Wasn’t it Coco Chanel who said something like “before leaving the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off”?
I guess some people might laugh and say “but I’m a minimalist, chic, streamlined, design guru and I exit solely in white Uniqlo singlets and $500 jeans, to do that would leave me half naked **SMUG LOLZ**!!!”.
I don’t subscribe to this theory. Like. At all. I’ll admit that often the quote will cross my mind as I’m adding my final touches of perfume or lipstick to my outfit, then the rebel in me flips the bird and then throws on another six accessories just to make a point.
For example, this morning my getting ready was something like this:
1. I have been waiting all week to wear my new vintage blazer that I picked up in New Orleans. It is a statement jacket as it is very 80’s, very shoulder-padded, very red, and very covered with tropical leaves and flowers. So finally, today, I’m excited and I put it on. I guess some would stop here
2. But I think. “Hmm, botanical print – this needs more flowers” – so I spent five minutes sorting through my three boxes of floral headpieces looking for a smallish one that would compliment the blazer
3. None of the smaller ones match. So I go for the one that does. Which happens to be the biggest of them all with a huge hydrangea, rose, leaves and berries
4. I think “that might be enough now”
5. Then I remember that I have some green feather earrings that I bought a year ago on a whim, but have never been able to find quite the right thing to wear them with. They remind me of the leaves on the blazer. So put those on too
6. My hands now feel very naked an unbalanced compared to the grandeur of my waist-up, and the poofiness of my dress and petticoat on waist down. So I add on three huge statement gold rings on my right hand
7. Red lipstick. Of course.
And then I was dressed.
And as I sometimes do (in moments of weakness), I looked at myself and thought “Shall I remove something?”.
I thought of waif like, frail, Coco Chanel: her classy tweed suits. So chic, classic and expensive. Do I want to be like that?
But then her image quickly was banished and replaced in a heartbeat with Frida Kahlo: flowers, wraps, statement earrings, beads, luscious fabrics and colours. Sensual, sexy, bold and strong. I bet Frida never looked in the mirror and asked “too much?”
No contest. I know who I’d rather be. And so I knew I wouldn’t be removing a single thing.
Personality and style overrides dumb rules any day.