Thursday, August 29, 2013
The Thoughtful Dresser
They do once we realize that our clothes and accessories tell a story about ourselves. Each tiny detail sends out a coded message about our identity. Those who write about the language of clothes, like Linda Grant, believe that clothes are always talking to us, and we are always answering back. What we like in dress is often visceral and we immediately know if it's "us".
But is it shallow to care so much about clothes? I don't think so. I believe style and clothing have the power to soothe us and can cast us a lifeline on those days when we're uncertain of who we are. A spin in our closet reminds us, and dressing well and embellishing on one of those blues days can help us along until we are on higher ground. There's a reason why lipstick sales go way up when the economy takes a free fall.
This summer I became obsessed with wearing a scarf in my hair. You know the look: cheery patterned scarf holding hair back with long ties down one side. So chic...so feminine, but alas, I'm wearing my hair shorter and it's so silky itself, no scarf would stay on. After searching online, I discovered firm headbands wrapped in fabric with ends left loose and hanging long enough to get the look I was after. I bought a Pucci facsimile. Then I saw that Anthropology had a version in a petrol blue Liberty print. In a campy boutique by the shore, I found a white one with handpainted violets strewn all over it. Suddenly, they were everywhere. All different. All me. And they made me happy.
Dressing well or thoughtfully tells the world you won't be kept down. That each morning, no matter what anybody says, you and only you know what your place will be. To love clothes is to embrace life and its kaleidoscope of variety. Just think of my headband scarves.