A Step Forward #4


Shane McGinnis

Illustration By Miranda Sepúlveda

Welcome back to another week of Shane talking with authority on things he’s just started to introduce into his life. All jokes aside, I think there are some hidden benefits within that idea. 

I am just starting out on this journey of self-improvement and yet, I come to this blog twice a month and try to write with some sort of authority along with introspection. I think it really has encouraged me to actually do my best with some of these ideas, so I can avoid ever-looming and always dreaded imposter syndrome.

There would be no force other than my own willpower to drive me to actually do the things I talk about if I wasn’t writing these blogs. I think this blog is a good motivator and for that, I am thankful (a practice that’s continuing on from the third blog). Now, back to the regularly scheduled topic of reflection. 

This week, we’re going to be talking about a topic that I’m just starting to get the hang of: clothes … To be more specific,  my relationship with clothes. 

Now, I am not a fashion icon or even someone who would be all that interesting to see walking down the street. I am a big advocate of grabbing a shirt out of a drawer and putting it on.  On the other hand, I like to look semi-presentable if I ever run into an old high school classmate or a friend of a friend. I prefer to seem as if my life is together when someone looks at me. 

The problem I used to run into was having too many clothes in too many colors. It would be a rare occurrence to own things that were clean and matching at the same time. From my experience, it’s very difficult to make an outfit work with blue shorts, a green shirt and purple shoes. 

My first idea to fix this problem was minimalism. For many people, minimalist clothing comes in the form of a pair of black jeans and seven white t-shirts that they cycle through. This sounded like the ultimate fix to this problem. Wearing the same thing every day would mean that everything would always match. No more crazy colors clashing on my walk to class.  No decisions to make would mean nothing to worry about in the morning. I would wake up, walk to the closet, put on the only clothes in the closet and not have a second thought. 

The only problem I saw in the minimalist wardrobe was a lack of individuality and a lack of connection to myself. It seemed like the wardrobe of someone else. Minimalism is often signaled with black and white, slim fit, ultra-sleek outfits. This does not fit my persona.  Therein lies the problem. How would I connect the ease of ultra minimalism with the personality that I wanted to convey?

The solution I’ve settled on is a pseudo-minimalist approach to paring down my wardrobe. I started realizing that I would wear the same two pairs of pants over and over again. The solution: only keep those pairs of pants. That means I only own the pants that I like to wear, thus meaning I’m only able to wear what I love. With my one pair of jeans and my pair of brown pants, I seem to cover most social situations.  

The fact that all my shirts match is also a plus.  I own one jacket that I wore all winter. It fits perfectly, looks good and I feel good in it. That’s the beauty of only keeping the clothes you love. I never need to worry about wearing a piece of clothing I don’t like, because I don’t own it.

For the time being, I think this is the solution I’m going to stick with. It blends the ease of decisions that comes with minimalism with the unique pieces that fit my personality and my style. It lets me have a sense of uniformity while maintaining a sense of uniqueness. The phrase “look good, feel good” rings true in this scenario.