What To Wear Anxiety

Stepping out on a beautiful summer day onto the cobblestoned streets of Paris, I stride across the road to go to my favourite boulangerie. Channelling Carrie Bradshaw (strong, stylish heel-loving fashionista), I confidently strut up the street in my carefully (30 minutes of deliberation) chosen outfit of tan leather heels, tailored beige shorts, white singlet with a French silk scarf draped around my neckline. Looking good – until my heel falters on a stone in the gutter and I almost fall (damn those historically beautiful Parisian cobblestones!). Oh- and I later find out when reading “Almost French” that my dreams are shattered and I’m nowhere near French – apparently shorts are for tourists only.

Keeping up with appearances in arguably one of the most stylish cities in the world doesn’t do much for your self-esteem. Seeing impeccably dressed Parisian women (and men…and sometimes even the dogs) causes a great deal of What-to-Wear-Anxiety (WTWA).

Back home again, I see WTWA affecting my friends everywhere. How many conversations over a latte reach a state of small panic over outfit preparation for job interviews, meeting the parents or ‘accidently’ bumping into the ex-girlfriend of your current partner (especially if she’s French).

We can stand in front of wardrobes bursting with clothes and still cry “I have NOTHING to wear!” spend hundreds of dollars on a few ‘little things’ and realise they don’t go with anything else. It’s enough to drive a woman crazy, let alone their exasperated partners.

Where did the confident, ruthless lady from the boardroom yesterday go? The woman who saved a life, landed a major deal, or finished an amazing paper? As women of the 21st century we are expected to have it under control – work life, home life and fashion life. Falling behind in any one of those areas can make us feel, well, inadequate.

There seems to be no medication on the market (yet) for WTWA, so the best cure may, at the risk of sounding a little cliché, have to come from within. Take Kate Moss for example- most women could recall their disbelief at seeing a mud-specked, gumboot wearing, well…a rather grungy looking Moss looking rather fabulous. Women everywhere questioned: “Who looks THAT good in that?” Sure, there may be a few supermodel features in there to help out, but self-confidence seems to radiate out of women more than any pricey cream could.

So hold on to that feeling you get next time you receive an un-expected compliment, it may help to unlock that elusive self-confidence radiation from within. In severe cases of WTWA anxiety…I suggest having a separate piggy bank for ‘emergency’ pick me ups. Mani-Pedi anyone?

This was written for my own personal pleasure after my return from living in Paris for three months in 2008.

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1 Response to “What To Wear Anxiety”


  1. 1 Jessie :) March 16, 2010 at 11:17 am

    Love this! So true! I go through this everyday! Great to know I’m not the only one!


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