Over the past year, I have found myself dressing in a more down to earth way. Fewer skirts and more jeans, fewer fancy tops and more cosy jumpers - in fact more cosy overall, with flat[ter] shoes replacing my signature heels, to the extent of combat jeans [which merits its own post in fact] becoming a staple item.
It took me a while to notice that I have gone from heels and dress girl to jeans and jumper girl. And when I did, the first thought was confusion. What was happening to me? Was my personality changing? Did I stop caring about the message my clothes carried?
And then I realized - there was a message, clear and loud. My lifestyle and priorities have changed, and what I was wearing was a perfect reflection of that:
- My life had got busier and more stressful: work had become super stressful [some bad management decisions at the office, I will not bore you with details], and my personal life more responsible as I bought a flat and started to have it re-done. Day in day out, I have started to simply feel too tired to put on heels or to really think about what I want to wear. In fact, for the first time in my life, having a work 'uniform' (remember the woman who decided to wear black trousers and white shirts to the office every single day?) has started to sound like a great idea.
- I have moved. I now need to walk more, and also, to walk late in the evening, to get home in an area I am not [hopefully only yet!] completely comfortable in. Heels and skirts would just make me feel vulnerable, slower and possibly overdressed and out of place.
- I have stopped using clothes as a means to assert my authority, which I used to do when I was first promoted to a baby faced team manager and needed clothes to be my armour, helping me assert myself both inside the company and towards clients. My team respect me now, whatever I turn up in. And this spring, for the first time ever, I found myself reaching for [dressy] jeans and a top for a customer meeting, instead of the skirts/dresses I have always worn, and the world did not stop turning, and sales came in as well as ever (perhaps even better :) ?).
- Maybe it also has something to do with getting older. And by that I do not mean that I need more comfort as my body is less supple [at least I hope so!] but that I am more relaxed in my skin and less in need of wearing only super flattering or super special items. I like to think I can now make a jeans and jumper combo look interesting and classy :)
- Finally, times have changed too. Dressy is so over; this is the era of relaxed chic. And as this happens to suit where I am in my life right now too, I am all the more embracing it.
The message? Just as the eyes are the mirror of the soul, so are clothes - and not only for people who enjoy dressing. If you suddenly feel like wearing different clothes from your usual style, or if someone you know changes the way they dress, pay attention - there will be a reason behind it. Clothes may say a thousand - otherwise unsaid - words!