Yesterday, I wanted to go for a walk around the block. It was a little cooler than usual which was lovely because I didn’t find myself craving a nap in the middle of the day (hot summer days make me feel lethargic). While we are of course grateful for those rare summer heatwaves, it was time that we got to enjoy some cooler weather. I looked forward to my peaceful walk around the town and I wanted to be comfortable so I wore my favourite oversized hoodie dress and a pair of comfy trainers.
To some people, it might be too much of a casual look but for me, it’s a great thing to wear when you want to keep warm when it’s slightly chilly outside. If you choose to bare your legs, it’s a great way to keep you cool when it’s feeling a little humid too. When it comes to my small summer pieces like playsuits and dresses, an oversized hoodie is a great piece to put on top of those small summer outfits. I also love wearing them over my gym wear or leggings. My favourite places to shop for hoodies are actually the men’s section of any clothing store because for some reason, men’s hoodies are thicker and softer inside. For me, the more oversized hoodies are, the better.
In the past, I would have felt self-conscious about wearing hoodies in public or looking too dressed down. I didn’t even put my hair up in a messy bun. My hair’s usually always down and because it’s naturally straight, I don’t really need to do anything with it and I just keep it as it is. I wasn’t into trainers (or sneakers, as I used to call them). I thought that wearing casual pieces like those would imply that I didn’t make an effort to get dressed properly or that I’m not stylish. I get that people wear hoodies and trainers everyday and of course that’s fine, I didn’t think that people who do that are careless or unfashionable at all and in fact, I admire people who can pull off the casual look because I honestly believed that I didn’t (or maybe I still can’t?). I always felt like I wanted to look smart at all times and be ready for anything that came my way (I had lots of last minute meetings and late night classes in the past as well so maybe they were also some of the reasons why I dressed up all the time.). I live by the saying ‘If you’re unsure about what to wear, always dress up’. This works for me because this way, I played it safe when it comes to outfits. Of course I wear casual and sporty clothes too. I wear sporty clothes to attend a dance/theatre rehearsals. I also wear gym clothes when I know I’m going to workout. Putting on some comfy sweaters and hoodies for a lunch date with a friend or for shopping though? No, that was certainly something I didn’t do much. The thing is, I realise now that casual clothes make us feel comfortable and relaxed so if we can get away and wear casual clothes, why not do it? We all need and deserve to have relaxed and chilled days to have a break from stressful days in the office-especially running around wearing heels (no matter how low they are).
So while I was out for a walk wearing my comfy hoodie dress (oversized men’s hoodie from H&M), I realised that comfortable doesn’t always mean that you’re not trying or that you are careless. Just because I’m wearing a hoodie doesn’t mean I want to offend people and project to the world that I don’t care about my appearance. While I also agree that power dressing is a great way to boost your confidence levels and be on that ‘power mode’ of taking on tough challenges and projects, I also think that casual dressing can have the same effect. If you want to take the time to chill, go ahead and wear a comfy piece of clothing because we are all allowed to dress down now and then and I believe that there’s nothing wrong with that. Dress according to the occasion of course, I still think that certain occasions require certain dress codes and we need to abide by them. (e.g. No flip flops or hoodies for fancy dinner parties, hoodies for job interviews and never wear dressing gowns outdoors no matter how comfortable they are!)
Being Comfortable Doesn’t Mean You’re Not Trying
Sometimes, comfortable means accepting things as they are and going with the flow. Just because you’re dressed down doesn’t mean you’re mind’s suddenly on standby mode. We can still achieve great things even when we’re wearing sweatshirts. Comfortable doesn’t always mean lazy and that you lack drive and ambition. Often times, people say that if you feel too comfortable it means that you’re not doing enough or that you aren’t trying. They say that change won’t happen if you’re too complacent and that it’s better to get out of your ‘comfort zone’ to initiate changes in your life. While I absolutely agree with those statements, I also think that there’s nothing wrong with being comfortable in yourself, your skin and your life if you genuinely think you are happy and content. So what if you want to enjoy being in this time of your life where you feel satisfied and where everything feels convenient and just right? There’s nothing wrong with enjoying this part of your life.
Life is not always about struggles. Life is also about the peaceful moments where you can just go for a nice walk around the park with your partner. It’s about moments when you can feel a balanced sense of contentment in every aspect of your life (which leads to happiness in the long run). It’s about moments when you can feel truly happy with what you have and not feel like you have to resist and reject what you already have in constant search for something better. Many of us always reach out for something better, thinking that the grass is greener on the other side. Yes, that may be true but, how about enjoying the grass you have now and perhaps water and try to maintain your grass as best you can because soon enough, you’ll most likely end up making your current grass greener too.
See, I’ve noticed that many times in my life, I have felt as though I have to make a change because things have started to feel too cozy. We start to think and say ‘There must be something wrong’ because we don’t feel challenged anymore so we look for the next hard task ahead. That’s great because of course, we need to keep pushing ourselves to become better; but just pause for a moment and think about whether you really want to improve your life or if you’re just making things hard for yourself for no reason? Really think about the purpose of what you are making the change for.
If we really look into why we do things and what motivates us to make certain decisions, you will notice that we tend to do things to impress other people. As an example, if we examine what I wrote above, I was afraid to dress down because I didn’t want other people to think that I didn’t try hard enough. I wanted to project an image that suggests excellence and perfection. My concerns about dressing down were all about impressing others and trying hard not to offend other people but really, what’s more important is our own comfort and happiness.
That’s why now and then, I allow myself to wear hoodies and put my hair up in a messy bun.