One changes, doesn’t one? Over time, I mean.
Who would have thought, two or three years ago, that I would ever feel not only comfortable with, but a just a little excited about, wearing a sports coat and a pair of slacks? I thought my days of tolerating such clothes were long gone in favor of t-shirt and shorts for warm weather and sweat-shirt and jeans when temperatures are a bit cooler.
I was absolutely certain I had outgrown my tolerance for the clothes of discomfort. Outgrown may be the operative word here. Having lost a few pounds in the last forty-five days, I’ve discovered that I can button my sports jackets. I find that one jacket, in particular, actually looks and feels rather good on me. It’s definitely one of the more casual of the few jackets I own; a charcoal grey tweed with leather elbow patches; probably a fashion statement from many years ago, but I like it nonetheless. It works just as well with jeans as with black slacks. I can wear it with a dressy t-shirt or a casual button-down.
This new-found acceptance—and even enjoyment—of wearing clothes I thought I disdained surprised me. I’ve been trying to come to grips with what changed to cause me to appreciate being clothed in something “dressier” than my usual extreme-casual preference. I think I may have found it. In addition to equating jackets and slacks with the work I used to do (which I had come to loathe), I was not happy with the way a bulkier me looked in them; those clothes accentuated my overweight. I suppose they still do, though not as much. And, as I continue to lose weight, the jackets and slacks that now fit me nicely will begin to look too large and ill-fitting.
The problem I’m having with coming to accept and appreciate sports coats and slacks is this: I’ve publicly asserted my disdain for getting “dressed up,” categorizing any nod to fashion an ugly symptom of vanity. But, now, I’m realizing my dismissal of fashion may have been a way for me to maintain some degree of self-esteem. That is, if I simply decide I don’t like the trappings of “fashion,” I feel better about myself than if I acknowledge that I don’t look good in clothes that no longer fit.
But, it’s not just that. No, I really cannot imagine wearing jackets and slacks every day, at least I cannot imagine liking it. But the occasional opportunity to dress up a notch from my usual casual sloppiness has some appeal. I would not admit that a couple of years ago, not even to myself.
One changes. Over time, I mean.