Thursday, March 8, 2012

Express Checkout Experiment, Lately

In the last few weeks the E.C.E. has been working great, which takes one more thing off my "to do" list everyday. And you know that makes me happy.

How did we get here? Let's review.
  • I spent several months cleaning out items in my closet I would never wear again or, in some cases, ever.
  • I reviewed the remainder to select first 15, then an additional 5 pieces for the daily round
  • I spent time weekly making lists of outfits per day, working the 20 pieces
  • I deleted the few things that weren't working and replaced them with better
  • I focused on accessories like shoes, scarves, and jewelry to add interest
The result is that I feel as if I look better, daily, and in less time.

And I mean, I really feel better--without exercising or likker or spending money. Just time and thought.

Why bother? What do clothes and shoes really mean in the scheme of things? So many people, men and women, think clothing, fashion, and style are foolish, superficial, time-wasting, and petty. That clothes are just something to cover our skin against weather, embarrassment, and, well, nakedness. Of spirit, not flesh.

Choosing what to wear is a skill and an art. Like all human skills and arts, you can ignore it. Dressing yourself is self-expression--even if your self-expression signals your complete conformity to the pages of Vogue. It is advertising: what and who you think you are, what and who you really are, what you want from other people. That might be respect, love, authority, invisibility, recognition.

Like everything, you can be unconscious about what you do, or conscious of your message, self, and the world.

Here's where I am. I don't want to look matronly, middle-aged, boring, like everyone else. I don't want to look like a teenager, ridiculously young, sloppy, or like I don't care about how I look. I don't want to spend what I consider to be ridiculous amounts of money on trendy clothes, or clothes in general: been there, done that, threw out the $59 t-shirt.

I do want to look attractive, elegant, grown-up, classic, clean, original. Like I give a damn about my job, my life, and my bank account. Like knowing me would be interesting, working with me would be exciting, talking to me would be stimulating, and we would laugh a lot at new and old jokes. Kind of a tall order, but that's what aspiration is for, right?

Let's be honest: people judge us by our appearance all the time. Often, they find out we're not all that we appear, or maybe more, but rarely "just" what they see. We judge ourselves and then advertise it: I'm a casual person, I'm rich, I'm sexy, I'm powerful, I can't be bothered with surface details, I'm a rocker dude. We say it out loud: "Diva" "Juicy" "I'm with Stupid" "The Ramones." If we have no better ideas, we imitate: Paris Hilton, Jennifer Aniston, Mad Men, Ashton Kutcher.

Society says we can't go naked, so we've got to wear something. Like every other part of our lives, I think it is better to be conscious and free, than uninvolved and blissful.

But then I'm an Aquarius.

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