We all do it. We imagine ourselves in ways that don't meet reality. Maybe someone sees themselves as fat, but is actually underweight and living the distortion of anorexia nervosa.
I see myself as less intelligent, less thoughtful, and kind of clumsy socially, compared to my social circle. Only one is reinforced by friends. One even says that I'm the smartest person he knows. I don't think it is hyperbole, but he knows some incredibly savvy folks. And he is brilliant himself. So, we have different forms of intelligence, perhaps.
What does that have to do with fashion? And why on earth is a hippie whitelight girl doing writing about something she has been running from all her life?
Because it's a challenge.
The Free Fashion Challenge, to be exact. A year, 365 days of not buying clothing, including underwear and socks.
Yes, I'm prepping for this, and getting the items I know I'll need, like underwear, before I start the clock. Since clothing swaps are allowed, I'm fudging and saying a one in/one out at a thrift shop is my "clothing swap." Any clothing I am given will stay in a box until the challenge ends. Unless it finds a new home before then.
One of the style (not fashion) issues I have is dressing this other Robyn. She has a much more active and varied social life than I do. She likes colors I can't pull off. But she is getting better at color synchronization. She seems to have a different body shape, too.
So, if that Robyn isn't me, why do I have clothes for her? Answer as of last week is, I don't. (Dear local Goodwill, you are welcome.)
I have clothing for this Robyn, in this part of the grand life journey. I don't have clothes for the Robyn I was, or an idealized image of what I could be.
I have accepted what IS. What is NOW. And I'm wearing clothing that is appropriate.
But why do we have these real wardrobes for our shadow selves? Why do we invest in a fantasy?
It's the closet version of having hardback copies of books we will never read on our shelves, books meant to impress viewers, or tell a story about us that isn't realistic.
A lacy less than knee length dress in my closet is as useful as a copy of the "Compleat Works of Shakespeare," a book my son got far more use out of than I. In 20 years, I referenced it five times for myself.
Three pairs of trousers in suiting material, when I have a uniform for work, is silly. I kept one for interviews.