wardrobe3Putting on clothes in the morning can be a very unpredictable animal when you’re the mother of an infant. No time, no clean clothes, no energy. The baby gives me about ten to fifteen minutes to get ready in the morning, so not much time to stand in front of the closet undecided about what to wear that day. I could stay in my pajamas, sure, the baby couldn’t care less, but I have a strict work from home policy that requires changing out of pajamas before 10 at the latest, and putting on some sort of nice yet comfortable clothes that say (in spite of the obvious) that this woman has things to do, places to go. It’s all in my head, but I think that if I look depressed I get depressed, so I try to avoid that. Yes, I know I am not the one who came out with this groundbreaking idea, but really you could just pretend that this is where you heard it the first time. A little bit of exaggeration never did anyone any harm, right?

So, a few days ago I opened Photoshop on my laptop and started playing with colors and clothes like they were Lego pieces. Because after all the image we create for ourselves in the morning is like a Lego creation. We put pieces together, in a few variations, every single day, to build someone that we think we must be. Someone capable of voyaging through the world with ease and comfort, with confidence and maybe even contentment.

My daily uniform now consists of long cotton knit skirt, usually black, rarely jeans, and a tank top in a lighter color with a cardigan that is either grey or some other muted coloration. The colors didn’t exactly turn out right in my image. They are a little sad. But these are the general hues I tend to be attracted to. I would have liked to simplify and wear only one dominant color, but I am not there yet. You know, you read in good books about those women who all throughout their lives wear only red, or black, or white. That small detail makes for such interesting characters. Because who has so much restraint? Who is so determined and has such power of conviction? Who doesn’t doubt themselves at least ten thousand times a day? Well, obviously, not yours truly. My Lego self is a bit disconnected, loose, sometimes walking the edge between someone and someone else. These Lego selves of mine try to stay together, live in the same universe, but often, as you can see from my Photoshop creation, they just look sad, disjointed, and a bit grotesque together. A bit of a Frankenwardrobe, so suitably, on Halloween.


  1. I do have something with black too. I wear black skirts, but have a hard time with black tops, which make me feel like the angel of death. And about poverty, you reminded me of my mom, who for a very long time refused to buy dark, whole-wheat breads because having that on the table made her feel poor.
    It’s true that black is easy to match and I love that, but I am going for grey now instead of black, which similarly goes with everything. I can’t wear much white-white though. It feels too precious to me. I’m afraid of stains. I’m probably not as good with the bleach stick as you are. Oh, when I went to India last time, I remember, the light is very different there and I could see stains on all my light-colored clothes. Also, that is the only place where I would wear white and all light colors without problem and wouldn’t touch black. Black looks very weird there.

  2. Your lego outfit picture reminds me of the paper dolls I had as a kid. I used to make them new outfits out of bits of scrap paper I acquired.

    Until recently I avoided wearing black because I always associated it with being poor, when the clothes I bought had to last for years and I didn’t have enough outfits to wear a totally new ensemble every day – easy to match clothes were important then.

    But I bought myself some black jeans when I was freezing in the UK last month, and I like wearing them with muddy coloured tees. Mud shades are good, they fade well – an important consideration when living under the harsh NZ sun!

    Every now and then I go through a phase of wearing only white things – not as impractical as it may seem – white cotton is much the easiest fabric for removing stains from with a carefully applied spot of laundry bleach. But that sort of thing can feel like a uniform, and I love colours and I soon go back to an overall look of chaos.

    As a reflection of our personalities, I’m not sure clothes are reliable. You are definitely not mud, in my eyes!

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