Showing up

I’m wearing an outfit today. I normally just wear clothes, but today I braved wearing an outfit: tight black pants with boots, a black belt cinching up a purple linen top (that only makes me look sliiightly pregnant but totally makes up for it in style), and a cardigan. The outfit was all inspired by this belt, which I bought yesterday in hopes of jazzing up all kinds of previously blasé tops.

Usually getting dressed for me entails grabbing a generic sweater and pants from my piles of generic sweaters and pants – all of which mix and match because I’m just practical to a fault like that. Then I’ll move on over to the bathroom to apply my 2-minute face, brush through my hair, and put on one of three generic pairs of earrings that also work with everything. Done and done.

It works but it’s all pretty yawn-inducing, especially considering that I do actually own some nicer clothes and a rather ridiculously large collection of fun jewelry. Unfortunately they are all off-limits for daily use.

You see my clothes exist in two strict categories: regular wear and ‘fancy’ wear. Immediately upon purchasing an item of clothing, I mentally file it under one or the other category and from that day forth, never shall it cross over.

The problem is that my mind is simple and has trouble breaking out of patterns, so my categorizing algorithm is not very advanced: nearly all dresses and skirts automatically get the fancy label. Anything with a bit of a sheen or sparkle – fancy. Requiring specialized shoes of any kind? Oh, you better believe that’s fancy.

As you can imagine, my ‘fancy’ collection encompasses an undeservedly large array of clothes. Clothes that are now completely written off from every day wear because they are sacred and my ordinary working life is just not worthy of them. They need an occasion. And since I’m a contentedly married homebody, and kind of a cheap-ass, I go out out like once a month. In a good month. All my nice clothes are basically just closet decoration at this point.

I do aspire to have some style beyond generic sweaters and pants. I like to believe that my slowly cultivated (and still small) collection of nicer clothes is the real me and the daily stuff, well it doesn’t really count, it’s just there to bridge the gap. It’s the necessary and practical hold over.

I’m realizing this is probably not a healthy attitude to have. I’m basically trying to pretend that the daily grind is just a small aspect of my life and therefore not worth dressing up for. Not really worth completely showing up for. One of the hardest parts about adulthood for me has been realizing that the daily grind IS my life. I’m done waiting to graduate, waiting to have a real job, waiting to get married. I’m here now. THIS is it.

Moral of the story: adulthood is depressing, and therefore you need pretty clothes and accessories to distract yourself.

Or umm… maybe that life is short and it’s worth showing up in mind, body and clothing for all of it.

Either way, I’m going to take some baby steps toward loosening my strict labelling system and letting my nice clothes come out to play a little more often.

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Posted on April 27, 2011, in Life and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. I am also style challenged and was about to write a similar post but didn’t. Similar post was going to start with the phrase, “If the two year old you care for on a daily basis doesn’t recognize you because you’re wearing a skirt you might have a problem with fashion.”

    In any case — you look lovely! And not pregnant! Hooray for pretty clothes! :)

  2. Success! You look great, and I need me a belt like that.

  3. I love the belt. I have been thinking of buying a few to highlight the belly I am growing.

  4. I can totally relate! Newly married, closer-to-30-than-25 me still feels like a kid trying on adult clothes when I wear ‘nice’ stuff to work, denial of the aging process maybe, he he! Would love to be one of those funky, ‘together’ looking dressers – now, where to find the cash for a new wardrobe, hhmm?!

    • yes that is a problem… I’m happy that my office is at least pretty casual, so I can just take baby steps toward dressing better but fall back on comfy sweaters when I get lazy/run our of money.

  5. Oooh that’s adorable!

    I have the exact same feelings toward fashion. Sigh.

    • I always figured that was allowed when you’re a student… then I stopped being a student and it followed me. Guess it was just me all along…

  6. I like this:

    “I like to believe that my slowly cultivated (and still small) collection of nicer clothes is the real me and the daily stuff, well it doesn’t really count, it’s just there to bridge the gap. It’s the necessary and practical hold over.

    I’m realizing this is probably not a healthy attitude to have. I’m basically trying to pretend that the daily grind is just a small aspect of my life and therefore not worth dressing up for. Not really worth completely showing up for. One of the hardest parts about adulthood for me has been realizing that the daily grind IS my life. I’m done waiting to graduate, waiting to have a real job, waiting to get married. I’m here now. THIS is it.”

    My husband is really good about enjoying stuff now, while I tend to save for the future. But….he is rubbing off on me, and I am getting better about using “the good stuff” and pretty things more in my daily life. Because it is our real life…this is our chance.

  7. that belt clearly negates all preggo-belly-ness. (if there ever WAS any, which i’m not inclined to believe)

    every day is worth dressing up for.

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