I Don't Like My Outfit Today
I don’t like my outfit today. I liked it as I imagined it on my body, staring blankly into my closet last night. And, I liked it when I looked at myself in my mirror at 7:45 this morning. But, now that half the workday is over, my jeans are feeling tight across my belly button, my pinky toes are screaming “amputate me!!!” at the tops of their metaphorical lungs, and my all black ensemble is feeling less and less like what my insides are trying to share with the world, which happens to be pure joy!!! I’ve given up post-lunch. My hair has made its way into a ponytail, a clear sign of defeat (for me, at least). How is it possible that something I was so sure of a mere seven hours ago is now the cause of my disdain, the reason my skin is disintegrating under my oversized blazer?
I have a sequence of questions that I ask myself during my early morning outfit recipe-ing, and it goes as such: what temperature will the weather app feed me as a lie today? Will I have to do any excessive walking aside from my daily commute? Is it going to rain? Because if it is, I’ll have to wear my hair back à la Duchess Meghan Markle, and that changes everything. Will I need to shave my legs? I avoid at all costs. There’s a 50/50 chance that the heat will be blasting in my office. Do I dress for the outside weather (that is a lie) or the anticipated sauna/gates of Hell (they’re synonymous) that is the 11th floor of my office building? The last question, being that it is the most important, holds the most weight in my recipe; will my look endure the answers to all aforementioned questions, AND will I still be comfortable at 6:00 pm? Many days, the answer is yes. Some days, especially today, the answer is no.
Close your eyes. Closed? Wait. Reopen and keep reading! Okay, now, imagine a candle, one that comes in a really pretty jar and smells like clean laundry air blowing through a field of three billion daisies. It’s the kind you want to light because it smells so darn good, but you hesitate because it will never go back to its original form. Unlit, brand new from the store, that candle represents my outfit at 7:45 this morning, unmarked by fallen ash, perfectly smooth across the top. As I stepped across the threshold of my apartment, I figuratively lit my wick. The coated string immediately started to turn black as the flame moved itself lower, closer to the wax. The longer its lit—which is all day because stripping at work is typically frowned upon—the lower the wax melts. As it melts, it drips and makes a mess of the jar, and sometimes the table if you’re not careful. Today, I was not careful. A short while ago, I was a brand spanking new, beautiful candle. Now, I am a messy wax covered jar that has emptied its contents onto its exterior. To be clear, I have not shit myself. I just look like shit. And, as a result, I feel like shit too.
The power of an impeccably executed ‘fit never ceases to amaze me. What we wear on our bodies is much more than an attempt at creating functionality, and no less than a complete expression of disposition. A character portrayal of sorts, my outfit allows me to be whoever I want the world to see me as. Maybe all black was a poor decision on a day in which I want the world to know that I am remarkably happy. But, that’s the thing about dressing. It’s as simple as changing one ingredient to redefine the entire recipe. So, tomorrow, I will make yet another attempt at becoming a melt-less candle. Perhaps mahogany teakwood? Until then, I’m going to dip my fingers in the wax and peel the hardened coat off my fingertips until I can run home and change.