For years I wore black. It was easier to choose my clothes for the day when I was a busy single mother with dependent children and multiple demands. I then went to dress in clothing of muted colours until my son observed I dress to be invisible. I woke to the psychology of his observation.
My wardrobe now consists of at least 100 shawls, some cotton, some silk, some cashmere. I love the versatility this piece of garment brings. What I did not know was my shawls define me to others. On a flight a cabin crew member commented once, I was known as “The Pashmina Lady” by the crew!
It is interesting how we perceive people by what they wear, sometimes, our perception is so wrong. This happened to me recently. I was teamed up to work with someone new. We talked on the phone before our appointment but had never met each other before our first hello in the client’s driveway. I watched her get out of her expensive European car, slender, blonde and dressed in pure white linen capri pants and oversized shirt and beige high espadrilles. Chic is an understatement. Her greeting and laughter as effervescent as champagne. My first thought was she had not checked where we were working. I had. And, I arrived in sandals, jeans and a tee-shirt accented with a scarf. We were welcomed at the door by the family and we entered. She went straight to work. She kicked off her shoes and sat on the sticky floor that was covered in toys and casual living. She remained there for the hours we were there. She never flinched.
We worked again in the weeks that followed. Over lunches we were more candid with each other, the warmth between us, genuine. I shared with her my first impressions of her and how I loved her down to earth approach. She told me she loved that I wear colour. The other professionals she worked with wear “boring black”! I told her I was once one of them! No more! I dress to say I’m here!
It has made me wonder. Do we wear brighter colours as we age? Is it our way to symbolise the last hurray?! I’m beginning to suspect this is true for me.
I wear the brightest colours and jewellery when I work and when I’m travelling. Call me flamfoo if you must but I need to reassure myself I’m still here when I look in the mirror!
Until next time
a dawn bird