I’ve never had a settled sort of fashion sense. This is, perhaps, putting it mildly. After all, it’s true that when I arrived at college my new roommates had to quietly pull me aside and confiscate the same braided brown belt I wore with everything I owned.
“No,” said Julia. “Just. No.”
Since then I’ve meandered in and out of trying to find clothes I like, always coming up a bit short. Once I even made a new-found Iowa friend of mine take me shopping at the nearby outlets and tell me which clothes I should actually purchase. I think the entire experience was a little strange for her, especially when I gave up on walking in and out of the dressing room and made her take up residence inside. She didn’t know me that well at that point. Regardless, all of my efforts usually resulted in me wearing the same two shirts I liked until they expired in exhaustion.
Most recently, my habit had been to only wear black or gray. It made coordination easy, and required little thought in the morning. And I’d even wear the same thing two days in a row – if it escaped Sterling’s efforts at baby food expulsion. After all, my kids don’t care if I wear the same outfit twice.
And then came leggings. In my heart, I really couldn’t handle leggings. A bit too “meant to go under a dress” for me personally to handle as pants. But in my heart’s heart, leggings were actually my thing. I’d spent my entire teenage life wearing tights under my clothes. Dancers can’t help but hanker for a good set of leggings. And so, I bought a few. I’d wear them when I knew I’d be home all day, or when I had a long-enough shirt that I could convince myself it was okay. But I still resisted the comfort of them. It was a hard resistance.
And then came… okay, I don’t know what they’re called: harem pants, maybe? Pretty much a legging/sweat pant marriage. Oh my, this I could possibly manage. This year, after Christmas, I headed over to Kohls and took advantage of the sales to stock myself on some leggings with give. I even bought colors other than black and gray. Blue. Pink. Brown. Boy I’ve been branching out. Then, I exited the teenage department and headed to the old lady department and gathered up some sweaters (one of which may have been worn by my sisters in the ‘80’s - see middle, below).
All of this to say, that now – at the age of 33 – I have finally found what I like to wear. I’ve never liked jeans, and I’m so happy to see them go. Colors and patterns. Comfortable feel. This is where I belong. Harem pants. They are my style, and not so tight that I have to keep them hidden indoors. And so, while you may still feel the need to pull me back, I don’t plan on changing up my wardrobe again (although I do change my clothes every day now - I have enough pants for that.)