Monday, April 4, 2011

New Bike and Old Fashion Favorites

I am loving pedaling to work my cute little red Dahon.  It's quick and nimble and easy to store in the office so it has become my regular bike to work bike.  Now that spring has at last sprung I've been pulling out my warmer weather clothes and my recent selections are giving me pause to think about how I want to dress and how I want to live. 

Black JCrew City Fit capris and black, suede ballet flats.
I bike in part because it's uncomplicated.  No worries about expensive repairs or a gas tank sitting on empty.  Unless, there is snow on the ground or 30 mile and hour winds, I just secure my purse to the bike rack or attach my pannier and go.  These days I look for the same ease in dressing; probably I always have because I see myself returning to the same pieces again and again.  I want to look nice but I don't want to have to spend too much time thinking about it. 

Khaki JCrew City Fit Capris, black Eddie Bauer tee, shaped denim jack and tie-dye cotton/linen scarf.  Tapered pant legs are perfect for a bike without a chainguard.
Since college, I've had a uniform that I return to again and again.  I flirt with other looks but I always return to fitted, flat front pants cut right above the ankles, classic boatneck, 3/4 sleeve t-shirts, with 3/4 sleeves (for the last few years my world isn't quite right if I don't have a French sailor t-shirt hanging in my closet), a shaped, dark rinse denim jacket, classic cardigans, slingback heels and a chest full of scarves for every season.  They work for me; effortless, always smart and elegant, yet comfortable.  I put on my uniform and I don't worry about my appearance for the rest of the day.

You can never go wrong with a pair of pink slingbacks.
These of pink Ann Taylor slingbacks, purchased three years ago, replaced a previous pair, almost identical, that I wore for years. Despite a chilly morning, I couldn't resist wearing them and they look great with almost everything in my closet. They are scuffed just a bit at the toes but I grabbed them this morning without a second thought. I found them brand new at a consignment shop in Phoenix for $15. I'll wear them until there is a giant hole in the sole and Bob makes me throw them out.

Just as choosing to ride a bike instead of maintaining two cars has been financially liberating, I wonder what would be freed up in my life by committing consciously to a fashion uniform.  How much energy do I waste on any given day trying to decide what to wear, especially when I'm happiest in my uniform?  Would I accomplish any unfulfilled goals (finding a more fulfilling job, achieving fluency in French?) if I could nearly dress each morning with my eyes closed?   I was able to change my relationship with the automobile to my ultimate benefit, despite living in a car-centric world.  Can I similarly change my relationship with clothes despite a life-long obsession with them and fed by the continual arrival of fashion catalogs?  Have any other chic cyclist toyed with this question or done anything about it?  Do any of you have a uniform?


Camille said...

I've been thinking this lately as well!! I find so many good deals with my thrift-y store shopping habit (OK, lets admit it really is an addiction). That look cute but now I have so many clothes, so many looks, that I agonize over what to wear every day. When all I really want to wear (and honestly could pull off about 95% of the time, except for work) are yoga pants and tank tops!! xoxo

GB said...

Love the pink slingbacks. They remind of a pair of pink suede slingback I used to have but only wore twice before I gave them away. I got the same pair in black suede, but I held on to these.

Love the lemon coat too!