If you had asked me two years ago if I would be wearing this jacket today, I would have grimaced and mumbled something about being “too casual,” or “not black enough.” And even though the essence of my style has changed since then, my mind still drew a question mark when I saw it on the hanger. But it intrigued me enough to try it on, so I did – what happened next should be obvious. The structured shoulders and loose hang spoke to me in a way that they may not have in a different phase of my life.
I look at my closet and realize that most of the pieces I own are light-years away from where I thought they’d be only a small time ago, and I wonder, why does this happen? Why does our style change so dramatically yet so steadfastly? And I know what you’re going to say: trends. I get it, trends influence everybody, even the consistent ones among us. But I think beyond that, what we’re looking to get out of our clothes changes.
For me, clothes aren’t just about how I look. I pick out a piece from my wardrobe and it doesn’t just tell me what color I’ll be wearing that day. A white frilly blouse peeks out among my hangers and it urges me to become the 70’s rock star I’ve always wanted to be. Suddenly, I’m thrown into a rebellious state and my beat up sneakers don’t look so ugly anymore, they look well worn in and beckon adventure. My sweet heeled loafers (shoes you’ve yet to see) call out to me to hop on a flight to Paris and spend the day reading French literature with a bottle of wine and a baguette on a park bench. My clothes lead me to lives I haven’t lived, and they only bring me that much closer to the woman I want to become: adventurous, brave, curious, and strong.
I’m sure, in ten years’ time, that the places my clothes take me won’t be backstage at a Rolling Stones concert or walking along the Seine River – they’ll transport me to other locations and lives that will bring me closer to my desired end state.
But for now, I’m going to keep wearing this jacket until I don’t quite feel like camping out in the African plains anymore.