WardRObed, Day 3: Be the color you wish to see in the world

thegreatwardRObeexperiment

My 5-year old daughter is dressing me for one week. Today was Day 3.
(Here’s Day 2.)
(Here’s Day 1.)

OK, let’s get right to the outfit, because I’m really digging it today:

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Right? Nailed it. I got a lot of compliments on this one, and for good reason: it’s a great outfit. Five out of five high fives, Rosie Mae.

Rosie says: “This is my favorite shirt! (Ed. note: Mine, too!) I picked this scarf because I love the patterns, and scarves don’t make you hot or cold, they just make you good. I like this stuff because it’s not that boring. That’s why I choose these outfits. I think you should always try something new, things you haven’t done before.”

A common refrain that keeps coming up in response to the outfits Rosie has chosen so far is that she’s is doing a bang-up job, but the clothes are all pieces I bought, so I should take some of the style credit. (And let’s just pause for a minute here and recognize that a week-long challenge where I wear outfits Rosie purchased for me would be a whole different experience. Though maybe worth a Kickstarter campaign, because how funny/hilarious/rad would that be?)

So if you’re handing out style credit, I accept. (YOU TOO CAN GET THIS LOOK! Shoes: Target; Pants: Target; Shirt: Secondhand store; Scarf: Target; Hair: Target, etc.) But the impetus of this project, for me, wasn’t to showcase or reveal Rosie’s talents as a stylist. My thought process was literally: Rosie loves fun clothes—>she’d be tickled pink if I let her pick out my clothes—>let’s see what happens! And now it’s unfolding in a really wonderful way. Maybe she’ll grow up and do something related to fashion, maybe not. Maybe she’ll grow up and be really fashionable while leading archaeological digs in canyons or performing appendectomies. Who knows? I believe in her, either way.

What’s at the heart of this experiment for me is giving Rosie a chance to show me more of who she is by entrusting myself to her in a small but very visible way. It’s a kind of role reversal—one where I become the more vulnerable one in the relationship for a minute while she crafts me into the version of myself I’ll be for the day.

But also: She’s methodically choosing the most colorful, patterned, makes-a-statement pieces of my wardrobe, every day. (Not gonna lie, kinda worried once my fun clothes run out, she’ll be like, “There’s nothing for me to work with any more. We’re done here.”) Obviously, these are clothes I approve of—I’m the one who chose them in the first place. But when I bought bright green shoes, did I imagine wearing them with bright red pants and a bright blue shirt? Nope. In fact, it’s the opposite. The “louder” an article of clothing is, the more likely I am to wear muted colors for the rest of my outfit. I love fun clothing, but somehow now that I’m in my 30s/a mom/square/have life insurance/what have you, it’s like I’ve given myself a vibrancy quota. “Ok, have your fun, self, but don’t forget: you’re an ADULT.”

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What’s that about, I wonder? I mean, look at this outfit. It’s great. Wearing it made me feel great. I’ll probably wear it again. It reminds me of this set of colorful patterned bowls I bought once from a fancy store because I just loved them so much, I wanted to look at them every day. I brought them home and nested them together high up on a display shelf, red in blue in green in yellow, and went on eating my cereal and ice cream out of our plain-ol’, cream-colored, no-patterned, sensible dishes. Finally, after they’d been gathering dust for almost three years, I thought: why am I not using these bowls? They make me happy. I should be using them. So I picked up the red one with the flowers, washed it, and had a bowl of ice cream.

Thanks for reminding me how much better ice cream tastes in a pretty bowl with red flowers, Rosie Mae.

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(Go to Day 4)

October 24, 2014   8 Comments