You know what really makes me stressed? Advice about how to rid stress from my life. The suggestions are not necessarily wrong, but they make me very anxious. They usually involve things I feel I should be doing but know I won't—like taking up yoga, breathing deeper, making a better to-do list, going easy on myself (and others), etc.
According to The Financial Times's fashion editor, Vanessa Friedman, we can make our lives a bit easier if we adopt the sartorial choices of President Barack Obama and supermodel Kate Moss. In fact, Friedman says the two share a similar coping mechanism:
Here’s what happened: in a long interview with Vanity Fair during this year’s election campaign, Obama revealed that he had decided to wear only dark blue or gray suits “so I don’t even have to think about what I put on . . . You need to focus your decision-making energy.”
Friedman then writes that Moss offered similar nuggets of wisdom in another Vanity Fair story a few months later:
Moss noted that she wore only "black jeans now. Or grey. If you do a different look every day, they’re going to be waiting for the next look, and then it’s a paparazzi shot. Whereas if you just wear the same thing, then they get bored and leave you alone."
Most lawyers I know are not plagued by the paparazzi, but Moss and Obama have a point. If we eliminate the range of choices in our lives, we'd be less stressed. (I'd go so far as to say that living in New York is particularly stressful because we have far too many choices on almost every front. I know I go into a tizzy whenever I'm under pressure to come up with a buzz-worthy new restaurant.)
"Take away the breadth of possibility and you reduce the option anxiety," writes Friedman. Of course, I think most men are already clued in on this secret, which is why Obama's admission that he favors dark and gray suits isn't really that much of a revelation (though a president talking about clothes might be).
But for women, I think this could be a game changer. Think how much anxiety we would all save if we just stick with black/gray pants or skirts and black/gray T-shirts or sweaters. And just like men have done with designer neckties, we can accessorize our uniform with jewelry and scarves (though wearing scarves with panache could be challenging).
Perhaps we could soar to new heights in our careers if we didn't have to fret about what to wear every day to the office.
Or am I fooling myself?
Do you have topics you'd like to discuss or tips to share? Email chief blogger Vivia Chen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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