Learning to Match in Your Twenties
My Fashion Journey to Careless Professionalism
I’m standing in front of the closet door mirror wondering whether or not my outfit is within the constraints of “professionalism.” This particular dress has been getting kicked into my limbo pile for months. I’m not even sure it’s clean. I can’t find any visible stains or unknown scents. Would I care if I did? As I go through the routine get-dressed checklist, floor dress seems to pass the preliminary rungs of acceptability. I put a scarf over the questionable collar and wonder: “how did I end up in my twenties unable to match?” A colorful struggle through the world of alternative fashion contains some clues.
In the sixth grade, I was kind of a loser. I was an extroverted art kid – drunk on discovering Pink Floyd and the freedom of buying cookies with my lunch money. I made friends with the Hot Topic shoppers and internet punks. I threw away the Old Navy t-shirts my mom got on clearance – you know the ones with fake surf shop logos – and started anew. I was boldly confused and preadolescent, dressed in combat boots and costume jewelry. I could have saved myself a lot of stress early on if I had just realized that it’s also “alternative” not to care. To my unrefined understanding, the more plaid and patches you wore, the more punk rock you were on the inside. Thankfully, Facebook wasn’t around to document the fishnets-under-ripped-jeans look.