Monday, April 2, 2012

Clothes Make the (Wo)man

If you know me or my dearly beloved at all, you know we don't really care about clothes. Steve wears shorts year round (except at work where they frown on that kind of thing), and my favorite shirt is a flowered, multi-colored affair that I've had for almost 20 years.

Steve probably won't change much. I, however, want to revamp my thinking. I just finished reading The Thoughtful Dresser: The Art of Adornment, the Pleasures of Shopping and Why Clothes Matter by Linda Grant. It got me thinking about how I am presenting myself. It wasn't a "how to" book on fashion. It was a discussion about what fashion means to us, how it makes us feel, how history has changed it, and how a really pretty pair of shoes can get us through a tough time. Ms Grant shared her story and also that of Catherine Hill, a holocaust survivor whose love of fashion helped her survive Auschwitz and life afterward. Neither Ms Hill nor Ms Grant saw shopping as the chore I've thought it to be. As with most things, I need to lighten up and have more fun.

I'm not going to turn into some militant fashionista. Steve doesn't need to worry about me draining the bank account to support my clothes-horsiness. In fact, I'm going to only buy stuff that reflects me (or at least, my vision of me). I'm not going to buy something just because it's cheap or practical or pink. This weight loss journey I've been on since December provides the perfect opportunity to test my new ideas. I've already gone down a size and had to buy a few things. So far so good. Now if I can just keep my mutton self from dressing like a lamb to use one of Ms Grant's metaphors, I'll be golden.