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Sunday 8 April 2018

Outfit Therapy

 The Justification

Three years ago The Photographer was in a bad way after multiple  trips to A&E (ER), hospitalisations and surgeries.  There's a reason why I'm telling you this historic stuff.  It's a justification for what is to come.
During that 6 months period, I chanced upon blogs, which became a haven.  A place of calm, a breathing space.  A way of visualising that things would get back to normal, I suppose.  Blogs helped me cope and thus support TP to the best of my ability.
A year later, when he was fully recovered, I started up my own blog.  And if my blog gives even just one reader a haven in troubled times then my blogging has not been in vain.

So as a way of telling myself that we are getting back to normal again at Chez Pout, I just have to squeeze in a bit on outfits I wore in recent weeks. 
Please don't judge me.  Please don't think of me as shallow.  It's my coping mechanism.
And fortunately my patient gets this and what I wear is important to him too.  Read on.

The Therapy

 In a crisis, what-to-wear is totally irrelevant, so very way down in the pecking order.  Yet in these past few weeks I knew that what I wore would matter.  It mattered to TP, as during his previous hospitalisations I had noticed that he paid attention to what I wore each day, for he sometimes commented on an outfit.   What I wore, how I looked, somehow brightened his long bleak days in hospital.  It was a kind of therapy.  Outfit therapy.

Perhaps it was his haven, his coping mechanism.  What's The Pout going to walk in wearing today?
Perhaps it was when the Photographer With Fashion Views was born!

The Crisis Capsule

In the two days leading up to TP's unplanned hospitalisation I was wearing this.

Black column with berry cardi.

Blanket scarf.

Black column with red cardi.

I found myself drifting zombie-like to these core pieces each day.
 Without any conscious input on my part,  a crisis capsule evolved.  I dressed without any real thought, other than to look presentable for the poorly patient.  Zombie-dressing allowed me time to  focus on what mattered.  

The formula was simple.  Berry cardi and cami, red cardi and cami, black jeans or blue jeans.   Black or white cami.
Dressing was a no-brainer yet I still looked nice for him each day.  He commented on one or two OOTDs so the outfit therapy worked.

And by way of celebration, on "release day" I wore my berry coated jeggings.  Well, you see, I don't think he could have controlled the palpitations, seeing coated berry in his weakened hospitalised state! 

Of course, no photos were taken during this time.  Rest assured, I am not that person.   But I am pleased to report that this morning, and without any bullying  prompting or cajoling from me, TP announced that he is now ready to take outfit photos when I am ready.  Now that does tell me that he is truly on the way to recovery!

So, being in a happy place where I can write about this stuff brings joy to my heart.  For it's beginning to feel a bit like Normal.

Now tell me, do you sometimes make a conscious effort to dress to cheer up a poorly person?  Using Outfit Therapy?
And have you discovered that capsule wardrobes sometimes evolve without your conscious input?  Like I did?
I'd love to hear in the comments box below.

A la perchoine.


  1. I'm glad you're feeling more normal and that your beloved photographer is also. Your column wardrobe was a wonderful choice for crisis days. Not much to think over and still cozy and pretty. I find myself dressing for my audience also. I often "refashion" my clothing (mostly thrift store finds, not my full price stuff) and it becomes a bit quirky and sometimes odd (depending on your perspective) A new young woman at our office recently said to me, "I like your....... is that a sweatshirt or a dress?" I was grateful for the "I like your..." part because otherwise it would've been pretty awkward. All that to say, I often ask myself "what would cheer us all up today?" Somehow I've become viewed as a "fashionista" even though Vogue magazine would be horrified and appalled. I so resonate with your enjoyment of "what to wear?". I'm happy you're back. XO

  2. How wonderful that he's home! I totally understand what you mean about our blogging world Mary. Our little escape.
    Laurie xx

  3. That is wonderful news and a great sign things are getting back to normal! It makes perfect sense to me, when there are so few things we can control in a crisis we control what we can - how we look. It's not shallow at all, it means you care about yourself and returning to normal as well as knowing it's important to your patient.
    The berry coated pants were a fabulous pick to wear on release day!
    Looking forward to TP's return!

  4. Sending you all good wishes and luck for a better future. Love seeing your outfits whatever they may be. Thanks for sharing. I do hope you'll stop by my blog and join the #chicandstylish #linkup every Thursday Mary. Jacqui Mummabstylish

  5. I was thinking one day that blogs must be nice for lonely people,as all you blogging ladies are like having lots of friends to talk to.I'm a bit annoyed today as I went into our Charity shop and found a houndstooth skirt in browns and tans just what I wanted size 16, so thought great. Took it home and although it fits on my hips there's about a 4" gap where it won't meet my waist. So have to take it back,sure it can't be 16.Damn.

  6. So happy you got him home and he's ready to launch into his fashion photography again. You started me thinking about what is my fail proof, don't have to think about it garb and I know it always starts with my pair of black jeans because I can pretty much blindly grab any top and it's going to go. I guess black jeans are heaven sent for many of us. Have a wonderful week. Terri xox

  7. It's so good to hear that TP is doing so well and ready to take photos. My oh my!!! I don't think you are shallow at all as we all need these releases at times and to dress to please not only lifts the viewers spirits but also your own. My 'uniform' this winter has been very much a column of black or navy blue with a colourful vest or cardigan thrown over the top. I do, however, try to do a bit better when going out. Keep up the good work of nursing the patient and roll on the better days sitting under your pergola/terrace with a drink and some food.

  8. Dear Pout, I am so sorry to hear that TP has been very poorly and in hospital and I have no doubt that your outfits helped him to progress and get home. I have been somewhat out of things myself since the end of January as I suffered a chord infarction (spinal stroke) completely out of the blue and I was unable to walk or even sit up without falling over for two weeks. Thank goodness I have made a very good recovery and can walk now with support but I welcomed every visit from my dear husband (not for his outfit of the day, he does not care what he puts on as long as it is clean) but just to speak to someone about something other than medical matters certainly lifted my spirits so I know how much your efforts to looks wonderful must have made him feel. Hugs and best wishes to you both. Regards Sue H xxx

  9. Hurrah that TP is well enough to take photos again! I don't think we should under estimate the impact of outfit therapy, Mary - both for the patient, who looks forward to visitors when in hospital, and for the carer, who can become overwhelmed. Thinking about outfits provides a great outlet.

  10. I'm so happy he's back to his photogenic we photographic self. My mum always comments on my outfits. I notice that often hospital visitors dress up. It's almost like it's an occasion. I think many of those are visitors from afar making a special trip but it in general ends up elevating the general ambiance of visitor outfits