It’s the start of a new year, and I’m sure lots of us are loving the feeling of a blank slate. A whole year ahead to fill with new plans, new adventures, and new challenges – if you aren’t worn out from the demands of family holidays, you will be raring to go. I couldn’t agree more, but as a self-confessed over-committer, and with my Be Thoughtful resolution ringing in my ears, I’m keen this year to try and find a balance between the excitement of the new and the slow slide into thoughtless busy-ness. The solution? Figuring out what I can keep as simple as possible.
I’ve worn this dress before, and wrote about how to dress appropriately for the office (with myself as a “whoops, didn’t quite get it right this time” example). This time around, I wore it in a simple way and, as a result, the entire dress looks way better. It has an opportunity to be the centre of attention, and I’m sure it’s no coincidence I got several compliments on it! Although buying basic black work shoes makes me all petulant and tantrum-y (it’s so boooorrrrrrinnnnnnggggg), I can’t deny that they are bloody useful. Probably some kind of metaphor for life in there, you guys.
I realise that some of you will be reading this and thinking “Megan, you lunatic, you are wearing a dress with a massive graphic print on it and a frill ‘round the bottom. Do you understand what simple means?”. The fact of the matter though is that I put on a slip, put on a dress, put on my shoes and was ready to roll/just had to do hair and makeup and make a smoothie and pack my bag. Dresses are the ultimate outfit – basically a socially approved onesie for women – and I embrace their “one and done” nature. Well, I embrace it until I find it boring, and go back to layering and weird combos. I am nothing if I am not mutable.
This dress is also a great example of another approach to simplifying my approach to clothes. In the last couple of years I’ve consistently shopped with a few NZ designers, including Salasai. What I love about this is that they size really consistently, so once I’ve figured out fit I can buy their stuff more easily (usually online) without having to faff about with trying stuff on and sending it back. You can assume that a woman who hates buying black shoes because it’s not interesting enough is also not interested in standing in the queue at the post office to buy a poorly chosen outfit. I’m three items into what I think will be a long love affair with Salasai, and I look forward to wearing this dress in 2037, when it will be approaching vintage…and everyone will be able to tell because they printed the date on it. Can’t wait for a Future Teenager to say “oh my gawd, is that from like ACTUAL 2017??? I wasn’t even alive then!!!” and then to jet away on their hover board. Should be great.
I love the idea of simplifying the things that I want to (not everything – there’s no capsule wardrobe in my future, let’s be real about who I am as a human). I’ve done this exercise before: you write a list of the things you could do that would make an immediate and appreciable difference to your life by removing some trivial but frustrating inconvenience, or introducing something simple but lovely. In the past, that’s included hiring a gardener, Ubering to work once a week, having groceries delivered, buying a steamer. This sounds like a list that could also be titled “Obvious ways you can tell I am living a life of privilege”, I know. But looking out my (ex) kitchen window at an overgrown garden was like looking at a scene of my own failure, and getting someone else in to do the mowing was a great move.
So, in the spirit of being thoughtful, I’m having a think about a few things I might write on the list this year. So far, some kind of weekly fruit and vege delivery is on the list (gotta get them nutrients), as is sitting down at the start of each month to organise catch ups with friends. Maybe I’ll buy a Roomba, because I hate vacuuming with a fiery passion. Maybe I won’t, because those things are terrifyingly expensive. Tell me your ideas, because one great way to simplify my life is to outsource the ideas for how to simplify my life!