Road to Uniformity
When did I become the girl in Ferragamo flats?
Something interesting I’ve noticed recently is that the way in which I get dressed, and more specifically the variables that force its evolution, have become increasingly less interesting. Where I used to sartorially compensate for summer heat and my obvious reluctance to layer like it’s January in bangles, necklaces, odd footwear and ill-fit shorts, I now find myself slipping into a far-easier-on-the-eye, more comfortable uniform that speaks to this curious sense of urgency to delayer, de-print, de-stack and I guess, to shut up.
I used to feel like I was something of a chameleon. I could have been the most committed rider on an-aerobics-instructors-only train in, say, chartreuse green high-waist shorts and white sneakers one morning, while committing myself as the life of the party in a red, pink, green and yellow fluffy mini dress with three layers of denim, plaid and leather over it that same afternoon.
Now I just find myself crawling into a cocoon of uniformity and refusing to allow said cocoon to butterfly. I’m dressing in a more streamlined manner that all too often includes the above photographed black t-shirt and denim cut offs–but only ever when paired with a selection of ballet flats that I won’t even deign to describe how passionately I thought I hated just a year ago. Or worse–a combination of highly chic, Lauren Hutton-esque silk whites that don’t deserve the bastardization I am likely to bequeath them.
So what’s happening? Am I just growing up? Probably not. Grown-ups don’t take meetings in denim cut-offs or wear the same black t-shirt thirty-five days in a row sans wash (but who’s counting?) Is this a testament to the changing fashion climate? We should be able to agree that recent runway seasons and the entire debate on street style must be having an impact on the way in which we choose to consume and more importantly participate in fashion.
But my friend, Roxana, argued a compelling, unrelated point when I canvassed the topic with her. I’d essentially admitted style defeat and perhaps even the subsequent identity crisis that arises in my outlining the questionable jorts and t-shirts and ballet flats of my new closet. She reminded me that not long ago those jorts, t-shirts and especially the ballet flats were me. I had to agree. Just four years ago we were studying abroad together in Paris when she watched me save up 300 euro to buy a pair of navy blue suede ballet flats that I would wear with tights and denim cut-offs almost every day thereafter.
“You’ve gotten rid of the negative connotations of who that girl was. That’s why you’re capable of revisiting her again,” she explained.
I liked that, and it was probably true–that girl was obsessed with her ex-boyfriend, took banalities way too seriously and wanted to wear Herve Leger, like, all the time. So maybe that’s it. In continuing to grow into who I am and all that platitudinal jazz, the changing–and sometimes regressive–tendencies of my dressing may be the benchmark to remind me that I’m still inherently me. That’s got to be a good thing, no?