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An Anxious Wardrobe

I have an anxious wardrobe. While that statement may seem very strange and dubious, it is true. Shaking hands and a rapid heartbeat are only a few of the things that make my anxiety visually apparent. My wardrobe is reflective of my inner turmoil, from hoarding clothes from 10 years ago to my eclectic, ever changing style.

For better or for worse, I am a major overthinker. My mind works like Cher’s closet from Clueless, constantly reworking each individual thought and combination of scenarios until I get the perfect match. For a year I kept an outfit journal documenting my inner thoughts and motivations, I double and triple check emails before sending, and I do not buy clothes unless I think through every possible outfit combination. Now, this may sound a little psychotic to some, but for me and many others it is normal. This overthinking is reflective in my wardrobe through this thorough thought process in deciding what to buy, and even through the garments I own.

My wardrobe is vast and ever changing, with a plethora of incoming, but a lack of outgoing items. This means that I keep almost anything for a long long time. Each garment I own holds some sort

of significance, whether it is the faux fur jacket I wore all through grade 12, a pair of pants I wore that one time at a concert or a Halloween costume from 5 years ago - they lie dormant in my closet waiting for that special day where I just might need them. What if one day in the near or distant future I want one of these items that I threw away? The thought of what if consumes my wardrobe choices, and you know what, it has come in handy. Just a few months ago I turned a pair of 2-year-old, ripped down the crotch jeans into assless chaps, becoming another thing I wear for one specific occasion and then hold onto for eternity.

Keeping everything also results in my eclectic style. Depending on my mood I will choose different parts of myself to show that day through dress. If I am sad or feeling down, maybe I choose that hoodie I got from my favourite band for comfort, or something simple to grant me the ability to blend in, just this once. But, if I am cheerful or confident, I will reflect that through bright colours and garments with personalities of their own, such as my tie-dye Step Brothers shirt or red patent faux leather boots. Depending on the level of noise and turmoil in my head, I will pick through my clothes, searching for sentiment, extravagance, a conversation starter, or maybe all three.

The range of styles visible in my wardrobe depict different times in my life and the combination of Alissa’s represented portray the noise in my head. Eclectic, ever changing style and timeless sentimental items merge together to create my current self, which is a physical embodiment of my head, and thus, my anxiety.


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