My Husband Dressed Me And I Learned A Lesson
Relationships need a jumpstart at times. Intentional attention sparks the harmony once felt and can be felt again. My relationship with clothes follows suit. Inevitably, winter dressing reaches repetitive status (you think after living in Pennsylvania for 32 years, I would have cracked the wind chill code). Examining how others bear the cold, while managing to not look like Randy from A Christmas Story, helps. But my style still needed another shot of inspiration. What better way to give it the care it deserves by asking Ben to dress me. What could go wrong?
I wrote this introductory paragraph before Ben selected the two outfits for this piece. It's important for me to keep it. It shows a sense of optimistic anticipation. Ben knows me better than anyone; ten years' worth of information downloading. He has contributed some coveted pieces to my closet; the Free People Golden Quills Military Parka of 2013 for my 28th birthday, the Tiffany & Co. open heart necklace of 2008 marking my college graduation, the Horsethief Bandana clip of 2017 for a family Christmas set outdoors. The blueprint is there to ensemble an outfit for the purpose of expanding my style view, right? I was wrong. Ben was lost when laying out tops and bottoms on our cream duvet cover. It took him a concentrated hour to curate two outfits. Seeing him struggle (his willingness to commit to the task made it harder, albeit entertaining, to watch), I thought about killing this piece. Stubbornness is a part of who I am, though, and I was going to see this idea to the end. I was going to embody Ben's combinations for better or for worse, even if it meant wearing an outfit that was the antithesis of my style personality.
The Americana outfit, outfit #1, is proper. It is classic with an orderly feeling about it. Sarah does an incredible job of making me look comfortable, and even cool, in these photos. I did not feel comfortable. This style is the exact opposite of me. I am rough around the edges. I am irregular. Investing in fundamental pieces of clothing is not my forte but leave it to Ben to find the one semi-foundational item among all the vintage sequins, floral prints, and shoulder pads. Introducing the horizontal navy mock neck tee with an open back (not pictured). It's open back makes it the mullet of fundamental pieces.
The bright side of this outfit? Ben's out-loud thinking when piecing it together.
The second outfit is an improvement. I love this vintage sweater from Royal, and these Levi's. The t-shirt is selected because Ben wanted to insert a literal reference of himself. Overall, the ensemble doesn't fully click, though. My skepticism lies in the accessorizing. Tightly tuck in the shirt, throw on suspenders, eliminate the necklace and replace with gold, thick hoops, and throw my waves in a high messy bun courtesy of a scrunchie, then we are talking. But, we are definitely getting warmer...
Is there a moral of this experiment gone weird? Sure, like the majority of experiences, whether they are a resounding success or not quite reaching their potential, there is something to be taken away. I am the most qualified person to dress me. Did Ben fail? No. He did what he does best and entertained. I am the one that fell short. I asked Ben to jumpstart my style, kick it into gear (I've had a lot of car troubles lately hence the gear head metaphors). He held up his end of the bargain. I left the house with two new outfits. Regrettably I realized I wasn't asking Ben for a new point of view, I was asking Ben to dress me how I would dress me and mask it as "new," thus invigorating my creativity around clothes. It was counterfeit inspiration.
I can't construct what influences my style. My style depends on internal and external factors and alters, only if ever so slightly, on the daily. How can I expect Ben to know the full interworking of building an outfit, when the outfit itself represents how I feel, interact, and connect with myself and the world in that moment? My daily style is impossible to recreate by another. I have nuzzled into a strong style point-of-view. My age, the acceptance of my body shape, the contentment found in pursuing a career I love, belief turned action of not caring about outside opinions: these, along with many others, all contribute to my viewpoint. The creativity executing my style may hit dullness, but the viewpoint remains intact. I won't delegate my style to Ben, or anyone else, in order to revive it. The job is mine, and mine alone (Ben throws both arms straight up in the air as a sign of relief).
Photos by Rose Colored Creative