Wednesday, March 27, 2013

What is the Value/Cost of a T-shirt?

Funny, true story: this past Sunday, I was relaxing at home when the plumber showed up.

I knew he was coming, and I had already been out, to breakfast and the grocery store, but when I arrived home after errands I changed into a worn t-shirt and flannel pj pants and socks to clean house, put away groceries, read the paper, and watch TV.

And by "worn," I mean shapeless and day-old, plus no support underneath. And by "flannel pj pants," I mean... you get it, same day-old.

The plumber showed up fifteen minutes early and caught me in that get-up... and I couldn't change out.

Then, I had to go out into the apartment courtyard to tell my neighbors on either side that the water was turned off--in pj flannels, sloppy old tshirt, and slippers--and chat with a third neighbor who wondered what was going on. Oh, and go back over to the neighbors once the water was turned back on. And I was embarrassed my neighbors saw me like that.

Much like this...

Do you see where I'm going with this?

Mostly, we think no one will notice. I think, I'll just run into the grocery store, grab the cheese and head back to the car. No one (I know) will see me.

The truth is lots of people see us, but more importantly we project how we feel about ourselves right out into public. It's okay if strangers see us like this... it's okay if people who know/like us see us like this... it's okay if we feel this way about ourselves. People will still like us/find us attractive/look beyond the surface because beauty is more than skin deep.

Part of my response to myself was simply a kind of slap upside the head: I knew he was coming and I knew I'd be embarrassed if anyone saw me in that sloppy outfit... but I put off changing. And I got caught. (Lazy.)

Part of my response to myself was to assess--for real--how embarrassed I was and how sloppy my at-home attire had become. I do tend to slip out of work gear to what I call "soft clothes," yoga pants or sweat pants, a t-shirt or chambray shirt, and barefeet with slippers at the ready. But, lately, it's been all about the flannel pjs and really worn t-shirt, more of a "nap/sleep" gear than a comfy "do work around the house" gear. And, after all, no one will see (judge) me.

Except myself.

While I don't want to wear formal clothes at home, I need to discard the shapeless, frayed, stained, torn and lifeless sweats, flannels, and t-shirts that have become a comfy staple. Why? Because they feel sloppy. They look sloppy. They project an attitude of carelessness and laziness I realize I take on when I wear them (see above). I have plenty of well-fitting, clean, attractive t-shirts: I am not against t-shirts as a category. I have good yoga pants and sweatpants: I can discard the pj bottoms that are five years old and feel so comfortable I do nothing in them but sleep or lounge or nap or procrastinate.

This is where clothes can affect my attitude about myself and how I spend my time. When I want to focus, I don't really want to find myself in a tatty, stretched-out t-shirt and pants duo, because I want to get to work. Being "too comfy" is different from being casual. I don't want to feel as if I project a "giving up" about my age, shape, attractiveness--which is exactly what I think those kind of clothes say. If I wouldn't wear them in front of people, why wear them for myself?

I feel another Goodwill bundle coming on. Or more cleaning rags.

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