On Playing Dress Up

I still play dress up. I find that if my creativity hasn't been exercised for awhile, slipping on a pretty pair of shoes and a cocktail dress whilst fixing a drink and doing some housework instantly brightens my mood. It might not be as productive as brushing up on some French vocabulary, but there's a time and place for everything - playing dress up is no exception. 

I have very dear memories of my dress up drawer from when I was a kid. It was filled to the brim with 50's dresses, a floral skirt from Bahamas, a pair of clogs, a pink felt beret and various other curiosities. Most items came from my mom's closet, a few pieces from my grandmother, and some that just  seemed to show up by magic. 

I was able to make the same dress work over and over again by simply imagining it differently. I was a farm girl in petticoat in that floral skirt, I was a princess in the 1950's prom dress. I was French in the pink felt beret. On a more subtle level, I feel like the same holds true now as I continually discover myself through style. Putting on a striped shirt might instantly bring to mind a French girl seen smoking outside Colette, a white sun dress might bring to mind strolling through through cobblestoned Oia in Greece as the sun sets while slurping up a melting gelato.  It's not as grandiose or outwardly playful as having a dress up drawer, but escaping reality through clothing is a fascinating way to approach style. 

Today the dress up drawer lives on at my parents' house. Some of the same articles of clothing still occupy the chest that my niece and nephew play in. Some of the clothing and accessories that I have bought throughout the years and have bequeathed to the drawer. 

I play dress up in the comfort of my own home - where no one can see me, except maybe nosy neighbours. It lets me be a kid again in a way riding a bike or watching cartoons doesn't. 

It reminds me of being carefree and not getting caught up in the responsibilities of daily life. It reminds me that clothes are fun and not something to be taken seriously. As much as clothing is a reflection of politics, economics, faith, and philosophy. They're clothes - and they are imagination, and fun, and exploration and sometimes in this stressful, crazy life, they offer a little bit of magic that we sometimes long for.