Unravelling the Costumes of Life
By Sara Jane
I looked up the meaning of costumes in the Reader’s Digest Illustrated Dictionary, you will find the definition at the foot of the article.
If you would prefer to listen to an audio of this article, you can listen to me read it below.
When I started thinking about costumes the first things that came into my head were swimsuits, then those worn by actors and actresses, then dancers and even members of a band, choir or orchestra.
What were your first thoughts?
Then I took my thoughts deeper and the title for the article came to mind. How many different types of clothes do we wear during our lives and are not many of these costumes?
Let’s explore further and see how many costumes you have worn in your life.
Starting from birth, especially at the time I was born, parents were more likely to dress the little girls in pink and the little boys in blue, so that when they were pushing their tiny little baby around, people would know if it was a girl or boy.
They may still do that but I have the feeling things have changed a little.
Then little girls wear skirts and dresses, and little boys wear trousers and shorts, well back in the 1950’s and to a degree in the 1960’s but all appears to have changed now.
If you are part of a religion there are outfits to do with religious services, Christenings/Baptisms maybe Christenings gowns, Holy Communion, Confirmation. Certainly, within the Roman Catholic Church the little white dress and veil, for the girls that is (smile), White shirts, black ties and shorts for the boys
They are costumes which show what is going on in your life.
Schools have uniforms which denote the school you go to, it is like a costume.
Going to work, do you have some sort of uniform? That uniform could be that you ware a suit as I have done in past employment.
Do you have to wear an overall? again I have done that.
Do you have to wear specific boots to protect your feet or head gear to protect your head?
The clothes and the equipment you wear again denote what you do and differentiate you from other people that may be wandering around, think about nurses and doctors, policemen and firemen, service men and women etc
If you are going to a Ball, you are not likely to be wearing jeans, you are more likely to be wearing a gown or dinner suit.
If you are going to a Pop Concert, the clothes you wear will be those that you feel are appropriate, which may not be appropriate to some but it will to you.
Whatever you are doing, the clothes you wear are a costume but they do not say WHO you are, just what is going on in your life at that point in time.
A funeral, the done thing is to wear black, navy blue, dark colours to be in mourning and respectful.
My Mother bucked the trend of that with my Dad when he past because I had a lovely pair of patchwork, very colourful trousers and apparently Dad loved to see me in those, so she asked me to wear them for his funeral, that included standing on the alter to read a piece from the Bible.
For me it was an honouring of my Pop, rather than the sadness that goes with funerals.
Are you truly honouring yourself in those times you can?
What are the clothes that you wear, look at them, are they you?
How many of the clothes that you wear are You, are that very unique special Being that you are, that you feel comfortable in, that you feel shows the world who you are, not the role you are in?
The clothes we wear are a costume.
We can take it a step further to adornments, jewellery.
Think about relationships, especially romantic ones that lead to an engagement and the fiancé wears an engagement ring it denotes that she is spoken for and then when they marry, she wears a wedding ring, so do many men.
That is part of a costume that shows that they are part of a couple, in the old days, it would show that the woman has become a chattel and belonged to the man.
Look around you are the clothes everybody wears, do you think that is really them or is it a fashion statement or something else?
Look at the clothes you have in your wardrobe what are the costumes, what do each of those items of clothing mean to you, what are they trying to show people about you?
Unravel the costumes in your life, the ones you have worn in the past, think about it, how many of those costumes were really you?
And I am going to take a bit of a punt here and say probably not many.
Are you ready to step out from behind those costumes, into ones that tell people more about who you are rather than what you do or what you are participating in?
This is your life, it is for you to live.
You can listen to Sara read this article in the video below
Copyright © Sara Jane 2021
Pictures are all of Sara Jane and remain her property.
Costume meaning: A complete style of dress including clothes, accessories and often hair style. Characteristics of a particular country, period or people.
A set of clothes worn for s play, film, fancy-dress ball or the like, designed to give the wearer the appearance of the role that he or she is playing.
A woman’s suit
A set of clothes appropriate for a usually specified occasion or season, such as a swimming costume.