1.14.2011

confessional

Confession: I have been intensely, disappointingly boring lately.
Well, I am marinating some Korean-esque pork and making yuzu crème brulée* at the moment, which I think is both interesting and delicious, but I'm thinking more specifically about the wardrobe.

The Stop Dressing Like An Undergrad project was spectacularly good for me, in that gave me a theme and a goal and such. I definitely failed at dressing like a grown-up on many occasions, but damned if I didn't keep trying. But of late, I realize that I'm in a clothing rut. I look boring. Or worse than boring, I look over-thought.

One of the things spurring this is the state of my closet. No, not a "I have nothing to weaaaaaaar" lament: I have plenty of clothes. Two closets full of clothes. The tragedy here is that only about one closet's worth of those clothes currently fits. I did a much-needed cleaning this week, and it was humbling. Probably 45% of the clothes I own currently fit me. That's not because I buy things in small sizes and say "oh, I'll wear that someday"- these are all clothes that have fit me well within the last three years. Clothes that I bought and loved and wore constantly, as they were flattering and made me feel good. And now most of those clothes cannot be zipped up or worn outside the house, and this is fucking sad.
(*hey, these two things are related!)

I set aside all the "this is far too small" stuff, but not too far aside. I want to see those pieces and remind myself how much I loved wearing that vintage dress with the panel skirt, and the wide-legged pinstripe trousers, and the high-waisted brocade skirt, and the low-backed dress from the 1930's.

I'd been ignoring this for too long, and I'd started reaching for the same four things in my closet nearly every day. Black pencil skirt, grey tights, grey v-neck sweater, black long cardigan; sometimes I'd mix it up and grab grey jeans, black boots, black v-neck sweater, and black long cardigan. And yes, that can look nice. But every goddamn day, D? Step it up. Make an effort. Stop looking boring. And then I'd panic and swing too far in the opposite direction in a desperate over-correction, and I'd find myself in a miniskirt, knee-highs, 5" heels, and a sweater. No one looks stylish in that ensemble, I promise you. Can one be twenty-eight and fall under "mutton dressed as lamb"? If so, that has been me.

And thank god that I was emailing A Lady about outfit choices and had to type out "miniskirt, knee-highs, Serious Heels" - seeing that in print made me go "oh, man, that's a pretty terrible idea". Thank god A Lady will raise an eyebrow (I assume she is doing this, and possibly giving me a very concerned look as she replies to my email) and remind me that there is no need to pull a Boobs Legsly and throw every single trick of attention-getting dressing into one outfit. "Soignée, dear", she says. "We are going for soignée here."

Admittedly, I am never going to achieve soignée. I am too prone to walking into doorframes - to cackling when I laugh - to mistaking a fancy sphere-shaped butter pat for a mint and popping it into my mouth in full view of others (yes, that happened) - to cursing uncontrollably whenever I am really excited about something - to ever be considered truly soignée. But you know what? Damned if I won't try. Let's avoid boring. Let's avoid over-thought.

Let's try to look Interesting and Soignée and Grown-Up. If I fail, then I fail. It happens. But it can happen less often, and happen for better reasons than laziness and desperation.

Today: baby steps.
Tie-neck blouse, vintage; Kiss of Death pendant, Culp Baubles; jeans, Jil Sander for Uniqlo;
bag, Topshop; suede heels, Steve Madden; bangle, Until There's A Cure; ring, Allumonde.

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