Dressing Yourself

I’ve been picking out my own clothes since I started going to a babysitters, and to be honest I don’t remember which clothes I used to choose per say but I do remember the action of choosing and the freedom and happiness that came from it. Some Christmases I had to wear matching outfits to my younger sister but I never was forced to wear jeans and a shirt if I wanted to wear a dress and tights, it was just a part of my little coming of a person to dress myself, and with this responsibility came knowing what I liked to wear.

I still don’t really know what I like to wear, it’s been like…twenty years of me opening drawers and closets and pulling out outfits upon pieces upon undershirts and belts, to find that I’m not really sure what I like to wear.

So when it comes to hanging out or working from home, which has been my routine lately, I’ve stuck to a pair of leggings or a dress and a cosy sweater that isn’t lumpy but still cosy. If I’m going out with friends its probably a dress (with tights) or leggings with a nicer shirt, and if it’s a date then a bit fancier sometimes or not, really it all depends on how I’m feeling.

This theory, however, goes right out the window when I need to go out to a bar, or to a party, or a family gathering or on a first date or interview or something where I have this predetermined notion that I will be judged while I am out.

I then pile on makeup that I bought and it was expensive so I save for those special occasions, and those dresses that are a bit too fancy to wear elsewhere, and go with that. Sometimes I come a bit too overdressed, sometimes its perfect, and sometimes they just expect it.

“They” referring to my family and friends. Today for example was my dad’s side of the family’s Christmas celebration at my aunt’s house, and ever since I cared what I’ve looked like I have dressed up a little to see this family. This means putting an outfit and makeup together and then acting like it is a normal thing. It isn’t. So today, in a beige cropped knit shirt and a black skirt with red lipstick I galavanted away to my aunt’s. I had a bow in my hair, it is festive! I kept telling myself this in the car. Do I like wearing bows? I feel like every single day is an adventure into finding out what I actually don’t like to wear…

And for once no one made a comment about it being too fancy or not, it seemed to maybe be expected, but more that I’m coming to an age where if I so choose to wear a skirt and a casual top that looks put together but not over the top no one is going to comment on the bold lipstick or the accented bow. It seems that with age our looks are judged rarely to our faces, and for that I am grateful, because I just forget that it happens at all.

I came home stuffed (thanks to the turkey, and pie…) and tired, and went to my room to put pj’s on. For some reason I didn’t want to take my skirt off, because I finally felt comfortable after coming home from a family gathering. I had dressed RIGHT. And that feels so good, let me tell you.

So what have I learned today? That “dressing yourself” is a notion that we all have to take into consideration as a responsibility for ourselves. I talk about style, and knowing that fashion is a part of our lives regardless if you accept/acknowledge in yours or not, but the act of physicall dressing yourself and choosing your clothing is an action that has to fit right for you, and no one else. The sales lay isn’t going to be putting on those size-too-small jeans at six am before school, so if you don’t like wearing them…don’t buy them.

Am I talking into the wind here? Probably. Do I care? No, because today was a cool day. Feeling comfortable in your own skin is a task in itself, let alone feeling comfortable in your own clothes, so choose wisely, and always remember that you’re pretty damn amazing no matter what you wear.

It’s the smile you wear that counts. I’ll stop the cheese now.


xx Jess


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