We have all participated in a pandemic partnership with loungewear. Creating a workspace from home left no need for any dress code other than the comfiest pants, if any, and the facade of being able to dress solely from the waist up.
Did I enjoy my time being able to wear my bummiest of clothes? Of course I did.
Did I enjoy the way that I forgot how to feel confident in how I dressed? Absolutely not.
I never understood the importance of dressing to impress myself everyday until I stopped doing so. It’s painfully easy to slip into the monotonous habits of putting on sweatpants and a hoodie. I actually got to the point where I just had multiples of specific leggings and sweatshirts in different colors, just so I could not think about what to wear everyday. All of my sweatshirts are three sizes too big at a minimum, and usually skim right above my knee. I forgot what my body looked like. If I was actively choosing to forget, a sweatshirt was the solution.
In doing so, I trained myself to hate showing any part of my body. I hated the parts of myself that made me, me. I was able to hide myself at home, and subsequently in my clothes. It wasn’t until I started back at in-person classes that I realized my clothing didn’t reflect my personality. I wasn’t presenting myself in a way that made me feel empowered. Being stuck in this rut was, even if indirectly, a result of my lack of self care.
I never understood the phrase, “Look good, work well.” until now. I knew my slump was directly correlated to the way I was presenting myself on a daily basis.
I made a promise to myself.
I was going to break up with my sweatpants.
As any good breakup story goes, there were really good strings of days in a row that I fashioned a new outfit. There were also really bad days, where the comfort and familiarity of a sweatshirt is all I wanted.
Over the next few weeks, I triumphed and struggled. I struggled to find myself beautiful in the clothes that I had hidden from for months. I found it beyond difficult to feel as confident in my clothes this time around, than when I had worn them last. I was undeniably uncomfortable during the first few days, but slowly I was able to find the parts of myself that I lost.
The more I dressed to impress myself, the more I was able to feel comfortable in my own skin and present myself with confidence. The further along into my breakup I got, the further along I got into self discovery. I talked to strangers in coffee shops about the Nike blazers that they were wearing, I walked into a room not buried in my phone to avoid eye contact with other people, I went to classes and was more of an active participant because I was proud of how I looked.
I was proud of my body. I wasn’t forcing myself to exist in a smaller and less noticeable aura. I successfully ended the worst relationship I have ever had, and broke up with my sweatpants.