I sat in my closet and counted the stacks of expensive out-of-style skinny jeans while I Zoomed my besties.
“But they’re Paige, you guys.” My friend of twenty years who had a very successful career in fashion merchandising shook her head.
“Step away, Michelle,” she warned. I surveyed the remaining things with which I could successfully (and hopefully semi-stylishly) cover my backside that were not skinny jeans. There were very few options. I was flummoxed. I was going to have to buy a whole lot of new clothes.
My other friend in the New York City fashion industry perked up. She knew me and my wardrobe by heart.
“Here’s what you do. You can either cut them high/low, you can wear them inside boots, or you can cut them and fray them (preferably by hand) at that length that looks like you bought jeans that were too short. Just a little longer than what we used to call ‘highwater’ length.” I mentally took notes and thanked my lucky stars that I have the most fantastic friends in the world.
Then, she said something I realized later to be pretty profound.
“You don’t have to throw away any of the old things you like. You just need to find a new way to wear them.”
That phrase reverberated in my head for the next few days. I realized that once again, the universe was whispering to me — sending the encouraging messages that my logic and my monkey mind often overlook.
A life lesson from fashion
I realized that I had thrown away a lot of things I used to like lately. In the past year, I had quit my job and completely changed my lifestyle. But with that change, I realized, I had thrown out the baby with the bathwater. (Incidentally, that is one of the most horrendous analogies, like, ever. Just as bad as eating an elephant one bite at a time and eating a frog first thing in the morning. Can we get some more palatable sayings, people?)
Icky sayings aside, I had stopped doing some of the things I liked to do. My friend’s wardrobe advice rang true in my life. I realized didn’t need to throw away all of the old things I liked. I just needed to do them in a different way.
For instance, when I quit my job, I stopped going to dance class. For one reason or another, I just ceased showing up to my Saturday morning old lady ballet. I don’t know why because I loved those ballet classes. They weren’t related to my old job at all, but when I changed around my lifestyle, I changed everything. Even some of the things I liked to do.
I loved my morning pirouettes and stretches as much as I loved my Paige jeans. If I was going to fray my skinny jeans to make them stylish, I would find a way to schedule my dance classes around my new freelance life. That baby in the bathwater, ballet, and my form-fitting pants were here to stay.
See, everything in this world changes, but not everything changes at the same time. Just because the New York City fashion scene, styles, or your situation in life is altered in some way, doesn’t mean you have to give up on the things you love. You simply need to get creative with finding a new way to do what you do.
Being malleable and the ability to pivot are important. Holding on to what makes you happy is just as important.
So, maybe you’re living your best life strutting around downtown New York in your boyfriend jeans with your appropriately tie-dyed retro top and chunky-but-wholly-unsupportive stylish Filas. If you love that, keep on living your best life. Me? I’ll be busy rescheduling my dance classes and fraying my jeans. Because, at the end of the day, making yourself happy is always in style.