The shoes at the top of my closet have started collecting dust. Really, I don't think they're sitting that pretty anymore. One by one, I actually heard them detach themselves from where I placed them on the shoe rack five months ago and hit the floor with a thud. But I don't mind – I'm enjoying being lazy right now, and I don't need my neon kitten heels or white leather boots.
That sounds pretty sad, especially since the styling of outfits is so much a part of me. Even if I experienced brief fashion buzz during the lockdown period, it was short-lived. I designed a beach outfit to sit on the sand and meditate for a while to socially distance myself from everyone around me. I styled outfits for photo shoots at work and even applied a bit of makeup to take it all off after taking a few selfies and putting my clothes back on the stand. Sometimes I put on accessories for Zoom calling, but knowing I am generally more comfortable typing without bracelets and rings, I usually take them off too.
"My personal style has always evolved, and regardless of which way the trend cycle takes, I want my own outfits to represent who I am over and over again.
Here I am, almost feeling guilty for not using much of my wardrobe. I lived out of three drawers: the sweat drawer, the workout clothes drawer, and the swimsuit slash cover-up drawer. Yes, that's partly my fault because I could have spent more time in house dresses and ribbed matching sets, but I'm sure I'm not alone when I think work in pajamas is quite relaxing. Now I have to wonder if I even remember how to dress. But more importantly, I wonder if all of this has kept me sticking to my personal style. Has my style changed and how do I know it has changed?
I look back at this old photo of myself and remember how I made the outfit so vivid. All I knew was that this silk self-portrait gown required a '70s moment for me with wide-leg jeans and that I would be walking the wild side in a ribbed, cropped tank that reminded me of the early 2000s Years. Not everyone would style these pieces this way, but at the time I was so sure it was the look for me. I think that's the feeling that I'm missing in my life now: the feeling of being safe.
At the moment it is impossible to know when our life will be normal again and what the new normal will look like at all. Like most people, this insecurity is rooted in seeing friends and family, hugging, and resuming daily activities that we love and may take for granted. For me it also depends on what I do and what the fashion industry will be like. It's impossible to predict how the street style trend cycle will turn – will it pick up where it left off? And will people notice or even care to participate? Will they continue to dress for themselves, either clinging to the more laid-back sport they have become accustomed to or bold, new fashion perspectives and looks that we have never seen?
When I think about how I'll dress when I step back into the hustle and bustle of "real life" it seems pretty insignificant in the whole scheme of things. I know that. But I also know that appreciating all of the little parts of you that make you yourself is an important way to keep your feet on the ground and continue your journey of self-love, especially when the future turns out to be like one Riddle to the touch.
For a while now I've been remembering the past – at least when the subject of "getting dressed" comes into play – but if I don't know who I am or what I like, I have to play and see you later. My personal style has always evolved and regardless of which way the trend cycle takes, I want my own outfits to represent who I am over and over again. I think I'll visit the shoes downstairs in my closet first as they seem to be calling my name.
Image source: POPSUGAR Photography / Sarah Wasilak