Hi, I’m Mary, and this is my column no one asked for about things I like!
There’s something sort of poetic about the long, gray trudge of March. It feels as though winter should be over and yet it continues on in slighter, stranger form, tulip buds poking through the snow, the sun shining bright as if to distract us from the cold slap of the whipping wind. These glimmers of hope remind us the rewards of spring await us as long as we’re willing to endure just a little more suffering: another cold snap, a day or two more of wintery mix, a few more weeks of brown and gray and white before the temperatures finally rise and the trees burst green with leaves. It’s rather beautiful if you thinking about it — without pain there would be no pleasure, without winter no spring.
Just kidding: March fucking SUCKS, dude! I’m one of those idiots who actually gets excited for winter. I like seasons and I love having permission to be antisocial, so the first chill of winter always hits me like a warm wave of relief. I burrow into big sweaters, go skiing if I’m lucky and spend my weekends sitting on the couch without feeling guilty. But by mid-February, I’m over it. And by March, I’m very over it, which I tend to communicate with my clothing choices.
When the temperature rises just enough for New York to become a muddy, sludgy mess but not enough to walk around in a light jacket, it’s hard to find fashion inspiration. Some women in this ridiculous city miraculously manage to look as effortlessly stylish this time of year as they do in early fall, but I’m not one of them. I get lazy, and I’m not the most ambitious dresser to begin with.
I wear more or less a version of the same thing year round, a habit I picked up from my mother, who attended all-girls Catholic school through college and therefore grew up quite literally wearing a uniform. Because she wasn’t given the opportunity to dress herself until adulthood, by the time she was allowed to pick out her own clothes, she didn’t want to. She got so overwhelmed thinking about what to wear every day that she eventually built her own uniform comprised of jeans, corduroy pants, t-shirts, turtlenecks and sweaters, most of which she purchased in bulk from Talbots. She’d go shopping once or twice a year (always at the end of the summer, sometimes in the spring, if she had the energy), pick out one item of clothing that fit well, buy it in every color, then spend the next week or two saying she spent too much money and should return everything.
Unfortunately, I didn’t inherit my mother’s hatred of shopping, but I did inherit her loyalty to a well-cut item of clothing. My uniform consists of jeans (Wedgies, duh), t-shirts (usually an Everlane Box-Cut, a long-sleeved striped shirt or a turtleneck, if I’m feeling wild), white sneakers or black boots and a leather jacket (I have a black biker one and a boxy, masculine brown one). If I’m feeling motivated, however, I’ll wear overalls or a fun jumpsuit or a nice blouse. I also have a small collection of short-sleeved men’s button downs in fun prints.
Theoretically, I should be wearing all my fun clothes right now because I’m not biking, so there’s no danger of ruining them with bike grease or sweat, but I’m…tired. So I’ve just been wearing the same exact thing every day: jeans, t-shirt, sweatshirt, boots. These are all items of clothing I love and there’ve been times when I’ve worn this exact outfit enthusiastically, but for the last few weeks I’ve been wearing it because I don’t care enough to put anything else on my body.
Though I’m drained of sartorial energy right now, there’s something sort of freeing about giving up. There’ve been times in my life when I’ve planned my outfits an entire week ahead, when I’ve been late to work because I changed my clothes eight times. Right now, however, the only reason I get dressed is because if I went outside naked, I’d be fucking freezing.
Don’t get me wrong: I love clothes, perhaps too much. My only hobby is putting things I can’t afford in online shopping carts. Right now, I want to buy everything, but I don’t want to wear anything, if that makes sense, which is crazy because I have plenty of clothes and certainly don’t need anything new. I have this wild fantasy of becoming a minimalist, which is a goal I’ll never accomplish, but this time of year is when I come closest. I wear the same two pairs of jeans, five t-shirts, one sweatshirt, one pair of boots and coat every day — I’m basically one of those rich tech dudes who lives in a tiny house!
As much as I love clothes (they’re the one thing I really spend money on), sometimes it’s nice to not care about what you’re wearing, to take all the effort you normally spend getting dressed and devote it to something else, like your hair. A month from now, I’ll be prancing around Brooklyn in a fresh new pair of white sneakers (I bought these a few weeks ago but they’re backordered), a fun printed shirt, my same old Wedgies and some thrilling spring jacket, but as long as the weather continues to suck, I’m going to keep wearing my official uniform of giving up, and I recommend you do the same. I mean, why try? It’s March!
As always, I’d like to clarify that this is NOT a sponsored post. I received nothing for it and am pretty sure no one cares that I’m in a March-induced style rut. Still, if anyone is reading and ever wants to give me literally anything for free, whether or not it’s a new item of clothing for my uniform, I WILL TAKE IT!!!!!!
Anyway, I hope this was helpful. I’ll be back with more unsolicited recommendations soon!