“Most comfortable draped in sequins” is a descriptor I hope to be remembered by someday. To expand on one of the things that brings me into alignment, wearing clothes and shoes and accessories that make me feel good is one of the surefire ways to bring a consistent level of happiness and confidence to my day.
What I love is how different this looks from person to person. For some, not having to do their makeup or hair and wearing comfies with no bra is liiiiiiving. For others it might be wearing sparkly cat ears or rainbow onesies (shoutout to my favorite radical self-expressionist: Kaede). For me it’s looking like I’m heading to the evening gown portion of a Miss America pageant, or maybe a black-tie Christmas party. I know to some that sounds like a nightmare, but my soul literally starts feeling sparkly just thinking about being in a perfectly fitting formal floor-length dress, with my hair up, high heels, and preferably fake lashes (I think I inherited parts of my fancy-loving self from my Mama ;) I love everything about being dressed up, including the process leading up to it.
I’m aware that people would assume I love being that extra for the sake of attention. And I’m sure that’s not totally untrue. But I believe that wearing something that makes you feel beautiful garners a deeper level of admiration rather than cheap attention. There was a line from one of Oprah’s podcasts with RuPaul that really stood out to me (actually that whole episode is really great). For starters, RuPaul talks about how we’re technically all in drag, how everyone gets to choose the way they present themselves to the world. This is less about vanity than it is about having an opportunity to embody the way you feel on the inside and present that in a nonverbal manner to those that just get a chance to see your outside.
At this point I need to interject with what I would hope would be an obvious disclaimer, but just in case. Please hear that this is not about idolizing outward appearances or believing it’s ok to judge others based off their exterior. I fully believe and know we are not just our bodies or our clothes or makeup or whatever we decide to put on or not put on. But it is about the understanding that we can’t fully divorce ourselves from our bodies as it is still a part of our holistic being that makes up who we are. And knowing what it is we feel best in can actually make a big difference as to how we carry ourselves and bring greater freedom and joy by fully embracing who we are.
Back to the podcast, Oprah referenced a conversation she had with Stedman [her partner for those of you who might not know], asking him why he always got so dressed up to go on flights. And he said that he was regarded in an entirely different manner when he was pulled together and wearing something on the more “formal” side. What I believe was being noticed and responded to, was the confidence and self-assurance that type of dress brought forth in him, rather than the specifics of what he was wearing.
You know what you feel best in. That jacket that makes you feel like a million bucks. Those heels that make you walk with just a little more purpose. That lipstick that transforms you into the more fierce version of yourself. Those pants that are so comfortable and flattering that you could wear them all. day. long. and still find yourself checking out your butt in the window as you walk by. Wear those things! Ask yourself what mood or emotion you want to embody that day and then think about the things that will help you do that. If wearing a certain outfit will get you closer to that, then make that a part of your process in getting there.
I was so grateful Tanya of Third Coast Photography (who also happened to shoot my best friend’s amazinggg wedding) agreed to do this shoot with me, and I loved how these photos turned out. Whenever I see a sequined frock somewhere that I’m obsessed with, I verbally justify the purchase by saying, “I would wear something like this to the grocery store!” lest anyone think I believe fancy clothes are for fancy events only. So it was fun to capture that idea at my island grocery store, because yes, I truly believe we should wear whatever we want, whenever we want, wherever we want.
I’m granting you permission to have the freedom to be fully you at all times and to wear that damn rainbow sequined jumpsuit to Trader Joe’s if you want to. Get it.