Yesterday on Instagram I shared this photo as an example of my sartorial armor. What is sartorial armor? It is what you put on to feel strong, feel fierce, feel ready for the battle of life. Maybe it is donned to stride into a boardroom to knock the socks off a client or to stride with others to protest injustice. Maybe it is just to give you the strength to get up and get through the day. Now, more than ever, we need to gather our sartorial armor. This year has been extremely difficult, and a presidential election, no matter how it turns out, isn’t going to make everything better. This year has shown how our society is so incredibly broken, and it will take more than a few new politicians in position to heal it. We as a people need to rise up and battle for what is right, to keep fighting even when we’re exhausted because we have the ability and the privilege to do so. It’s not superficial to care what you’re wearing. It’s not vanity, it’s sartorial armor.
Yesterday I wore my faux leather joggers because they were warm and comfy and looked more polished than sweats. But by wearing them, I realized they made me feel fierce. I felt protected, stylish, and strong. I felt capable thanks to pockets to hold my phone, but also my hands when I don’t know what else to do with them. I felt nimble thanks to stretch fabric, an elastic waist, and enough room at the rear and knees to move how I wanted to and needed to. I felt beautiful by wearing a soft luxe sweater (seen in this blog post) that felt like a hug and a silky knit turtleneck that, honestly, made my bust look amazing without exposing me to the cold or the world. I wore boots that were comfortable and supportive while also being tough enough to survive cold mud and slippery grassy hills.
You may also like: In Direct Sunlight
For some, sartorial armor may be a fiery red lipstick; for others, it could be a badass pair of boots. And for some, it may be that well-loved flannel shirt that has gotten you through Finals Week all-nighters, the flu, and many late election nights. No one but you can decide what is going to make you feel strong enough to get through what life is throwing at us and will continue to toss our way this year and the years to come.
We can’t go back, and there is no past when America was great for all of its citizens. We need to move forward to make our country safe, healthy, and equitable for all. It’s scary, it’s exhausting, it’s overwhelming, but we need to continue to fight and speak up. We need to muster up our courage, continue to be involved, and don our sartorial armor to remain strong.
My favorite items for sartorial armor will be different from yours, but I want to share some of the things I put on when I need extra courage:
- A Great Bra. I have had a large bust most of my adult life, and when it is lifted and shaped, it makes me stand taller and feel more confident.
- Badass Boots. When I worked in Corporate America, it was a pair of slim-heeled almond-toe boots that would give me a bit of height and style. I had a knee-high pair that a cobbler tailored to perfectly fit my legs, and an ankle-length style to wear with trousers. These boots made me feel like a badass as I strode into convention halls and conference rooms. Now that I work from home, my badass boots are ones that keep my feet warm and dry while also looking expensive and stylish. They remind me that I can be supportive and practical while looking like a million bucks.
- Graphic T-Shirts. Good messages, good bands, good graphics, representing good causes… graphic t-shirts are not only comfy but they remind me of what is important to me each time I catch my reflection.
- Makeup. It’s less the makeup and more the ritual of applying makeup that helps me focus, slow down, and turn myself into a work of art.
You may also like: Sartorial Armor for Difficult Times
I shared the concept of sartorial armor yesterday on Instagram in my Instagram Stories and several shared their versions of sartorial armor. I’d love to hear from the rest of you. What can you wear to make yourself feel strong, especially right now?