Mini-Challenge #3: One Week of No Comfy Clothes

“Sweatpants are a sign of defeat. You lost control of your life, so you bought some sweatpants.” – Karl Lagerfeld

I don’t really care what Karl Lagerfeld thinks. According to The Devil Wears Prada, I should probably bow at his feet in thanks for the exact hue of the big comfy yellow sweater in my closet I wear over leggings while I type. But whatever. If he came for my comfy sweats, I’d sic Mitra on him.

Well, maybe not this week. Because this week, I’m coming for them myself.

I work from home. Sometimes, the only people to see me in a day are the neighbors Mitra and I encounter in our thrice-daily walks. I don’t need to wear anything but the softest of leggings and loose sweaters and un-makeup-ed skin several days a week or for strings of days each month. And as my body manages a good deal of pain, sitting in restrictive clothing when I don’t have to seems rather foolish; who lounges in business casual chilling with Netflix when there’s stretchy cotton to be worn?

When I do have to go out into the world, 90% of the time it’s not until later in the day; after I’ve finished hours of typing and can then casually shower and dress at leisure.

On a recent day, I realized this lack-of-morning-getting-ready-habit habit. Often, I wake to change from pajama-like comfy clothes into only slightly sleeker comfy clothes; from baggy to slim, from colorful to black. I’ll clean my teeth and face, but not even run a brush through my tangle of long black hair. 40% of the time, I do feel sorta weird presenting myself so au naturele in public. The other 60%, I don’t care — I’m not repugnant in the least, so back down!

But this makes me wonder… how might my days be different were I to dress differently? If I made myself work in business-casual attire from 9 am – 5 pm, would it change how I feel about myself? How I move in my space? If I have to then stay in that outfit all day and wear the same before I go out at night — like, what I’d have to if I went to an office daily — what would change? I’m a habitual I-have-to-leave-NOW-so-of-course-I’ll-change-five-times-more kinda gal. What will forcing myself to make a choice in the morning and see it through do to later socialization? And will more formal clothes change how my body feels for better or, I fear, for worse?

So that’s what I’ll remove this week — wearing comfy clothes during working hours.

I’ll have to office ready by 9 am (ish). I’ll try my darndest to not change before going out for the evening (and I’ll fess up the process of why if I do). I’ll clock how this makes me feel and move in my space. On the weekend, I can relax it a bit but will not wear anything I wouldn’t want someone in my professional life to see me in.

Fun fun. I hope.

On day one, I wake at 7 am, exhausted from a work-social outing yesterday. I have a 2 pm phone interview and then need to be far downtown for a work shindig at 6 pm. It takes me three cycles of clothing to dress, and I settle on simplicity for now: slim jeans, fitted black sweater. I can dress them up with nicer shoes and a blazer later. I brush my hair (I showered yesterday, and to save energy try to only do so when needed), scrub my teeth, and put on a base layer of makeup I can jazz up before the evening.

This is just as annoying now as it is as night. Maybe more so because I haven’t had coffee yet. I give a prayer of thanks for my freelancing life, and sit to type.

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