Dressing myself is one part clothes, one part mood, one part alchemy, and I’ve never been more sure of that than after documenting what I wore every day for the month of August. The below photos and moods, captured via mirror and caption respectively, paint a picture of — not to be dramatic but — emotional disarray. There’s no telling when getting dressed will be a treat, my closet a Pandora’s Box of possibility (Day 12), or when it will feel like a burden, my closet a frustrating purgatory of indecision (Day 10). Maybe the frustration is an inevitable consequence of giving my clothing emotional weight in the first place. Maybe you can’t have one without the other.
I just wish it were more of a science, less of an art. But instead of statistics and factorials, it’s moodiness and body-consciousness and creative energy and self-esteem. It’s the first thing I put on (Day 27) or it’s three shirts littering my floor and none of my pants falling how I remember them falling (Day 20). It’s self-confidence or self-doubt. It’s an alarm set way too early or way too late, but always for 7:30 a.m. It’s more volatile than I’d like it to be, certainly. That’s something I’d be working on, ideally.
You know how sometimes you leave the house and feel “right?” Not necessarily great or cool but simply collected, in such a way that you’re able to think clearly and move on with your day? I’m obsessed with that feeling. I’m usually willing to change as many times as finding it demands, but doing so requires emotional labor and time I don’t always have. Add in the unpredictability of what makes me feel it — it could look as whatever as Day 23 or as fun as Day 29 — and such a pursuit can feel, at a certain point, like a vapid waste of my energy. Aren’t there a million more important things?
Maybe this is why some people transition to uniform dressing as they age. Maybe the highs of creative success aren’t worth the pressure of having to constantly create something new. I understand that draw of consistency implicitly and yet, I’m consistently and inexplicably drawn to the rollercoaster of reinvention. Maybe one day I’ll find a way to balance the two, but until then I suppose I should buckle up.