Thursday, November 15, 2018

Dressing Myself: Easier Than Ever

As mentioned yesterday, I believe in keeping the easy things easy. And if things aren't easy and they could be, I like to make them easy. For years I found it hard to dress myself. I'd try several things on and look in the mirror and be unable to decide. I had friends help me figure out things that worked well for me from an aesthetic point of view, but it still wasn't quite easy. I was shimmying into figure-shaping garments a little too often for my taste and some things that looked amazing on would not get worn because they weren't comfortable at all on their own, and were only bearable with the addition of a few layers of restrictive material between my body and the garments.

It took me awhile to realize that those body shapers were not okay with me. But they're not. It's not just that they're uncomfortable (and they certainly are), but it's not important to me to make myself into a certain shape to be able to wear clothes. In fact, it's important to me that I not alter my shape to fit some sort of body ideal for which certain garments are designed. I want to just wear the clothes. I want to wear them because I like them, they are functional for what I am doing, and because they bring me a little bit of joy. They also must be comfortable. Must.

After I got rid of the body shapers and the clothing that went with them, I began to really figure out what I wanted to wear and what made me feel good. It's taken me years, but at nearly forty-three years old I feel like dressing is truly easy. My wardrobe is next to the head of the bed on my side, and I can open it while still sitting in bed and grab what I need for the day. I know what goes together. I know what I want to add (almost always a scarf, unless it is unbearably hot), and I feel truly confident in my choices, whether what I put on is considered conventionally "flattering" or not. I don't think it gets much easier than this.

A long time ago, I wrote about my personal style, and it's largely unchanged - I mostly wear dresses and scarves, but I also will do jeans or navy trousers with a top. I've added a few fun things that I wouldn't have felt confident enough to wear before, but that make me smile quite a lot when I put them on. I now own the silver brogues shown above, as well as a rainbow space cat sweater. (Yes, it is just as awesome as it sounds.) Having what amounts to two "uniforms" that I adjust according to weather and other circumstances has made things easy. I decide if it's a dress day or a trouser day, and go from there. I've simplified footwear a lot, realizing that while I am not a capsule wardrobe kind of person, I do prefer to have fewer footwear choices which will go with most things that I own. When we went to the US, for the first time I had only one footwear choice along with me. It was fantastic, and - you probably guessed this - easy.

I'm sure that over time I will make more adjustments to my wardrobe. As life changes, what is easy changes, as does what is practical. Maybe someday I'll want to wear thing that are more complicated. For now, easy wins.

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