Monday, October 12, 2009

Clothes As A Reinvention

Last week I had two occasions on which I needed to wear business appropriate attire. The
More Magazine Reinvention Convention and the 85 Broads breakfast. I never worry about what I am going to wear for such events. These days I have a closet full of business suits and office appropriate dresses that hardly get worn.

Always being a bit of a fashionista I never minded getting dressed for the office. It was just another role to preen for, in the way I wore yoga pants to the gym or a bathing suit to the beach. I prided myself on accessorizing the suit so it didn't look too stodgy or finding the exact dress that made me feel like a girl without making me look like I was going to the bar to pick up a guy. I would find the right shoes, good looking without pain and the most comfortable stockings to get through a day. I chose fabrics that would hold up on long plane rides. I had it all down to a science. In the right outfit, I felt like I could face any challenge, close any deal.

What hit me last week, was how utterly confined I felt. Even though I chose my most comfortable dress for the More event, I could not wait to get out of my high black suede boots. I looked around the 85 Broads breakfast and thought only how glad I was I did not have to dress like this every day anymore. Not for one moment did I see someone wearing something that I thought might be fun to have. It was almost as if I could not breathe. As if I was trying to squeeze my new self into an old image.

I felt it again as I went through my closet this weekend, swapping the summer clothes for the winter. Each sweater and each jacket looked like it belonged to someone whose life I no longer recognized. As my hands rested on each suit, I thought about sending them all to Good Will. But I didn't. I couldn't. Not just yet. Instead, I selected the jackets that might look a bit different with my jeans or leggings and boots and the skirts that might look different with a sexy t-shirt and shoved the rest to the back of the storage closet.

I'm not ready to burn them all. Not just yet. My life is still somewhere in between Corporate America and that of a Writer/Entrepreneur. I may never be able to. The new life may just wind up being some sort of a hybrid, in which that jacket that used to look so good with the matching pants now looks better with jeans.

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