I am addicted to pajamas.
The pajama drawer of my dresser is stuffed with over a dozen pairs — and yesterday, from my favorite store — I brought home two more.
Sometimes spelled “pyjamas” and nicknamed “PJ’s, jimjams, and jammies”, pajamas derives from the Hindustani word for lightweight drawstring trousers traditionally worn by Islamic Continental Indians. Perfect for lounging. Perfect for sleeping. Perfect for so much more.
Like interchangeable monastic robes, each pair I wear depends upon my manic-depressive mood.
Mostly manic and mostly mystical, in the sanctity of my sacred space, I call home.
Coffee drinking (Yes, again, coffee drinking.)
All in my pajamas: fleece, flannel, cotton, short and long, worn through and brand new.
All in my pajamas, in an hour or two, I collect my thoughts and reconfigure my gut,
at least for the next day or so.
I recommend it most highly — in these most exceedingly strange and stressful times.
Pajamas: a way of life.
1963. Open my wardrobe and what do you see?
Brown courdouroy smocked dress and white puffy blouse. Navy blue polka dot shift and striped Danskins. Parochial school uniform and Peter Pan collars. Mary Janes, saddle shoes, and Keds.
1973. Open my wardrobe and what do you see?
Peasant dresses, halter tops, and army jacket. Denim cutoffs, bellbottom pants, and macrame belts. Parochial school uniform and Oxford cloth shirts. Platforms, flip flops, and saddle shoes.
1983. Open my wardrobe and what do you see?
Pleated skirts and cardigan sweaters. Padded shoulders and tailored slacks. Designer jeans, and tasteful flats.
1993. Open my wardrobe and what do you see?
Khaki trousers, corduroy jumpers, and denim overalls. Cotton turtlenecks, kilts and tights. Embroidered vests and cable knit sweaters. Black flats, brown flats, and tennis shoes.
2003. Open my wardrobe and what do you see?
Target basics and Talbot’s work clothes. Cotton sweats and running suits. Clergy shirts and clerical collars. Random flats, Birkenstocks, and flip flops — in every color under the sun.
And thirteen years on.
2016. Open my wardrobe and what do you see?
Funky tunics and interesting tops. Comfy leggings and skinny jeans. Prints, patterns, and primary colors. Autumn hues and basic black. Dressy dresses and dresses just for fun. Lululemon trousers and button down shirts. Bits of ribbon and bits of lace. TOMS, saddle shoes, ASICS, and a multitude of multicolored flats.
I have both lost and found myself in my wardrobe.
Middle child, parochial school girl, head of the class.
Flower child, high school nerd, and rebel without a cause.
Computer programmer, working mom, sometimes a wife.
Seminary student, kindergarten volunteer, and Del Ray mom.
Parish priest, divorcee, and mostly manic.
Half marathoner, storyteller, blogger, irreverent reverend, and pseudo-libarian.
I have lost and found myself in my wardrobe.
Clothes are the window dressing of the soul. Spiritual expressions of our psyches and personalities. Creative expressions of our passions and our moods.
In my darker days, my wardrobe was all solid colors. No prints. Basic and boring. I would buy three colors of the same pants and the same sweater.
All the better to hide in. All the better to disappear.
Those dark days are long — and hopefully forever — gone.
How do I know?
Because my wardrobe therapist tells me so.
My therapeutic fashion consultant, Stephanie Hernandez, helped me work through my closet issues.
Stephie is a very good friend of my awesome daughter Colleen. Stephie is a young LCSW with a passion for style and an entrepreneurial spirit. She’s the founder of “Look Good, Feel Good” — “a therapeutic approach to finding your personal style.”
A brilliant idea! This bipolar soul signed herself up right away!
Personable, warm, and observant, Stephie first sat down on my couch and we had a chat. I walked her through a “regular day” so she could learn about my bipolar life — both at work and at play. I gave her a one minute tour of my condo and then we took a thirty minute walk through my wardrobe.
And then for the next half hour, we played dress up. Mixing and matching funky and flattering combos, Stephie helped me come up with outfits that I can wear just about anywhere: @ LOC, @EEC, walking Del Ray, or strolling DC.
Working with Stephie made me feel so much cooler and so much cuter than I actually am!
It was very therapeutic.
It was so much fun!
It’s not just a catchy slogan, it’s fashion philosophy.
I recommend Stephanie Hernandez and her new enterprise most happily!
So friends, what’s in your wardrobe?
Note: Also posted on Sex & The Single Vicar: Tales of Ecclesiastical Dating
On the eve of 2016, herewith is Joani’s bipolar analysis of the yins and yangs, ups and downs, and ins and outs – especially the ins and outs – of the last twelve months, 2015.
So once again with apologies to the Washington Post (my hometown newspaper!) and without editorial comment, and in no particular order, I submit this list for your consideration. And might I suggest that you consider, for the sake of your brain, doing the same!
- Size 6/Size 10
- Inside Out/Outside In
- Story District/SpeakasyDC
- It’s Just Lunch/It’s Just Coffee
- Lipstick/Lip gloss
- Water Zumba/Water Aerobics
- Manicure/Nail biting
- What’s Tumblr?/Tumblr
- Sour Cherry Pie/Pumpkin Flax Granola
- T-Backs/Sports Bras
- Wedding Wedding/Gay Wedding
- The Angel of the Lord/The Blessed Virgin Mary
- Margaret Atwood/Shirley Jackson
- Missing Bailey/Walking Bailey
- “Liked from Radio”/Playlists
- Trader Joe’s/Whole Foods
- Cloth Napkins/Paper Towels
- Club Soda/La Croix
- Global Warming/Snow Globing
- Hoppy Beer/Fruity Beer
- The Cloud/The Cosmos
- Sugar Shack/Krispy Kreme
- Peacock Postcards/Peacock Feathers
- Killer ESP/Starbucks
- SPF 70/SPF 50
- New Therapist/Old Therapist
- Executive Chef/Executive Producer
- Almond Milk/Coconut Creamer
- Grace & Frankie/Thelma & Louise
- Smoked Turkey/Tofurkey
- Cracked Pepper/Sea Salt
- Free Range/Cage Free
- Savannah Bee’s/Burt’s Bees
- Body Butter/Body Lotion
- Lewis Carroll/Oscar Wilde
- Aroma Therapy/Physical Therapy
- Home Town/Old Town
- Flat White/Latte
- Bee Keeping/Peace Keeping
- LEDs/Light Bulbs
- Eastern Market/Metro Center
- Tibetan Prayer Beads/Rosaries
- Ginger Mints/Altoids
- Band Leader/Baton Twirler
- Just Books/Books about Books
- Lint Remover/Vacuum Cleaner
- 26.2/13.1 + 13.1 =
- Colored Pencils/Colored Pens
- Patio Lights/Christmas Lights
- Stemware/Fiesta Ware
- Progressive Lenses/Rose tinted glasses
- Easy Listening/Smooth Jazz
- Dream Dresser/Mad Hatter
and of course
Happy New Year!