Monday, Jan. 24, 2005 | 10:41 a.m.
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Coming Out of the Closet
I am bursting out of the fashion-challenged closet. I can't accessorize to save my life and I have these wicked vows I made about never wearing certain items (anything remotely resembling a bell bottom, for example). I don't even wear make-up most of the time. When I do, friends and family stare. I have no recognizable sense of style, and my jewelry huddles in a jumble carelessly tossed in a drawer. I cringe whenever I watch "What Not to Wear" because I know I am guilty, guilty, guilty.
How did this happen? Every time I look at my closet I ask the same question. It's partially because I'm a slave to comfort. There's no worse feeling, for me, than being uncomfortably clothed -- tugging here, pulling there, contorting to make sure this roll or that roll doesn't show. I love blue jeans and t-shirts. I drool over shoes that let my feet retain their natural form. I love Doc Marten boots and athletic shoes -- good ones, not the cheap ones from Payless. My more fashionably inclined friends sigh when they see me, though they are kind enough to do it inwardly. When I was a teenager, I was rabid about wearing the right clothes. Clothes, I knew, make a statement, and I had to be sure I was making the right statement. I still have some statement clothes in my closet, purchased during those times when I have a fashion deja vu and decide to buy something that "says something" about me. The problem is, the something said is, "I'm confused!" or "I'm stuck!" or "I'm too lazy to fuss with clothes!"
Even back in the day, I was no good at accessorizing, so I made up for it by not falling into a make-up rut. I had an intentional practice of not wearing my make-up in exactly the same way within one week. When the make-up fell to the wayside, due to the evil (liberating?) influence of the bookstores I worked in, I lost my one way of accenting my clothes, such as they were.
Weight matters too -- the clothing I'm comfortable in has changed considerably as the pounds have packed on. There are clothes in my closet that hang, waiting for the dissolution of 15 more pounds. Oddly enough, my reward for reaching my goal weight involves an article of clothing, but it's another statement... in the meantime, I mostly feel clothes are for keeping myself from getting kicked out of the occasional store or restaurant I wander into.
So anyway, I have many fashion-conscious friends and I read all these great journals written by people who are much more couth than I when it comes to getting dressed and I thought it was time to 'fess up. I read your magazines and advice books and still, I do not understand. I grovel at your feet -- I am not worthy!
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