Clothing as Costume
Do you think of clothes as a kind of costume? I do.
Looking back, I can see that my wardrobe has shifted with every new stage.
Fashion changes with the seasons, it’s true, but our style evolves as we do.
I remember being a young lawyer, buttoning myself into severe suits, clasping pearls around my neck, and hoping that my outward appearance would hide my lack of experience.
I remember moving to a career at the University of Toronto, and embracing the tentative freedom of unstructured jackets and chunky necklaces.
I remember the early days of parenthood, inventing a personal style that incorporated machine-washable clothing and accessories that could survive the attentions of toddlers.
And now I love the liberation of dressing like a working artist, pairing jeans with dramatic cocktail rings.
It’s such a joy to be able to wear what you love, and not be constrained by the norms of a particular workplace. But looking back, I wonder if I should have had more courage to push the envelope? If I would have enjoyed my earlier careers more if I’d been able to adapt my ‘costume’ to my authentic self?
If I ever go back to an office, I’m taking my cocktail rings with me.