Raquel Allegra double layer skirt | I’m wearing a size 2 (in more sizes at Totokaelo)
Everlane ryan tank (worn backwards!) | this is a size large
Robert Clergerie Frazzia sandals
MM6 perforated fabric tote | purchased with credits from Forzieri – sold out
Kristen Elspeth necklace | trade for advertising partnership with Aro (use code GC15 for 15% off – the necklace is no longer available there)
(Xhileration tube bra underneath)
Uh. I don’t know why I didn’t think about this sooner, but how genius is the Everlane Ryan tank BACKWARDS?? It hangs a bit strange in the back, but I LOVE the drape in the front. This one is a size large, so it’s quite long on me, but ideal for this skirt since it strategically covers my saddlebags. The armholes are really long so I’m wearing a tube top underneath, but I think it would be cool with an interesting racer back sports bra also.
Anyway, I’m not usually one to wear things in ways they weren’t meant to be worn, so I’ll count this as a happy accident. It really was an accident; I put it on backwards before I noticed, and was pleasantly surprised by how it looked. Which is interesting, because I’ve been surprising myself quite a bit lately. As often happens, one surprise begets another…
While we were away in Atlanta and Orlando visiting family, I noticed that I wasn’t overly concerned or otherwise occupied by what I was wearing. Chalk that up to being on “vacation” to a certain extent, but I also felt more free and unencumbered (in a number of ways) than I had during previous visits. So I made myself question everything this trip, trying to come to terms with why I felt as I did, then determine how I could apply what I learned to my life at home.
Always thinking/analyzing/learning I am…
Anyway, at first, I thought, of course, I’m on vacation, away from home and “normal” responsibilities, so naturally I feel lighter, and more at ease with myself. And when I feel at ease with myself, getting dressed is not nearly so contentious as it is otherwise. I don’t know how I came to be more at ease with myself, because normally that sort of travel (12 hours in the car with my husband & step-son, then 24 hours a day with my mom) is incredibly stressful for me, and I’m anxious and somewhat uncomfortable for quite a lot of our trip.
But this time was different. I wish I could say I made a conscious decision to MAKE it different, but it sort of just happened. As things do with me. At a certain point, things just seem to click into place, and I am forever changed. It’s always a surprise though, when it happens.
Even after returning from our trip and trying to settle back into things, I am still changed. Still at ease. Which is why I was able to wear this outfit without thinking too much about it (saddlebags!! upper arm flab!! large calves!!) and feeling very comfortable and happy with my choice. As it should be. I imagine that’s how most people when they get dressed? Not always second-guessing their decision to wear whatever. Wondering if they’re good enough to wear it, or if they’re making the right impression, dressed appropriately for the situation?
Finally I feel liberated. Is it because I have reached my wardrobe set-point? Have I reached that point? Do I have everything I need and want at this moment? I think so. Even more. Yes, I think it is that, but it is also that internally, I’m still quite content & happy, which carries over into my sartorial satisfaction.
Still, I am surprised by how I feel. And how I don’t feel. Which I think also, gives me power. The power to do what’s right and good in all parts of my life.
Which led to another surprise yesterday. I went to IKEA for a couple of minor household items, but also because I was DYING to check out their new bulk Swedish candy section. Yes. Candy is a major weakness for me. I did give up sugar about a month ago, and have been very good at sticking to it, but I gave myself permission to get some yesterday if I really wanted to as a reward, or a treat. But even with all that yummy sugar-y goodness staring me in the face, I resisted. Barely. I told myself I could get the jelly beans I like at Whole Foods if I still wanted candy, just to get myself out of there.
But when I got to Whole Foods I didn’t buy jelly beans either. WHAT? WHO AM I? I left the store sort of stunned. But immeasurably proud of myself.
In truth, it wasn’t that hard to resist; I haven’t had candy in a very long time (for me anyway), so it’s power over me has waned significantly. But it is still an accomplishment, and a bit of a surprise.
Via my wardrobe exploration and ensuing Minimal Closet series, I’ve come to terms with the fact that we are always changing, no matter how much we may want to stay the same. Our style evolves, even as we get older, and what may have mattered most of all last year, may not next. Change truly is the only constant in life (aside from death & taxes), and learning to accept that has been my most profound achievement to date.
I am starting to really love surprises.
Happy happy Monday!!!