can do that.
A moment. An observation. And perhaps a conversation. Your thoughts?
My mother Claire, and me
This week I was reminded of something my mother taught me: when it comes to clothing, almost good enough is not good enough for you! I had purchased a turtleneck sweater (my favorite piece of clothing!) in a deep, lush eggplant purple. It was part lambswool and the color and feel were divine. But there was one thing wrong – it was a longer, tunic style. I don’t wear tunics. I tried to imagine how I could shorten it, speaking to friends and experts. What it came down to was that it wouldn’t look right after altering it and I would be left with a less-than-perfect sweater. I then tried to see myself in a tunic and style it in various ways. It became clear – I was putting too much thought and effort into this. The thrill was gone. I returned the sweater and exchanged it for a a gray-knit dress that was more ‘me.’
You should love what you own. Truly love it. When you are shopping for something new, make sure it is worthy of you. Make sure that it brings out the best in you. Make sure it is as special as the things you already own (which hopefully are worthy of you, too!). If not and if you don’t love it, then lose it! My mother was right.
Today is my birthday; I will be celebrating with my family and friends and I will think about the clothes I wear. Not because I care about the clothes (which I do) but because I care that I am presenting the best version of me to the world. Sure there is the inevitable ‘I am a year older and what am I doing with my life?’ question. But mostly, birthdays make me think about what it means to be the best version of myself. Since starting this blog three years ago I have been pondering the connection between the clothes we wear and how they make us feel about ourselves. The older I get the more I see that the outer covering is a direct reflection of the inner me. If I take time to give my daily wardrobe attention I am saying to myself that I matter and that I am worth the effort.
This is the outfit I am choosing to wear today – my birthday – this time of inner reflection.
Photo by Kim Naci; dress, Splendid