Our Uniform Style

Do Our Clothes Define Us?

In Berlin, I visited The School of Life, a small book shop dedicated to Alain de Botton's works and philosophy principles. It's an interesting store, right off Helmholtzplatz in Prenzlauer Berg, and de Botton's writing has long motivated me in becoming a more thoughtful person so I was glad to finally visit.

While there, I picked up a box of cards for self-exploration, as they're called: “Know Yourself.” Printed on gray index cards on questions to meditate on and though initially I winced – cheesy self-help isn't really my genre – these cards proved great inspiration to my writing. Like this one I pulled:

Hmmmm. Wow. Have you ever thought about that? I mean, they use the phrase fashion statement for a reason, but have you thought about your own personal fashion statement, what you want to say through your appearance?

I know that there are days when I want to make a statement, be noticed, and I dress accordingly (this usually includes black tights and heels). Other days, I'd prefer to remain anonymous, happy to slip out in my leggings and sneakers and oversized sunglasses: a look I call “celebrity incognito.” But I'd never really considered what “Courtney style” means. And yet, other people know.

A friend buying me a birthday gift would know to choose a gray scarf over hot pink. That I prefer earrings to bracelets. That sweaters are my jam but leave the cardigans to Gran. But what am I trying to say with all this?

According to this card, “clothes always constitute a uniform.” What would my uniform be?

Such a thoughtful question... one which I don't have an answer for (yet), so let me ask: what would your uniform be? (ct)