No lies, I had what I’m calling a super sexy day. Not only did I feel great, but I looked great. It’s funny how my laziest outfits make me look the best—my t-shirt and blazer combos, sweaters and secretly dirty button ups, it doesn’t matter. It just seems like the less I try with my style, the better things go; it’s like my guitar playing: less is more. I made eye contact with several women who felt like they were checking me out, and one man. Men make me so nervous—it’s like being in high school again, and I most certainly have a type at the moment. It feels like I’m being egotistical, but I’m trying to remember “positive self-talk.” I need to tell myself these things because otherwise, my brain would never allow the thought to germinate. The seed of confidence would stay a seed, where it’s no good to anybody. I don’t write for anyone but myself, and I know that positive reaffirmation is what I need to keep my backbone straight.
Like yesterday, this morning, I pushed the alarm until the last possible time—fifty-five minutes before the start of my shift. I skipped the shower, did my hair, skipped breakfast with a coffee and a cigarette and was on my way. My outfit was a last-minute decision, but it paid off well. I’m on this continuous journey of learning that it’s not what you wear, but how you wear it. And, until recently I had completely misunderstood the meaning of that phrase. I always figured “how you wear it” meant the way you carry yourself, and it does, but it also applies to the clothes themselves.
Today, my entire outfit came from Mark’s. Now, Mark’s is your standard, middle of the road work-wear store. There’s a lot of boxy shirts and Khakis in every shade from black to beige; they have some nicer, more fitted shirts, but they’re always so damn modest in colour and pattern. If you looked at me today, just by the way I was wearing the clothes, I’m not sure you could have pegged the entire outfit as from Marks.
Pants that fit properly have done more for me than any therapist could. Just by wearing non-baggy, fitted pants, I’ve transformed my self-image. I don’t feel short, I’m actually a decent height—and now other people know it too. I’m not afraid of pairing a button up with a sweater—because if your pants are right, you avoid that “dad” look. I was always afraid of looking like everybody’s dad, and hell—I still am. I carry all my weight around my waist, my face will be the first to change with a gain or loss, but the majority of my weight is distributed in the ole spare tire. If I stand up straight, large-sized clothes fit me—if I don’t, I need an extra-large. That was the simple little secret holding me back all these years—I slouched too god damn much. Now I buy shirts that force me to sit up straight and my back is physically changing because of that. Over the past year, I’ve become aware of so many muscles that were never engaged purely because I had no confidence.
I guess what I’m getting at is that the way you wear your clothes directly affects the way you see yourself and how you feel—but the reverse is also true. Your clothes fit better if you carry yourself with confidence, because they’re designed for people holding themselves up like they want to be a part of world.
I like talking about this stuff and I think it’s time for me to participate, in a larger way, in the conversation about toxic masculinity, because that’s exactly what held me back for twenty-eight years. So, for the next few days I’m going to dive in to that stuff. I’m looking forward to it.
Now, I have to go write sixteen hundred words. #NationalNovelWritingMonth.
See you tomorrow.
Writer, performer, producer and musician from Alberta.