I am in a constant state of thought surrounding why it is that we choose to wear what we choose to wear. (I’m still reeling from this post in particular.) I’ll be honest – there are lazy mornings where I pad around in my pajamas, my mood matching my attire: thoughtless, wrinkled and sleepy. And then I shower and throw on an outfit I love and the cloud lifts. I feel… better. And I sometimes wonder why it is that dressing in particular clothes brightens my day. Am I polishing up my outsides to hide the insides? Am I decorating to hide an unsteady foundation? Are we draping ourselves in clothing to hide the flaws beneath?
My mind immediately turns to Craig Green, a London-based fashion designer who asks many of the same questions. A recent collection from Craig is based on society’s expectations for men and the pressures they feel to be handy, strong and burly. By creating a harsh, splintered wood facade to hide behind, each man can feel enveloped in the false security of manhood, catering to our age-old standards of masculinity.
“I became obsessed with clothing as a uniform,” writes Craig. “Sometimes, it’s oppressive but it also provides [the wearer] with a sense of belonging and a feeling of community.” And I wonder – are we providing the wrong sense of belonging?
What statements would I make if my clothes didn’t speak for me? If my hands were unadorned, open and ready to help someone in need? If my proverbial wedges were replaced with sneakers, running toward a greater goal?
As a content creator, I feel compelled to talk about these things. To share with you that you are more than your skinny jeans and peplum top and strappy sandals. But as a consumer, I also feel hypocritical. How many times have I declared an item of clothing to be a “must-have”? An accessory a “wardrobe staple”? A beauty product a “need”?
There’s a fine line here, to be true. And perhaps that line exists in knowing when to stop purchasing more decorations for our shaky shack. To kick off our heels and peel back the facade to re-build a stronger foundation. One that is rooted in authenticity and kindness and truth.
One that we won’t have to camouflage with peter pan collars and neutral blazers. Because Yves Saint-Laurent said it best: “Over the years I have learned that what is important in a dress is the woman who is wearing it.”
Image Credits: Craig Green