July 15, 2009 at 9:33 am
Comedian Mike Birbiglia has a bit in a routine where he talks about “one outfit for everything.” This is used to lead into the bit where he is ironing his pants backstage at a fund-raising event while wearing only his boxers. However, after much reflection I have to admit that I too believe in the concept of “one outfit for everything” and that outfit is jeans, a t-shirt, sweat socks and running shoes. In the winter a pullover sweater is added for warmth, but I would argue that adheres to the concept of one outfit for everything because it is part of the layering strategy. Thus, the sweater is part of the one outfit, but can be removed if the wearer determines it is too warm outside.
When I was losing all that weight, I became fascinated by clothes because I was now small enough to have a selection in outfits instead of just having the option to buy a mumu in black or dark blue. There were blouses and jackets and mini-skirts, oh my! How fun it was to try on all the different clothes and parade my new body around in them and not look like a float!
Then, my weight stabilized and I got used to my new body and the shiny-new-toy aspect of all those clothes wore off and I decided the t-shirt and jeans combo was what I really liked. As a web developer who worked in a dark office with one window which looked out onto a recessed cavity in the roof, I got to wear my jeans and sneakers to work and no one cared. I so closely adhered to the “one outfit for everything” concept that I bought 5 t-shirts at Kohls in the exact same style that differ only in color and decorative pattern. The shirt fits. I like it. I feel comfortable in it. That’s all I care about. I suppose I am like one of those extras in movies set in the future where everyone wears the exact same shiny jumpsuit every day.
When an event comes up where I can’t wear my one outfit for everything, it is always an ordeal. I have to buy a dress for a wedding or, God forbid, shave my legs because I’ll be wearing a skirt. I have to find a pair of shoes that match the dress and it’s just work, work, work! Sometimes it doesn’t even occur to me that I should alter my one outfit, like last night when I went to a party in the park with some friends and noticed that everyone else was wearing sandals and shorts, while I was still wearing my jeans and running shoes.
I am happy with my one outfit for everything. I am happy for people who wear a hundred outfits for a hundred things too. I understand how fun it can be to play around with clothes and dress up if that’s your thing, but for me it’s one outfit for everything and that’s the way I like it.