I've written about clothes before, but it's a subject that fascinates me. The whole thing is to do with costume. Do people ever dress anything other than aspirationally? Aren't you, whatever you put on, choosing how the rest of the world is to perceive you? If I'm wearing old tracksuit bottoms and ancient t-shirts for sitting around at home, it's because I want to feel comfortable and not on show and the clothes underline that to me and anyone else around. The removal of my public self with the removal of my public clothes. I can be much freer, dressed in soft tracksuits that I've had for half my life. People who see me dressed like that, I have to be incredibly comfortable with, because I have to trust them not to judge the clothes. It's like people seeing you in your pyjamas. I do on occasion go to the supermarket or whatever dressed in the more presentable version of lying around the house clothes, but in a way, I'm still lying around the house - it's still not public, at some level. The amount I feel on show to some degree correlates with how much discomfort I'm willing to put up with, I suppose. I'm the least 'dressy' at work (aside from at home), always in ancient trainers and often quite baggy jeans and t-shirts. I would dress up even more than that to go to the ADC or wherever, unless what I'm doing when I get there is a get-in. I don't wear hoodies to work, or tops that are definitely designed for sport, but that's about my only concession. I'm not on show at work, much. And it depends on my mood. I don't usually have the energy to put the effort in. The more tired or fed up or stressed I am, the less colourful or considered is what I wear. Probably the less low cut, too. I don't want to attract notice in any way when I feel like that, and the easiest way is to dress as dully as possible, I guess. If I'm going out or going somewhere or going to see someone or am going to be in a situation about which I'm not entirely comfortable, I will dress up. Lower cut tops, skirts, boots, colours, scarves, jewellery. It's hard to unpick why those things should make me feel more confident. Something about the clothes doing some of the talking for you, or distracting from the actual impression someone might get if they had access to the unshielded character underneath. Glamour in the archaic sense, I suppose, though I sort of hope to be subtle about it.
But all of these aspects of clothing make nudity incredibly intimate. I suppose that's why we as a society find it quite so sexy, beyond the crass 'I can see your BITS' routine. Because being naked with someone is access to their most private self, without a projection or any attempt to mislead. That's not about sex, though I suppose when there are people you feel that intimate with, sex is a progression. But being naked, in itself, is a big deal. Vulnerable, snails without shells, a declaration of trust. Even being naked alone, for something other than washing, is significant. Isn't it? Something about being able to look at oneself and know oneself. Symbolic only, I think, but not nothing. I suppose plastic surgery would ruin the ability to be naked in this sense - you would never be able to take off the image. I have no desire for tattoos or surgery, and am uncomfortable about the idea of dying my hair, in a way. Though the hair-dying is mostly to do with the fact that my hair is fragile enough without soaking it in chemicals. Something about the recognition of self.
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