|Eileen Fisher Silk Layering Dress|
I’ll admit, when I first saw the dress above online, it didn’t do much for me. But while driving to work a few days ago, I saw a woman wearing it (a woman not much taller than me, I must add), saw the beautiful undulation of the fabric as she strode down the sidewalk, saw how amazing it looked on a body in motion, how it brought an edgy elegance to a pair of ankle jeans and heels. I started thinking, “maybe….”
But as it so often does, reality kicked in shortly thereafter. The reality that 80% of time I spend out of the house is spent at work, sitting at a desk. How would that fabric look after being scrunched in a chair for a few hours? The reality that I have a special needs teenager and two shedding hooligan dogs, and a
not-always-who-am-I-kidding-never-pristine house. The reality that I tend to get chilly in air-conditioned interiors, and what would I wear wear over top of this thing?
Yes, reality cramps my sartorial style to a certain degree. “Can I wear it to the office?” If any piece of clothing can’t be incorporated into an office outfit I’m likely to take a pass. “Can it be washed?” See above re: dogs and child. “Does it easily mix with several other items I already own?” While my Fantasy Self would love to play more with mixing odd items, my Get-Up-And-Go-To-Work Self needs an almost Garanimals-level ease of putting together workday outfits.
But totally capitulating to the utilitarian when it comes to style is also a crashing bore. Our fantasy items speak to us for a reason, and we need to listen to what they’re trying to tell us. Perhaps we’re feeling a deficit of color or glamour or whimsy in our lives, or need more outlets for our creativity. Perhaps we don’t have enough time for social gatherings, and gravitate toward clothing intended for evenings out or special events. Perhaps we dream of travel or retirement or living a different kind of life. (Judging from first round draft picks in my Fantasy Wardrobe, I long to run a small art gallery somewhere on the Rive Gauche. Or maybe Carmel-By-The-Sea.)
Fantasy Wardrobe items may also tap into those places of power within our psyches. A sort of totem animal if you will. I’m drawn to clothing with a bit of movement. While I’m not a ruffles-and-lace kind of gal, clothing that moves in certain ways hits that Feminine+Powerful spot for me. (Boots are another of my Totem Animals.)
I think it’s important to listen to the call of our Fantasy Wardrobe items, not necessarily to purchase and wear in their Fantasy form (though they can sometimes turn out to be smart purchases), but to give us clues about ourselves. Often, we can find ways to incorporate some Fantasy aspects into our Reality wardrobes, whether it be color or movement or a design detail that may turn out to have some special appeal or meaning to us.
What kinds of items are in your Fantasy Wardrobe? How do they differ from the items you normally wear? Have you found ways to incorporate Fantasy into Reality?
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