When I was younger, a lot younger, way back in high school, I used to lie in bed before it was time to get up in the morning and dream of a perfect outfit for the day. I’d close my eyes and conjure up what I felt like that morning, who I wanted to be that day, and what outfit I’d need to wear to achieve that persona. Of course, the problem was that I frequently didn’t own the items I needed to become my perfect self that day.
Still, I’d get as close as I could with what was on offer in my closet. Once conceived, the picture in my head of my best self drove me on; nothing else would do; even a pale imitation was better than abandoning the idea altogether. Sometimes, if I was very lucky, I’d make a successful foray into the closets of my older sisters. A few times I even absconded with items of my mother’s. Inspiration can be downright bossy, you know. A bit of a control freak, even.
|On the left two Max Mara coats, Fall and Winter 2017 from Vogue.com. On the right Asos coat from Lolariostyle on IG.|
Years later, at almost sixty-two, I’m still a bit like that. Still dreaming of outfits; still unable to get them out of my head once they’ve lodged there. Still sometimes unable to measure up to the often tyrannical dictates of inspiration. When I was a kid, I had only myself and my imagination to blame. Now… well… I blame Pinterest. At least partly.
Take for instance the three outfits above. Long luscious coats, long enough to billow when one walks. Delicious monchrome-ish layers. Cosy and elegant all of them. Perfect for a Canadian winter. They’ve been on my Pinterest board on winter layering, and in my head as a result, for weeks and weeks. I adore the two shots on the left, both from Max Mara Fall 2017 collection. But I don’t own the pieces which could literally interpret either of those outfits. And since I just bought a short Max Mara coat not that long ago, shopping to achieve this directive was not an option.
But just when my aspirations of long, elegant coats seemed doomed, scrolling through Pinterest also lead me to a solution. When I saw the Asos coat on the right a light bulb went on. That look is much more achievable because, as it happens, I already own a long, hunter green, winter coat. How lucky. And how much more fun it is to try to follow inspiration by rummaging in my closet. More fun and less expensive than shopping. Ha.
|Ready to talk coats?|
|This is a great coat, I think.|
|Lots of room to kick up my heels in the coat.|
Now here’s the great thing about having a great coat and a great scarf. It doesn’t matter at all what you have on underneath. I wore my khaki jeans here because I was going for a monochromatic look. But it wouldn’t matter if I had on blue jeans, black leggings, or, with a coat this long, no pants at all. The coat is everything. Okay, so, maybe the billowing part might present a bit of a problem if one were pantless under there.
So, that’s one inspirational directive easily solved. I wore this outfit to run errands, and go to the library today. Next time I think I’ll try all black under the coat, and maybe a different scarf.
These days inspiration is not quite the tyrant it was when I was a teenager. I still get a picture of a look in my head quite frequently, though. And then I’ll scrounge and dig through my closets and drawers, to try to achieve what I see in my mind. Or try to replicate something resembling what I’ve seen on Pinterest, or in a fashion magazine. And I’m not always successful. But I’m a grown up now, not fifteen. I don’t have to raid my sister’s closet, which let’s face it, could be dangerous. I have my own money. I can always shop if I want. That is if inspiration gets so darned bossy that I feel compelled to obey.
|I’d better start shovelling. Ha. Get real. Hubby did it ages ago. I was probably still asleep.|
Now… I want to go back to what I was saying at the beginning of this post. About lying in bed first thing in the morning dreaming of outfits. It’s a great way to wake up. But it’s an even better way to go to sleep.
Hubby and I were discussing falling asleep, after I told him about Laurel’s comment on my last post. She mentioned that the night before she and her husband had one of their “random joint insomnia events.” Love that line. And that they’d lain in bed talking and laughing instead of each privately spinning their own mental wheels. Isn’t that a great story?
So I said this to Hubby and we were laughing about what we do. I, of course, count outfits instead of sheep. Sometimes I work backwards from the present, sometimes the other way. I consciously think of all the favourite outfits I can recall in chronological order. Not year by year, my memory’s not that good. I just conjure up pictures of ones I remember. It’s imminently satisfying. Drives stressful thoughts and worries away, and calms me right down.
Hubby counts big fish he’s caught. And where. Ha. Typical.
But… whatever works, eh?
How about you, my friends? Does inspiration ever get a hold on you? Does a particular outfit idea grab you and not let go until you achieve it? Have you ever counted outfits to fall asleep?