I can’t tell you the number of times that I’ve repeated the maxim “You should dress for the career and lifestyle you WANT to have.” While, generally, I think this is good advice to keep us all aware of the trajectory we are (or are not) on, sometimes it blatantly fails…
…like the time you almost lose your dress in the middle of a crowded city intersection.
Despite my being a stylist, I am a writer first. And at my heart, I am completely hapless and disheveled and like nothing more than to bury myself in a moth-eaten sweater. Once upon a time (or, rather, several years ago)—with the dawn of my new side-gig as a stylist—I started curating my every outfit down to the charm bracelets and waist-cinching skinny belts. I continued this up until the end of this last year—riding my bike in saddle shoes, a bouffant, and quirky-prim 50s-inspired dresses—to my 9-5. But at the end of last year, I was suddenly tired of the dress-up, tired of what seemed like blatant plagiarism of Zooey Deschanel’s wardrobe. And tired of having to handwash or dry-clean the multitude of silk-blend or synthetic (and expensive) dresses…
This year, I’ve reverted to easier, mostly-washable, and age-appropriate pieces. Unfortunately, I’ve also had numerous stretches where I’ve looked positively messy for days or weeks at a time. So after a period lately of looking especially messy and dowdy, I put on a fussy wrap dress this morning and called it ‘progress’.
I forgot that wrap dresses require their wearers to be self-aware. That they require knees together, and the occasional bathroom checks/smoothings. As I ran out to get a late lunch—the horrible-yet-highly-predictable thing happened—the tie on one side of my dress slipped (I didn’t notice it), the wind blew forcefully, and soon I had exposed my pasty torso to the (poor) citizens of Somerville. Nothing worse. I slunk back to the office clutching myself until I could get into the bathroom to reorient what had effectively become a loose sheet of fabric. And by that time, I had lost my appetite. Embarrassment could be my diet fix!
But “The Case of the Almost-Lost Wrap Dress” was a good wake-up call. And I listened. Aspirational dressing can be good if it makes you more mindful and feel good about yourself (e.g. polished, composed, et cetera). If—(like me)—you have no time or little inclination for wearing a high-maintenance piece or outfit, choose a piece that fits who you are and what you do RIGHT NOW.
And if you are at all in doubt, just choose a faux-wrap. Sometimes the faux thing is SO much better….faux-real!