Getting Ready In the Morning

Being in the Silicon Valley, surrounded by those whose priority might be everything else but fashion, I did occasionally wonder about my motivation to persistently spend a relatively considerable amount of time and effort in “designing” my outfit everyday, and more specifically, to push myself to not repeat a single one in the last 6 years.

It was Laurie Abraham’s candid inner monologue in ELLE’s January Issue that prompted my retrospection. It answered this question which I had been asking myself over and over again. It was as if she was writing for me personally, speaking directly to me.

This motivation behind my endeavor of getting dressed may seem obvious to some people, but I had certainly overlooked it. It is in fact my self affirmation routine, similar to those who write, paint, and play music. Getting dressed is a form of art, translating my inspiration, my mood, and my personality to the rest of the world. It is my creative expression, my self-expression.

As I had been so busy generating content for my previous fashion blog Monkeyshines, over time, this routine which I absolutely love seemed to had become an obligation, one I still enjoy but somehow felt different, sometimes burdening. I realized that my creativity was restrained, limited. Perhaps it was because I entered a different stage of life last year or perhaps it was simply a sudden self-realization, my priorities have changed and so have my shopping habits, surprisingly.

When I was moving out of my studio right after our engagement at the beginning of last year, without even a single doubt, I sized down my closet. Yes, the closet which I curated and had been well known for among my girlfriends as it literally filled my entire studio except that one little corner for my bed. It was astonishing for my friends to learn that I squeezed all my clothes into our existing closet, which I am also sharing with him. A few months later, feeling more conscious and aware of all the little things outside of fashion publications, I noticed that my morning routine of getting dressed has been more exciting and invigorating than ever. Instead of constantly browsing online and ordering boxes of clothing, I was challenging myself to create more with less, with all the staples I currently own in my closet.

Given my mood of the day, by the time I finish brushing my teeth, I would typically have locked down the general vibe I want to go with. Next, I would quickly go through my mental notes of inspiration of the week, ranging from photo of the sky I captured, an old set of sofa, to a bushel of flowers, or a painting that caught my eye last weekend. With a focal point in mind, I browse through my closet for that one item which echoes with this specific idea I have in mind. And here is the best part - mixing, matching and layering the different texture, colors, and lengths, swapping one piece for another, sort of feeling as if I am “shopping” through my closet. This same process is iterated a few more times, until it “feels right”, expressing exactly my mood while incorporating the elements that stem from my daily focal inspiration. After spending about another 5 to 10 minutes in front of my shoe rack, I am now off to a great start of my day.

Besides creating this what I’d like to call a “creative mess” in the bedroom, I also love to explore his closet occasionally. Yes, I’m speaking of the closet of that guy who only sticks with simple, comfortable and practical casual wear. It might be the challenges that are inherent in this not-so-fashionable closet, I get this immense satisfaction from thinking outside the box, transforming and styling his shirts, jackets, and sweaters into an outfit that speaks ME, both my personality and feelings at that specific moment.

In reality, most people do not care about what I wear. Even with this notion, this seemingly messy and convoluted everyday routine of getting dressed is still somehow one of my favorite moments of the day.

Guess I just want to continue to fully enjoy the delight from this small moment of my everyday.