The Wardrobe Insecurity


Confession: I’ve been spending the past twenty-four hours obsessing about my wardrobe based on an off the cuff jocular remark made by a friend over the fact that I was wearing a pair of jeans and the baggiest t-shirt I own.

While I know logically he was taking a stab at being funny by pointing out that I was dressed like a soccer mom, the remark registered on my radar more as a low blow than humorous.

I’m going to excuse the fact that coming from a guy, the negative comment on the day’s clothing choice came off vaguely objectifying… I owe to no one nothing on what I may choose to wear on any given day irregardless of anyone else likes it or not, but honestly? That wasn’t why I got mad. Choosing to rage on that finer point of contention misses the point entirely.

Which is I got upset for far more personal, far more complex reasons.

I got mad because getting dressed every morning is a psychological struggle for me… One in which I don’t win, because irregardless of what I choose to wear, I have an inner critic yelling obscenities at me about how whatever I’m wearing is somehow inappropriate.

If I wear jeans and a t-shirt, I didn’t try hard enough. If I put on a dress, I’m clearly looking for unwanted attention. If I wear sneakers, I have no pride. If I wear heels, I’m cow towing to what “the man” wants of me. If I wear makeup, I’m a slut. If I don’t wear makeup, I’m never going to get a promotion. The list goes on… In short, my inner critic hits me with every conflicting message that has ever been laid out for me as to how I should dress, act and be as a woman.

Silencing that voice for the day is difficult in it’s own right.

Having a friend trigger it out of the blue… That kinda sucks.

But ultimately, at the end of the day, my reaction is my own problem. My insecurities? My own problem. Working through them? My own problem.

I mean, sure… I can tell my friend, “Low blow, bro,” and ask him not to do it again.

(And I did… but unfortunately I think it probably clocked in on the passive-aggressive richter scale at about 7, so he’s probably sitting over there shaking his head thinking, “Bitches be cray cray!”)

But I can’t control what comes out of his mouth. Or anyone else’s mouth for that matter. I can only control and honor my own reactions to it.

And at the end of the day? What matters is I learned something about myself.

9 thoughts on “The Wardrobe Insecurity

  1. This was really well-put, and it definitely got me thinking about my own tendencies. There are some days when I’m motivated or inspired to wear something particularly adorable and others when I’m too lazy or want too much to be comfortable (and I mean really comfortable in an old, big sweater with old, flared jeans) to put something nice together. I always feel like a slob, though, when I don’t put in any effort, and I HATE that feeling. I certainly wouldn’t want anyone to point it out, either. Honestly, I don’t think your gut reaction was abnormal or over-the-top. (And at least you acknowledge your passive aggressive response, haha.) It’s the way we’ve been conditioned that creates that struggle we face when we get dressed in the morning. But you’re right, it IS ultimately ours to contend with and recognize and ā€” hopefully ā€” keep it at bay.
    Cassie recently posted..How to smash your fearsMy Profile

    • It’s interesting… Clothes are something that I’ve never assigned a particularly high priority to, and that’s a value that I’ve found myself revisiting ever since I entered the corporate world where the prevailing attitude is, “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.” I carry a degree of resentment about this sentiment, so I’ve tended to rebel and dress as casually as I can possibly get away with… but it kinda backfires when I realize that I’m one of the worst dressed women on the floor. There are guys who dress similarly to how I do, but it somehow seems more acceptable for them.

  2. OH MY GOSH YES! To everything. For a really long time (like, high school through most of college) I resisted dressing up of any type. Gradually as I have gotten older & into different career fields I’ve began to “dress better,” but now I’m super confused in my free/social time. That whole 6th paragraph is seriously dead on. The fact that this is even an issue blows.
    Delightfully Awkward Brittany recently posted..Limiting Social MediaMy Profile

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