Every morning, when i wake up and start thinking about leaving the house, i am confronted by my closet. I pick out a shirt or a pair of pants that i feel in the mood for and find something that seems to go right along with it. But i am starting to suspect that i may not be a very good dresser. This surprises me, because, though i often joke about myself being a bad dresser, i would say that if i were to make a list of people that i knew in descending order of style, i would have expected to find myself somewhere near the top of that list. But this is not so. In fact, if anything, i think the style comment i would warrant is something along the lines of "...and you dress really interestingly."
Today for instance, i felt like wearing a jacket. So, i looked over my current selection of 2 different (but not that different) jackets that aren't in the shop, decided i'd worn the brown one quite a lot recently & chose the green one. Threw on some jeans & went with my green shirt with the purple piping... This outfit generally works, i like it. While i was doing all this, picking clothes & whatnot, i was packing my bag & thought to myself, "don't forget to throw in your paper from last quarter because of your meeting with WJT Mitchell today & begging for a letter of recommendation." So, i'm thinking this thought at the same time as i'm putting on clothes and yet i don't make the connection that i will be wearing these very same, toolish (yet quasi-hip) clothes when i meet with him. Thankfully, i'm at a college and surrounded by endless numbers of people of all sorts of questionable styles, but who take whatever they're going with a lot farther than i do... But somehow they sell it better, i think.
I think a (very small) part of my problem is identifying a 'style' for myself. When i was working at the library, most days i wore the same thing, khakis or jeans & a casual-ish shirt. Simple. When i came home i collapsed in a pile of bookish mush & didn't at all care what i was wearing any longer. I had a finite number of 'approved outfits' that i could throw on in the event of 'going out in public' but because i didn't do that all that often, i didn't need too many of them.
These days, i'm out in a non-work-environment public all the time, and i haven't nearly enough pre-planned sets of clothes to last much longer than a week... Add to that, anything i wear when i go to school, i think of as a costume, as in a "Grad Student Costume", so when i wear these jackets (or my preppier collared shirt under sweater), it's because i am, in part at least, playing at grad student dress-up, somewhat mocking, somewhat envying & not really believing that anything i wear is in any way, 'real clothes'. And so, i walk around campus or Hyde Park dreading the moment when someone will call me out on my impostery. I would lamely point at someone in a similar costume to mine, but their resounding response is always, "Well of course they're* wearing that... They're a real grad student... You just would like to pretend to play one on tv."