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November 11, 2009

In my closet, I have a row of suits. Black, navy, gray. Dark and light. Tailored to show tiny curves, with sleeves that hit below the thumb joint, and pant legs to just above the high heel. Heel height no more than 2 inches, with a slight point for elongation, but not enough to make a fashion statement. Comfortable and confident in a suit, I automatically feel capable and successful.

In my closet, I have a shelf of hooded sweatshirts and beside them a pile of jeans. Pullover, zipper, plain, and letter imprints. Some sizes too large with room enough for another person and sleeves well over the finger tips. Jeans of different washes, many worn in the knees, pockets ready to fray, but always the clothing item of choice. Below them sneakers I never bother to untie or consider replacing with heeled trends. Comfortable and confident in jeans and a hooded sweatshirt, I automatically feel lovable and safe.

I have spent weeks in suits. I have spent weeks in jeans and hooded sweatshirts. I have come to love my bipolar wardrobe. This year, the suits emerge once every few weeks, usually for a trip to the Capitol’s judicial center. Jeans and hooded sweatshirts emerge on weekends and the occasional weekday, usually for meeting-less days spent researching, or before class due dates. The other days I spend blankly staring into my closet, looking for a business casual wardrobe I do not own yet, wishing I could grab a suit from my right side or hooded sweatshirt from the left. Missing that comfortable confidence.

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