Sometimes, when you forget what motivates you to get dressed in the morning, all it takes to remember is a sincere look in the mirror. The kind of stare that reflects a really early version of you, which does not infer that you tap into your inner infant — that would be weird and a challenge to dress. What I’m suggesting is that often, the bells and whistles of sales and years passed and the Internet can meddle with who we are fundamentally. What we really look like. What makes us look more like the versions of ourselves that we most want to be.
Example: I have basically wasted the last three months of my life standing in front of a closet thinking I have nothing to wear when that would only be the case if I actually, literally, physically lacked clothing. How does one reconcile this feeling beyond the hormonal imbalances of being a severely fickle person with taste touch points that run a dramatic gamut from the very casual to the fiercely formal and sometimes like to meet halfway in between and espouse both dress codes?
But I guess that would mean I’m not thinking about my style, right? Which is different, perhaps, from my taste. As in: what looks good on me and what makes me feel good does not invariably equate with the cues that my taste commands.
Another example: I finally found a lamé slip dress. I’ve been looking for one for months. It needed to hit juuuust below my knee and galvanize my clavicle bones as though they were being canonized in the book of shoulders. It came yesterday — and you know what happened when I tried it on and looked in the mirror? Nothing. It was the most underwhelming experience in the history of fallen black Fridays. My calves looked dramatically large, my clavicles seemingly showed little interest in being exposed and my skin, despite being sun-kissed, looked pissed. And that’s just it, right? The physical manifestation of the difference between my style (what I feel good wearing) and my taste (a meditation on what I feel good seeing other people wear). Sometimes they may overlap, but yesterday, they did not.
So here I ask you to take a hard look in the mirror. Consider when you feel best. Use Pinterest to help if your own face will not. I’ve spent the greater half of a weekend morning looking through photos of people I like — really, really like — only to find that in the most diffident and casual of sneaker and suit and sweater shots of the inimitable Lauren Hutton, there it was. Me! Not literally, of course, but at least now I know what I’m wearing.
Feature collage by Krista Anna Lewis.