One of the tasks for Week 7 of The Artist’s Way is to wear your favorite piece of clothing for no particular or special reason. So I did. I pulled out my favorite outfit and wore it. My husband said he hates that outfit because it is the frumpiest outfit I own. I told him it was my favorite and he knew but still.
I’ve been thinking about that exchange but more so about that exchange in reflection to the assignment.
I don’t know about men and their attitudes towards clothing so if you are a man reading this, please don’t take offense. I find it very interesting that many self help books often refer back to the clothes we wear. I loved Simple Abundance except for the month dedicated to makeup and clothing. Same goes for The Fly Lady – she has a strict dress policy every day.
Then here we are at The Artist’s Way and we must rescue our favorite piece of clothing from the abyss from whence we have stashed it. Except if it’s my favorite piece of clothing, it’s the piece I’m going to want to wear every day.
When I read the task, my mind went to all those “fancy” clothes in the back of my closet that don’t get worn very often. I like them. They make me feel special, sometimes, but I would never put them on the list of my favorite clothes.
My favorite outfit is a pair of canvasy workout pants and an old stretched out grey shirt. It’s bland but it is so comfortable – in any weather or temperature. When I wear that outfit, I don’t care if my hair sticks up in all directions or if I have the biggest zit on my face. I’m happy. I’m in a good long hug. I’m comfortable and completely at peace with who I am.
I get out the fancy pretty clothes and then I worry about if the skirt is too tight and shows too much fat. Or if my bra can be seen through my shirt. Then my hair. Five seconds outside and it looks terrible. Why did I waste my time? I spend my entire time adjusting the clothes, remembering every blemish and potentially embarrassing aspect of my body. It makes it very hard to really love that outfit.
My other favorite pieces of clothing never leave the house – because they are my fleece nightgowns. I can just about spend an entire weekend in them. Sometimes the first thing I do when I get home is put one on. There is no such thing as a bad day when I know I can wrap myself in that fuzziness.
Knowing this, I find it interesting that wearing your favorite clothes is such a treat. Not for me, that is my salvation from a very hard and crazy world. It makes me wonder if we are really giving our favorite pieces of clothing their just dues. Do we place a piece on a pedestal because it’s where we think it should be when it really makes us feel awkward? I know that my husband has a strong opinion about my favorite outfit but then again, I have a similar opinion about his favorite clothing.
The truth is our favorite piece of clothing is not going to be pretty – not for long because we can’t bear to not wear it often. It gets abuse and a lot of loving. We wear it long past its prime. We love that it’s misshapen and maybe just a little tattered. We have stories we can tell just as if that clothing was our best friend. We are ourselves completely in that piece of clothing. That’s how it should be.