Last term I came to a realisation. I like skirts. As in, I prefer to be in leggings, tunics, tights, skirts and even dresses than in jeans. I spent 20 months working in an office learning to love the power and possibilities that a skirt could bring. (Believe it or not, but wearing a skirt can give a woman a certain amount of power in a male-dominated environment. Totally sexist but I’m willing to work it.) Last term, I started wearing jeans almost every day again. Then I had a realisation… I prefer wearing skirts!
Why is it so important that I prefer wearing skirts to jeans? It’s not. It’s really, really not. What is important is that I have come to terms with who I am. A skirt-loving, pink-avoiding, shirt-wearing, student.
Be Who You Are
My choice to wear skirts was because I accepted who I am. I know it is common nowadays for the not-photoshop-worthy of the fairer to downplay the role clothes have to play in who we are. I used to be one of them. Yet clothing is the most obvious show of who we believe ourselves to be, at least on that day. So, instead of being scared of it, embrace it. Use the opportunity everyday to express you are AND who you want to be.
- When I wear a skirt, I am choosing to embrace my femininity.
- When I choose to wear double denim, I’m embracing my inner indie.
- When I choose my clothes, I am embracing myself.
When you choose to wear _________, why do you wear it?
Accept Who You Are
Dressing is only the start though. When you accept the reasons for why you put that outfit together, you can accept what it says about you. Whether that is accepting that you dress to impress, dress to hide or dress to get by, the choice will say something about you.
As a teenager, I lived in jeans and hoodies. One day I realised I dressed to hide from the world. Jeans and hoodies were nondescript and meant that, so long as I wasn’t too daring with colours, I was ignored by most people. Once I realised that I was using clothing to hide, I accepted I maybe wasn’t happy with myself. But I also accepted I was happiest when comfy and dressed practically. Accepting these two facts meant I took of my wardrobe and what it said about me.
Now I love skirts. I remember waking up one day and realising I spent more time in skirts than jeans. I’d changed. Somewhere along the line I had morphed into this adult who actually took care over what she wore. I had to accept that I wasn’t a teenager or student anymore. My wardrobe has simply got there before I had.
Show Who You Are
What happened after I realised why I was hiding in my hoodies? I made a decision that I was done hiding so I changed my wardrobe. I swapped hoodies for knitted jumpers that actually fitted me. Why? Because I didn’t feel the need to hide. Ironic, right! By accepting I was hiding, I lost the desire to hide anymore.
Skirts are exactly the same. Once I accepted I was an adult (well, I’m still in the process of accepting it), I was able to play around with my wardrobe to show who I was. Wearing a men’s shirt with my black a-line skirt? Sure, why not. Pairing a knitted jumper with a maxi dress? Obvious combo. The difference was that I was willing to let myself actually wear these outfits instead of just dreaming about them.
Clothes aren’t just there to keep you warm or give an idea about what you are like. When chosen purposely, clothes are your chance to get creative. To show people the person you want to be. To show the world the person you are inside. I know it sounds cheesy but I’ve learnt it to be true. When you dress to accept yourself, you dress to show the world who you are.
(Unless you’re one of the lucky ones who has got this all down naturally 😉 If so can you let me in on your secrets!)
The post Skirt Who You Are was first posted on CounterCultural. CounterCouture.