Last week I spent four hours in my closet with Garland. Garland is, among other things, a stylist extraordinaire.
His sense of fashion (vs what is fashionable,) understanding of what is trending (vs what is trendy,) and overall ability to create an amazing look out of a pile destined for the charity bin is nothing short of amazing. I’ve been having a hard time getting dressed lately, and subliminally knowing there was more to it than simply a lack of interesting pieces with which to adorn myself, I texted Garland and asked for a house call.
Garland and I first met about a year ago when he was pulling looks for a shoot for my website. At our first meeting I informed Garland that I don’t wear white and I don’t wear short dresses. The money shot of course was me in a white mini dress – an outfit that Garland asked me to try on just so he could get an idea of shapes, and coincidentally this white mini dress was the very first thing he pulled out of the mystery closet.
Trusting his instincts to help me out of my dressing room malaise, we scrolled through racks and racks of dresses, skirts, tops, jackets, and pants of many sizes, shapes and colors.
“Fabulous! Why aren’t you wearing this right now?” “Amazing…put this on immediately and go play!” “Glorious…” “Classic elegance…” “Absolutely…”
These were the phrases I was hearing on continual loop, as I stood in a pair of baggy nylon shorts and a grubby T-shirt. I wanted to get properly dressed, but somehow I kept getting stuck in the reality of my days: early morning dog walks in a muddy forest; cleaning up the kitchen from a whirlwind of late night snacks and staggered morning departures; sitting in front of a computer for hours on end; hot, sweaty yoga; more dog walks and cat hairballs and on the go snack debris. Hardly the type of lifestyle that calls for wearing real clothes…
“You’ve built a wardrobe of moments,” said Garland. “You need to take these moments and have an experience.”
He’s right. I shop to fulfill mental moments, an image of something that I would like to do, or someplace that I would like to go, or someone that I would like to be. Knowing that the sparkly cropped jacket would be the perfect thing to wear to a concert, I shop in anticipation of some undefined musical event.
Spying a flow-y silk dress conjures up images of romantic candlelit dinners on the shore. If I buy it, perhaps it will happen. I am always in a state of preparedness, waiting for my life to happen.
But as they say, life is what happens while you’re busy making plans, or in my case, while you’re getting car repair estimates or walking the dogs. I decided to stop waiting for the moment to happen and actually create some real moments based on what I already had in my closet. Who says you can’t wear a maxi dress to grocery shop, or a leopard print sheath to take your kid to the dentist?
Yesterday, the tomato red wedges that I had pondered while wondering if Beyonce owned a pair of Spanx, arrived at my doorstep. I put them on (with my scruffy, threadbare jeans that are so comfy and practical) and pranced around the house like a show pony with a new harness. I felt lighter and exuberant, like a kid with a new toy. I was taller, and somehow, more capable of everything, than I had been moments before when I was wearing a pair of converse kicks. Moreover, these new wedge sandals were really comfortable. I kept them on while I cooked dinner, while I tidied up and folded laundry, while I finished up my day.
Later that evening while we were walking the dogs, my partner looked at me and said “Why are you wearing high heels to walk the dogs?”
“Because I’m having a moment, and my feet are really comfortable,” I replied.
Makes sense to me….