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The art of getting dressed.

July 28, 2010
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I am a worrier, an over-thinker, an analyser. Even the simplest of tasks are dissected and deelpy considered. To put it simply, I think too much.And I often wonder if other people think as much as I do. Here goes.

What goes into your decision over what you wear each day? Do you just throw on the nearest thing to you (a decision in itself), or does it depend on your mood? Is it an impulsive choice made as you hop about trying to put on your tights while brushing your teeth and keeping your eye on the breakfast news, or is it all carefully laid out on your bed the night before and hung up ready for morning? Does it depend on your mood, or something more than that? Does it not feel like a decision at all? Do you convince yourself that you don’t care and that you’re far superior to the shallowness of people who think their clothes matter, and does your choice of clothes, as hard as you try, reflect that? Do you think your clothes show your non-conformism, while conforming in the same way that everyone else does?

This… ‘stuff’? Oh… ok. I see, you think this has nothing to do with you. You go to your closet and you select out, oh I don’t know, that lumpy blue sweater, for instance, because you’re trying to tell the world that you take yourself too seriously to care about what you put on your back. But what you don’t know is that that sweater is not just blue, it’s not turquoise, it’s not lapis, it’s actually cerulean. You’re also blithely unaware of the fact that in 2002, Oscar De La Renta did a collection of cerulean gowns. And then I think it was Yves St Laurent, wasn’t it, who showed cerulean military jackets? And then cerulean quickly showed up in the collections of 8 different designers. Then it filtered down through the department stores and then trickled on down into some tragic casual corner where you, no doubt, fished it out of some clearance bin. However, that blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs and so it’s sort of comical how you think that you’ve made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry when, in fact, you’re wearing the sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room. From a pile of stuff.

– The Devil Wears Prada

For me, numerous factors go into my daily decision of what to wear. What I have planned for the day is a major one; am I going to be out and about? Who am I seeing? Will I have time to take photos of my outfit for my blog? If I don’t have time and I have no-one to impress, I often try to avoid what I consider “wasting” an outfit. Often, if I have something new or recently rediscovered I’m desperate to incorporate it into an outfit as soon as possible. I’m somewhere between planning the night before and haphazard. I’ll often have the elements of the outfit decided but leave the rest to spontaneity.

I’m quite an organized person. I like lists, I like order, I like routine. I know my clothes. I know what goes together, thanks to costant lists of outfits for the days I feel uninspired. I go to sleep thinking about possible outfits for the morning, planning things together in my head which don’t always work in reality. When I buy soemthing new I have to ensure it will slot easily into my wardrobe.

Some days I like to play dress up. School girl is a favourite. Geek is another. Army chic is also fun. Girly girl. Edgy chick. Laid back prepster. Business woman. Clothes become fun as a child, becoming different people. Clothes are like theatre. I still embrace that. It keeps life fun. It keeps clothes interesting.

Physical factors are also detrimental. Surprisingly though, I never look out of the window in a decision over what to wear. The weather is never an issue. The colour of my nails, though, my makeup, whether my hair is clean, whether I’m naturally pale or golden from a bottle, whether my glasses are giving me a welcome break from my contact lenses, is. My look, my personal style, is about looking put together. If the outfit I want to wear requires a jacket and it’s too warm to cover my arms, the outfit will not be selected. If it requires shoes that are inappropriate for the day in hand, the outfit comes to a similar fate.

Inspiration plays a big part. If something I’ve seen has paricularly inspired me, I will probably go to sleep giddy with the excitement of trying it for myself. Sometimes I’ve forgotten by morning, too fatigued when the throes of inspiration arrive to write down my ideas. Other times the idea seem much less appealing at a sleepy 6am.

It also depends on how much time I have to decide. Too little time and I feel pressured. Too much time and the choice over-whelms me and I get bored and frustrated.

I feel the urge to wear things in new ways, often requiring new items to be added to my wardrobe. I constantly strive to get my money’s worth, price-per-wear. I try to wear things in new ways, inspired by new things. It doesn’t always work, and sometimes pipe dreams turn into 4 outfit choices before breakfast, usually ending with me settling on something that feels not-quite-perfect or settling into something I know and trust.

Perfection is key. Or close to. Bags, shoes, jewellery must all match. I’ve been known to get upset over the slightest difference between a peachy-nude and a pinky-nude. Or a slightly mismatched bag.

Some people say I think too much.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. August 2, 2010 23:35

    I definately don’t think that you think way too much and its probably because the same processes go thru my mind on most days when it comes to what to wear. The only difference is that during the summer the weather almost always dictates what I will wear. I will be freezing in the winter and refuse a jacket for fear of covering some integral part of my outfit that took me a whole 2 days to figure out but during the summer I wish I could just walk around everywhere in nothing but a bathing suit and call it a day…..especially when its extremely humid. My boyfriend has black leather seats in a black car so no outfit stays cute for long when I have to sit in it……..

    Otherwise love the post!!!

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