Recovering "Rightness"

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Lately I have been having some difficulty finding something to wear. I know that sounds ridiculous as I have several racks of clothing in my home and packages come at least once a week. Usually there is a seamless coherence between who I am and what I decide to wear. I am most times quite sure about both. The word “rightness” means the quality or state of being true. In general I feel this sense of truth in how I chose to represent myself through my choice of clothing. I feel it says what I want to say about the time I am living in.

It is hard to tell if the trouble is within me or the problem lies with the clothes. Perhaps it is the cultural context we are living in at the moment where the concept of truth is no longer a reliable way to judge knowledge claims. It is probably all three as getting dressed is a transaction between my body, a garment and the context I am wearing it in. As a clinician and someone with a postmodern bent I have always understood the shaky nature of how we think about “truth” but these times make the instability of truth and how it is being used by those in power, a little frightening. Perhaps I am feeling a little bullied by the prescriptions of an industry still heavily invested in telling you what you should wear, should post, should be seen in and evaluates your worth accordingly.

The word rightness feels like a better goal as it is subjective, it is a state and it is something each of us knows for ourselves. It is not right or wrong, it just is and we are the ones who decide it. You can’t describe it, it is just known by you. The word rightness allows us to be in charge. It is a word that allows us to contain memory, imperfection, rebellion, deconstruction and reconstruction, as long as we are the ones identifying and feeling it. 

I stumbled across someone on Instagram recently and I have been fascinated by her. She works for a very high end e-commerce platform as the styling director. Like me she favors oversized clothes, sunglasses and my secret obsession; tulle skirts. The skirt so hyper feminine, is often paired with T/s and men’s button down shirts. She is a fan of trench coats. But what I really love is that she often wears a pair of clearly favored silver sneakers and it is hard to tell if it is the shine of the silver or if they are worn and dirty. After seeing those sneakers for a few weeks and trying to determine which was which, I gave up. I went to my shoe shelf and found my four year old, worn, Chuck Taylor CDG Play sneakers that I have not been wearing because I felt they looked too dirty. There was a reason clearly they did not go into the bin. The last two days, I have been wearing them with jeans and an older, but still luxurious, merino wool sweater that makes me feel seductive and yes, playful.  

Right now at this moment in time and for today this is my quite imperfect rightness and I feel at one with my clothes.

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What is your moment of rightness with your clothes?



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