Monday, February 15, 2010
What Not (Interested) to Wear
“Childish…boring…what was I thinking…desperate…so not me….” I mumbled to myself as I chucked clothes through our narrow closet doorway, Mike’s forehead barely missing a cashmere blend sweater lined with what I now considered a hideous pattern.
“What in the world are you doing? Downsizing I hope?” he said with a half-hopeful, half-weary grin.
“Nothing works post-baby and with 30 literally right around the corner!” I squeal, knowing full well that this conversation could only be appropriately understood by a woman about to enter this predicament or had already been through it. In response, Mike crept away slowly and began to busy himself with the to-dos of the day, leaving me to my misery of what I was calling my closet. With a milestone birthday next week and the anticipation/stress of a big trip to San Francisco, this had been the way in our house lately.
Trying to be thankful for having any clothes at all, I forced a fake smile, then ended with a “harrumph” of surrender. Throwing on my Uggs and grabbing a handbag I too had already grown out of love for, I loaded up the fam and dragged them to the mall. Luckily, Mom was willing to tag along for reinforcement, never afraid to offer an opinion when it counts and having taste that is classic and mostly understanding of my desire for idiosyncrasies in my day-to-day wear. Our goal: a few outfits for my upcoming business trips. Dilemma: finding fit and balancing out our new culture of having moved to a casual environment, but business when traveling. Biggest dilemma: I didn’t know who I was anymore, or what I even liked.
I realized this as I glanced down while juggling baby and trying to stuff a few calories of Panera into my non-lipsticked mouth. Main accessory of the day: Baby Bjorn. Jeans: unwashed. Footwear: all about comfort. Hair: meh – I blow-dried it. Makeup: updated, thank goodness to Darcie and Gina. Skin: tired, dry and aging. Smile: still intact. And that’s what counts, I tell myself.
Armed with baby, a debit card and a vision to spice up my wardrobe and post-pregnancy life, we hit the mecca…Nordic’s. And score we did, leaving with a bright, turquoise jacket lined with white stitching and a sash, a few sassy but work appropriate shirts and even a cardigan that passed the test for boring with it’s diamond buttons and flowers placed just right on the left shoulder.
On the way home, my child’s precious hand knuckled tightly around my one finger, I thought about what it meant to reinvent one’s self. Why do we do it? Is it selfish? Or is it literally keeping up with your ever changing life and its many fluctuations? And isn’t it funny that as humans, many of us cycle through this at the same milestones, whether it be the birth of a child, return to work, age or coming into your own. And what are we really searching for when we are re-wardrobing, masking this as a way to recreate who we think we need to portray while we mix it with what we really want to be. And with a mind like mine – am I more of a nature girl that’s makeup free and comfortable in my fleece, boys’ jeans, meaningful jewelry and Converse? Or am I truer to the glamazon deep within me, addicted to shiny objects, the latest trends and the cuteness that tends to make life a bit harder but make you feel really fabulous.
But I say go ahead…reinvent the wheel. And avoid Stacy and what’s his name, unless it makes you smile and bring out the best in you.