Looking at Marriage in a Glass Half-full/Half-empty Way
A Minute to Myself (43)

The Symbolism of a Flannel Shirt

I don’t know what’s wrong with flannel shirts, unless not wearing them is a statement of non-conformity. And then you need to wonder if the form of non-conformity chosen is itself a form of conformity? Which leaves you wondering how to express your personality if doing something and doing the opposite leave you categorized? But is that necessarily bad?


As someone who has spent an inordinate amount of time and thought processes trying to ensure that I am not like anybody else, it seems to me now, in my 47th year, that as a non-clothes woman (no one would confuse me with any of the women in Sex and the City) what I wear, although strikingly conformist, reflects only a part of who I am, and no one who knows me would think that I am a conformist. My Old Navy tee shirts, and Banana Republic and Ann Taylor tops I see coming and going, and I basically buy any bottom that fits my thighs, so I have Lee and Merona and LL Bean. Not exactly brands on the cutting edge of clothes statements. And I don’t accessorize very well, if at all. So where and how am being I expressed in the white shirt and black pants?


My hair is a key accessory: think Shirley Temple but in dark blonde with gray highlights. And I guess you could consider my eyes and my smile accessories. Which seems to lead me to reconfirm what we have been told by our mothers, but not the fashion industry, that the clothes are a backdrop and even in the uniform of a conformist we always express who we are, because we’re always in there. And even in the uniform of a fashionista, we are in there, but with more layers to get through. So, flannel shirt or not, the key is to always be an expression of yourself, and not to simply state that you are the anti-someone or something else, or that you are the pseudo-someone or something else.


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