Combining comfort and style has never been easy for me. Over the years, particularly when I was a teenager, I have often written off comfortable, casual clothes as styles that I wasn’t “something” enough to pull off – thin, pretty, tall, you name it. I have shed a lot of those insecurities as I’ve aged, luckily. The truth is, I would almost never choose to wear a dress if pants were an option. But the photos I share aren’t always reflective of how I dress from day-to-day, a fact I am more keenly aware of all the time.
The problem became particularly acute in Paris. After more than two years of working from a home office, suddenly I was out in the world on a daily basis again. And I realised that while what I wanted to wear had changed, my wardrobe hadn’t caught up. Worse, I continued to buy clothes that I knew would photograph beautifully, even if I wouldn’t necessarily want to wear them post-shoot. Something had to give.
After an especially cold and miserable morning spent fighting the wind, not to mention an utterly impractical long dress, I decided enough was enough. “We’re not shooting any more outfits that I won’t actually wear after the shoot is over,” I announced. “Why can’t I have comfort and style?” Ian raised an eyebrow. I frequently make pronouncements about plans to overhaul my wardrobe. Most of them don’t last, so he has no reason to take me seriously.
But this time, something really was different. We shot these photos the day after I made my big decision. And yes, I did wear a dress. But a cotton dress. With sneakers. And what an incredible difference it made. I didn’t have to carry a change of shoes in case my feet hurt. I felt relaxed. The photos went quickly because there were no wardrobe malfunctions to deal with. After we finished, we simply went about our day. I wore exactly the same clothes I wore in these photos and not once did I wish I could stop to change.
It’s hardly revolutionary of course, but it wasn’t easy for me to give myself permission to adopt comfort and style as a manner of dressing. Now that I finally have, I can’t help wondering what took me so long! Fashion is about having fun, after all – and no one whose clothes are uncomfortable is ever truly having fun.