Recently I deliberated whether a pair of skintight gold pleather trousers might be a bit too much for work – given that I work not at a fashion magazine but rather less glamorously one that covers all things sheep related.
I know it doesn’t seem particularly maddening… clothes are just clothes after all. They don’t define us in any way. They’re simply layers preserving our modesty and preventing us from getting frostbite. No – I don’t buy that either. Superficial as it may seem – what we wear does speak volumes about who we are. So, why be dull? Why wear tired jeans and an ink stained blouse when you could be prancing around in a polka dot play suit or a neon tunic?
Anyone who knows me will know that I really can be quite dull when it comes to my sartorial statements. Black jeans, I’m afraid to say, have been my go-to item since I was a mere babe in arms (well practically anyway). I’ll wear them on dates, to the shops, to work, I’ll wear them out walking, I’ll wear them to brunch with all my other black jean wearing chums, I’ll wear them until they start to develop dodgy looking holes in the crotch and then I’ll wear them some more. I wear them all the bloody time and yet I can’t remember the last time I looked in the mirror whilst wearing a pair of faded black jeans and thought ‘yeah – this chick looks good’.
So, in a bid to bring a little more excitement and eccentricity into my life, I reorganised my wardrobe: Resigning the 56882 (approx) pairs of black jeans I own to the back and bringing fourth bright floral prints, deep orange hues and, of course, plenty of gold pleather. I will no longer dress like someone who really can’t be arsed in faded jeans and an ink stained blouse, from now on I’m a go-getter clad in plenty of colour. Or go-go dancer. Haven’t properly decided yet.
To mark this new era of go getting and power dressing, I dared to be marginally controversial and wore gold pleather to the office. It caused quite a stir: The notoriously scary editor of a well-known women’s magazine approached me to tell me how much she loved them. She had never so much looked at me before.
Most of my colleagues were somewhat bewildered. Some laughed, some gasped, one insisted on taking my picture. Every time I stood up my editor laughed and told me my jeans made her day. Something so simple as a slightly squeaky pair of trousers had injected so much fun into the office.
Clothes provoke conversation; an offbeat item invites interest. They don’t define us, but they do certainly hint at who we are, who we want to be. And fashion isn’t just for stick insects with no soul: It’s everybody’s ball game. We all need to wear clothes and we’re lucky enough to live in a liberal metropolis where we all have the right to be expressive and outrageous from time to time – from now on I intend to take full advantage of that.
Of course it’s all a little bit silly: No one really needs a shiny pair of trousers to make them feel empowered. But I happen to be a huge advocate of silliness. What we wear, whatever that may be, should make us feel like the best, brightest, boldest versions of ourselves. Wearing bright, beautiful clothing is like creating your own bit of sunshine on a cloudy day. So put on your rainbow socks, sparkly shoes or whatever it is that makes you look in the mirror and go “WOW” – because it’s bloody miserable outside and we all deserve some sunshine.