A Matter of Style

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I spent an hour this morning trying on every article of clothing I own.

I didn’t intend to squander sixty minutes in such fruitless pursuit. I did, however, have a late morning dental cleaning scheduled, and while I am aware that the staff at my dentist’s office is far more interested in the state of my gum line than in the length of my hem line, I wanted to look nice. I figure I only see this particular group of people twice a year, so why not strive to make a good impression by donning clothes with more fashion sense than my usual jeans and tunic tops?

Nothing looked right. I had a sudden and stark realization: I hate my entire wardrobe, every tasteless fiber of it. This was odd, because up until this morning, I had several items of clothing I would have termed favorites. Not to mention, only a week ago I drove myself to the mall and spent an afternoon selecting three new items to add to my closet. I stood at the checkout, smiling as I thought to myself, “I’m so excited to throw my money at this purchase! I have never felt more confident that I am purchasing quality goods – and so cute, too!”

Yet, today I find that I hate every stitch of them, along with every other piece of clothing in my possession.

I’m no stranger to this phenomenon. I’ve experienced this before, days when I am sure I must have been drunk when I bought my clothes. I look at my reflection in the mirror, and wonder if people are thinking that I came out on the wrong side of a high stakes bet – a bet where the loser is required to purchase the most disturbingly unflattering clothes available, and then wear them every day for the rest of her life.

I know I won’t feel this way forever. Tomorrow my favorite jeans will make me smile again, and I’ll look at my new sweater and think, “Hey! I was right – this IS cute.” But today? Today I wanted to throw all my clothes onto the front lawn and set a match to them.

In the end, surrounded by piles of discarded clothes, shoes, and accessories, I threw on my oldest pair of jeans and my baggiest sweater. Resigned to the fact that my entire wardrobe looks like something I bought on a dare, I figured why even try. I mean, I only visit the dentist office every six months. I’m sure they won’t remember what I’m wearing. (If I’m good at anything, it’s the ability to rationalize myself into a total contradiction of my previous thinking, thereby making myself feel better in the process. Call it a gift.)

After my dental appointment, I did what any woman struggling with a temporary sense of poor self image would do: I decided I would make myself feel better by getting my hair cut very, very, very short.

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Here I am, modeling my new look in the winter wonderland that is currently Pennsylvania.

I realize how poorly this could have turned out, but the happy truth is I LOVE IT! I’ve been cutting my hair shorter and shorter with every salon visit for about six months, and today I decided to just have it all done with and embrace the pixie cut. Strangely, my clothes began to look nicer to me almost immediately after adopting a new style.

Is there a moral, or even a point, to this story I’ve told you? Not really, unless “Always cut most of your hair off when feeling insecure about your sense of style” can be counted as a wise adage. (Hint: it can’t.) As the reader, you may be feeling let down about now, but let me assure you, it is nothing compared to the distress that I, as the author, feel upon realizing that I lack a succinct conclusion to what has turned out to be nothing more than 650 words devoted to the inspection of my fashion insecurities.

In lieu of a satisfying wrap up, and as an offer of apology for my writerly failings, I offer this picture of a squirrel pondering the magnificence of the Grand Canyon for your viewing entertainment. Enjoy!

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