This may be a frivolous subject for many, but for me at least, clothes and personal style have always been an important means of self expression and creativity. Recently this outlet has been blocked for me as I sunk deeply into an identity crisis where clothes and fashion were concerned. This was precipitated by hitting my fifties and a gnawing sense that styles which used to suit me no longer had a place in my wardrobe. I have always had quite a dramatic and creative way of putting things together but middle age made me feel that the time had come to retire certain garments as inappropriate to a woman who was certainly no spring chicken anymore.
I truly felt as if I was at the bottom of the black hole portrayed in this card, scattered and confused like the pile of swords, having lost all sense of direction and focus. This felt like a sad situation for someone who had always derived such pleasure and creative fulfilment, for as long as I could remember, from clothes. My favourite passion as a child was ‘dressing up’ and raiding my Grandma’s extensive collection of costume jewellery whenever I got a chance, imagining I was a famous film star or a fairy princess!
When I look back on my life I can measure and recollect it in the language of clothes. I remember what I was wearing on memorable holidays, when I experienced my first kiss and the night I met my husband. It felt as if I no longer had a sense of identity, and I was fearful that memories would be lost to me without the anchor of my favourite garments.
So I decided that drastic measures were called for! I enrolled on an online style challenge which encouraged it’s participants to embark on daily style challenges and post the results of these experiments online for feedback and support. This was revelatory! Bit by bit I felt the old confidence and enthusiasm returning. I learnt from others positive comments that I could still wear much of the style choices of previous eras with a little tweak or adaptation here and there. I didn’t need to sink into the cliche of twin sets and pearls or a sensible cardi. I truly feel as if I have found myself again, with a new found enthusiasm and passion for life. I don’t need to sink into oblivion and invisibility at the bottom of that dark pit…..I can rise up back into the light, shining like a rainbow in my coat (and other clothes) of many colours!
This weeks song…..