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Saturday, February 6, 2010

On Picking Clothes

When I was a child, I had a thing for choosing clothes. I was not good at it. The whole family was shopping one Christmas holiday and my mom asked what dress I wanted. I cleared my throat and with a smile on my face, chose this beige, laced whole dress. My smile faded and my mind changed when my mom said it does not suit me.

In high school, I could not buy any clothing without the help of either my sister, my mom or my fashionable friend. It was at times pressuring to be choosing so many a times I just settled for hand-me-downs or simply used the same shirt and pants for 6 years or more.
At 23, someone suggested me to buy new clothes. Between the lines were these: My clothes are old. I don’t buy clothes, because, I am scared to be having choosing dilemmas or being discriminated, and that I could never be good at it. I am such an indecisive fashion victim who could not even try to save herself by buying new clothes. Not buying new clothes said a lot about my incapacity to decide for myself and stand up for it; it means being scared to declare what I believe to be good for me, and to have the mindset that whatever I wear is simply an expression of myself and not an exhibit for the world to evaluate.

Last month, at 24, I bought a dress and a pair of shoes at a discount store all by myself. No sister. No mom. No fashionable friend. Just Me and my choosing ability that was out for some testing that day. In the fitting room, I forced myself to trust in my aesthetic instincts. I consciously tried shutting the voice of my mom, my sister and my friend. Choose what you like, what looks good on you and that which expresses who you are. So I bought a white, whole dress and a pair of brown, flat shoes.

I wore both at a special dinner date with some of my friends, and they all said I looked nice. That brought a smile on my face. I was happy, not really because they liked my fashion statement, but because I finally chose to declare it.

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