This Saturday, the start of a luxurious three-day weekend was a sunny one in downtown Toronto. With a high of 29 degrees and little wind, I put on some light denim shorts, a white tube top, gold flat sandals, completing the look with a bright pink lip and my the front of my hair pinned back. As I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror before leaving my condo, I realized I probably looked about 16 years old. I have a young looking face as it is, and the fashion, hair, and makeup choices didn’t help matters. Add to that my pink plastic iPhone case (complete with little white bow) and I wasn’t going anywhere without being IDed.
Walking to the subway to begin my errands, I noticed a skateboarder and thought to myself “I haven’t seen anyone skateboarding in a while – how rad!” (let’s pause here and acknowledge the choice of adjective.). I skipped across the street, feeling lighter than usual, and found myself grooving to Hanson’s Mmmbop as I went about my day. Work seemed a million miles away and as I applied my Pink Sugarplum hand sanitizer, I relished in the acknowledgement that summer is finally here.
Whether I realized it or not, dressing fun and youthful made me feel more young and free. It reminded me of summer vacation, a worry-free state of mind, and seemingly endless possibilities. By putting on a pair of youthful shorts and listening to a nostalgic tune, I was in a way transported back to a feeling of optimism and youth.
While I don’t anticipate I’ll be dressing younger on a daily basis, the experience reminded me to integrate youthful cues into my everyday life as a powerful tool in shifting my state of mind. This applies to the other senses too: go grab a popsicle and remember the taste of summers in the park. Wear a perfume you used to adore. See a film from your high school days.
In an environment where every magazine shows us how to dress for our body type, age group, and budget, let’s break some rules. You just might find joy in dressing for your desired state of mind.