New Year’s Day. Reviewing my closet this morning, I was wondering what resolutions to make, relative to changing my clothes; after all, what’s in my closet changes of its own volition, at least a little, almost constantly. Just in the past week or so, I’ve had to let go of a favorite pair of red suede T-strap shoes that I’ve had for at least 10 years, decided an equally ancient sweater was just not worth any more mending, and that a favorite sequinned tank top was (sigh) just too small. I wonder: with a wardrobe in more or less continual evolution, is it worth making resolutions today that may just have to be amended tomorrow?
Actually, yes. When I was working on my pilot’s license, one of my instructors once said to me, “Flying is a series of small corrections.” I believe I could as accurately say, “Dressing well requires a series of small corrections.” And I’m not talking about responding to fickle fashion trends; I mean adjusting to the many changes in our lives that, if we are thinking in a conscious way about how we dress, should be reflected in our clothing choices. Here are a few examples of some common changes (yes, from my own experience): weight fluctuation, lifestyle changes, different jobs, and just getting older.
How has my wardrobe been impacted?
• Weight fluctuation means I have to work a bit harder at finding (and making) clothes that really fit me properly— nothing makes me more conscious of a few extra pounds than garments that are uncomfortable, but I also refuse to dress in shapeless clothing.
• Lifestyle changes: I got obsessed with ballroom dancing a few years ago. I started planning outfits based on what would require the fewest changes to be dance- ready. To that end, I made myself several lightweight, floaty overskirts that could be worn over anything from dresses to jeans; for me, I just felt, you know, more like a dancer in a swirly skirt (an important note on the psychology of clothing).
• I’ve worked in many different capacities, from office manager to running my own retail store, each of which had its own clothing requirements; even today, working mostly from home, I find it necessary (or at least helpful) to dress professionally in order to get myself in work mode.
• Getting older, ah, something we all have to deal with. The major concession I feel I should make is to acknowledge that, even if I can still do certain looks justice, they just might not be appropriate on a woman of a certain age. And since I’ve stopped (well, more or less) resisting this idea, I’ve found a surprising pleasure in the challenge of continuing to dress like me (as opposed to a conventional notion of what someone “my age” should wear), but also as someone who fully embraces her age. Which is 51.
The other major adjustment that’s required is to your own changing taste. I used to make a point of wearing dresses all the time (I took pride in not even owning a pair of jeans), thinking, I admit, that I would stand out that way. These days, with much more self-confidence (not to mention around 30 more years of life/dressing experience), I don’t make rigid rules like this for myself any more, with one exception: whether I’m going out, working at home, taking a walk, I must always dress in a way that makes me feel my best.
And that’s one resolution that should last me from today through all of 2013. At least.
January 1, 2013 at 6:20 pm
I have the same problem – I can’t get motivated to work at home until I get dressed for “work!”
January 2, 2013 at 12:38 am
I like the idea of having clothes closet resolutions – I now have it on my “to do” list – thanks.
January 2, 2013 at 5:36 pm
You’re a brave woman, Lindy. Thank you, though. Wishing you a 2013 filled with abundance and happiness. ~Paul
January 2, 2013 at 5:40 pm
Okay, Lindy, don’t how this happened, but the above reply was suppose to be attached to your Dec 24 Jib Jab post. Cheers. 🙂
January 3, 2013 at 10:53 am
Yes, I figured that out. ; ) JibJabs are so fun!
January 3, 2013 at 10:52 am
Well, laughing at myself a little (okay, a lot) seems like a good way to start a new year! I hope your 2013 is even more amazing than 2012, Paul! — Lindy
January 2, 2013 at 10:11 pm
I love your comment on “small corrections”. I think good wardrobes do evolve that way: sometimes the perfect things aren’t available, so we have to find pieces one at a time, as we come across them. Few of us routinely, if ever, build a wardrobe from scratch, with the challenge and luxury of planning and purchasing everything at once. Perhaps it’s more fun seeing the evolution inside the closet!
January 3, 2013 at 11:00 am
Yes, I’m very much a piece-at-a-time girl. I don’t really think in terms of outfits; I just keep picking things up (or making them) just because I love them, and lo! They almost always work with things I already have. (This is a wonderful side effect of being more and more true to myself as time goes on.) I’ve wondered what it would be like to completely start a wardrobe from scratch; even if I did this, though, I would still find myself adding a piece here, a piece there… until I’m at the same place I am today— with a unique, complex, ever-evolving collection of clothes!
January 4, 2013 at 3:04 am
Happy new year 🙂 I hope you keep looking and feeling your best in 2013 ^_^
January 5, 2013 at 12:53 am
I did ballroom dancing too, so understand that ‘look’ !
January 6, 2013 at 11:37 am
I’ve heard that ballroom dancing is popular in certain parts of France; is that true where you live? Do you still dance?