Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Express Checkout Experiment and Desire

Let's face it, my hope is that I will walk into my closet and a fabulous, flattering outfit will appear. Every day. Like magic...


Unfortunately, that doesn't happen.

Don't get me wrong: I am happier than a year ago, now that I've reduced my wardrobe to 20 workable pieces and rediscovered the power of my many accessories and shoes... but "fabulosity" is still out of sight on an everyday basis.

First, when a week has me stressed -- like this one -- I either forget to prepare tomorrow's outfit the night before or discover a key element is missing... like the dress I forgot to pick up from the dry cleaner, which was the basis of the day's outfit. Oops. Or little things like ironing my cotton shirts is pushed aside too many times to eliminate the wrinkles.

Second, the weather becomes unpredictable and the need for incresing or decreasing layers becomes paramount. The question of which coat/scarf/gloves adds another series of choices... too many for the rushed morning yesterday...

Where I left my wallet and campus i.d. home and couldn't get into the parking lot. Or buy lunch.

Third, summed up by two words: body issues. Yes, I want clothing that magically makes me look like Charlize Theron when I put it on. Long-legged, tall, curvy yet slim.


But in my fantasy brain where mermaids ride unicorns and pixies are best friends with dragons and I am married to Johnny Depp or Tom Brady, these things COULD happen. And at 7:30 am in the morning, my fantasy brain is in four-wheel drive mode.

Diversion: when I was in my 20s I had a friend who lost about 70 lbs. She'd been heavy all her life, and now she wasn't: certainly, things were going to happen differently, right? (Like marrying Johhny Depp or Tom Brady! Like a fabulous job offer out of the blue! Like people taking her seriously!) Wrong! She did radically change her physical appearance and her health by losing all that weight, but she didn't change the inner person, who still thought of herself as unattractive and uninteresting. After the first weeks of everyone commenting on the change and flattering her, life went on: more or less unchanged. No Depp, no new job, no long-term attitude shift from others. In turn, she fell back into comfortable, bad habits and regained 30 pounds, she went back to her old (now baggy) clothing, she stopped trying new things.

The point of my story is this: just because I focused my wardrobe, just because I am paying attention to scarves and shoes and jewelry again, doesn't mean my clothing is going to solve my other, non-wardrobe problems. Doesn't mean that I will end up married to Johnny Depp or Tom Brady (neither of whom I know personally, by the way, just in case you're thinking of starting a rumor), or having a radiant love affair with anyone else, either.  Or make up for a late start in the morning, or being stressed, or just not planning. Those days, I am going to end up in boots, jeans, and a turtleneck from Old Navy. With my everyday rings and earrings, and nothing else. My wardrobe is important to me, but it is an external thing that is meant to enhance the total "me," not substitute for it.

If I want my clothes to make me "feel" like Charlize Theron, I need to exercise more and move my figure somewhat closer to hers (without the long legs). If I want to have my clothes make me feel more "fabulous" every day, I need to get rid of anything that doesn't, attend to those pieces that do, pick up my dry cleaning, iron the shirts, and define "fabulous" for me, not Charlize.

And by the way, there's nothing wrong with wearing jeans, boots, and an Old Navy turtleneck occasionally... thank goodness I work in a place where I can dress like that sometimes, but not everyday.

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