On Adulting In Clothes

Harriet M. Welsh taught me about confidence.  If you haven’t read the book by Louise Fitzhugh – long story short – she’s basically a mini fire cracker leaning in hard as the class spy. Harriet may only be eleven, but she’s put into practice what us adults only dream of. She knows what she wants and sticks to it.  She rocks the heavily cuffed jeans, high top sneakers, a utility belt holding all her essentials (flashlight, pen, notebook, the spy essentials), a hoody, and heavy spectacles). Chic. 

It made me think about what it means to “dress like a grown up”. Adulting in style doesn’t necessarily mean pant suits and dad sneakers (although that sounds kind of awesome). It means paring down the wardrobe and leaning towards styles that are less experimental and more tried and tested.

I look at my wardrobe today and although I still hold onto some pieces I wore in attempt to stand out and “be myself” at the ripe age of twenty-one, the majority of what I wear now is typically simple. It is a variation of the same thing over and over again. Bringing in summer 2016, I felt weary of wearing what I wore last year but then it struck me that I’ve been wearing the same thing for not only the past year, but the past three, four MAYBE five? What does that say? I’ve found something that works – it’s not on trend, or this year’s Pantone colour of the year, I didn’t have to go to a high street store to get it, it wasn’t blogged about. They are outfits that I like and work on me. I feel happy in them and should I say it, kind of like an adult?

I like to think that dressing like a grown up doesn’t necessarily mean giving it all up. Bequeathing spur of the moment decisions and fun by succumbing to a uniform of garments worn solely for function. Dressing like a grown up means doing what we know works and having the tenacity to own it.

When I was younger I would go out and try any trend. Some of it worked, most of it didn’t and now takes up space in a Salvation Army somewhere. At this point, I would like to take the opportunity to implement one particular theme Harriet M. Welsh has mastered. Harriet has an unrelenting taste and style that she has no plans on compromising. In the arena of school lunches (a persistent resistance to any sandwich other than tomato), she doesn't care that her mother insists she try something different: it works, she likes it, and is sticking to it. In terms of my own style mantra, I'll go ahead and replace tomato sandwiches with clothes and an eleven year old girl with a newly appointed adult woman (aka me). I wouldn't be quick to turn down the tomato sandwich though.