Letter of Rec #006: 5 good things
Or, THE ALLURE OF A SUMMER UNIFORM
What do you think, is a uniform really as good as they say?
I’ve been wearing the same outfit every day for the past three weeks. I think this happens every summer: I land on a template I didn’t expect to, am charmed by it, and then I stay with it until real-life resumes and the slow days of high summer’s quiet become a techno beat into fall.
I mentioned it to a friend recently who made me realize that the same thing actually happens in the dead of winter too, but there’s something intimate and endearing about its uniform-ation in the summer that is not true about its winter ringer. In the winter, going the way of a uniform feels more like giving up (see: this opening entry) than it does consciously landing on a good template, which, actually, now that I write it, probably has more to do with where my head goes when I’m in the respective seasons than anything else.
But the process of how the outfit becomes a uniform is behaviorally the same to the extent that it’s a mostly haphazard process: I put it on for any reason I would have to leave my home that isn’t specifically a Meeting or a Plan and then I just keep coming back to it. It’s practical, it’s functional, it’s reliable, it’s made up entirely of clothes I love wearing on their own — which doesn’t always work when you put them together, but it does here, I think, because this particular genre of uniform never says anything that I’m not willing to say first — like it’s a completely neutral outfit comprised of sturdy basics. It doesn’t evoke highs or lows, emotional intensity or overwhelming opinion. At its core, it is steady and bland and stable. Consistent. Nothing like me!
Anyway, the list for this week’s Letter of Rec is a bit diff: it breaks down the individual components of the uniform with a list of alternative recs for each item. But first, the de facto uniform:
The reason it works is twofold: