Monday, Monday. Apart from a wonderful evening filled with good food and playing cards with our friends Lynn and Chris on Saturday, Chris and I spent most of the weekend stressing out about various stuff. We are trying to get our house on the market, knowing that we have already missed the most promising time frame. I'll be leaving the US soon. Shipping the cats overseas is frightening, not to mention the insane amount of vet visits and paperwork. The thought of our future in Finland is both exciting and terrifying. So much will be different.
When I am stressed out, I tend to re-direct my thoughts to clothes. (Wow, I had no idea how silly that would sound before I typed it!) If I start to freak out about whatever-it-might-be, I allow myself to think about clothes and fashion in the most superficial manner imaginable. I think about the types of clothes I'd buy and/or wear if I was a millionaire, if I had a different lifestyle, if I was someone else, if I was invited to the Academy Awards. I think about the types of clothing my sister, my mother or my friends would, could or should wear, in this reality or another. I think about fabrics, textures, colours, cuts and shapes. Almost instantly, I feel better. It's almost like meditation.
I used to buy a lot of clothes when I was stressed out, instead of just thinking about them. When I worked in clothing retail, hardly a week went by when I didn't feel the need to buy something new to alleviate the stress. At some point I went from buying clothes to buying fashion magazines by the dozen. Now, for the most part, I consult my fellow bloggers, the internet, and most often, my imagination.
I don't quite know if I can even try to explain what it is about clothes that makes my mind feel at ease. Maybe it's because I feel like I know clothes. I know the materials, I recognize the cuts, I know why and how people buy clothes, I know what makes the fashion consumer tick. My own personal style is a constant work-in-progress, but the time I've spent either modeling clothes or selling them has taught me a lot about the world of clothing. The lessons I learned back in the day were professional in nature, and perhaps that's at least in part why my thoughts on my own style have been, and still are, so convoluted. Clothing is, after all, very personal.
There are times when I feel like I am hopelessly (and purposefully) out of the fashion loop... but that's not really true. I don't think I could train my eye away from the world of clothing and fashion if I tried. It's something that's profoundly safe to me, it's something that's been there for so long. As much as I sometimes feel that there is a profound disconnect between anything "fashion" and anything "style", the two go hand in hand for me, whether I like it or not. It all comes down to clothes. The world of clothing is fascinating, from the moment a designer draws the first draft of an exquisite haute couture dress to the disgusting consumerism of fast fashion, from the cotton picked in the fields of India to the thrift shop, from our closets to the streets where we walk around in our hundreds, our thousands, or our hundreds of thousands, each one of us, wearing clothes. Our clothing choices are a way to fit in, to stand out, to hide, to express, to make a claim, to identify others and ourselves. Clothing can be everything or nothing, or something in between.
So here I am, day after day, thinking about cats-in-cargo one moment, and the fashion world's current obsession with leather the next. I drift to a complete freak-out about the work that needs to be done at the farmhouse in Finland, only to direct my thoughts toward the strange over-sized coats of the coming season. It's a strange duality, this tug-and-pull of stress and clothes, but for now, I'll take it.
Top, blouse and shorts are second hand, the loafers are by John Fluevog.
P.S. Lynn gave me this adorable cat-and-mouse pin. Isn't it wonderful?