Spoiler alert: No, you aren’t.
Recently I bought a pair of leather pants. I know what you’re thinking, “Haven’t you seen that episode of Friends where Ross gets stuck in the leather pants?” Don’t worry, they’re not real leather.
I bought the pants because I like them. Period. But when I got them, I started thinking maybe I was too old for leather pants (I just turned 39).
I put on the pants, and my husband and I went to a birthday party at a piano bar. Obviously, this was pre-Covid.
When we got to the bar, one of the musicians was wearing a Flounder shirt– as in, Flounder from The Little Mermaid. I wondered if she had the same conversation with herself that I did. Did she think she might be too old for a shirt with a cartoon character? I suspect she did not because she was rocking that Flounder shirt with the confidence of a toddler with underwear on his head. And then, her confidence gave me confidence. I started wondering why I was so concerned about the pants to begin with?
Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we overthink? And why are we filled with self-doubt over such silly things? Why do we care what other people think? Who decides if we are too old or young to wear something, or like something, or be something? What’s the worst that could happen? Maybe some Judgy McJudgerton, who I don’t know and will never see again, makes fun of me. Oh well. I probably won’t even know it. The next time you’re feeling self-conscious about what you’re wearing, ask yourself two things: is it appropriate and do I like it?
Is it appropriate?
I didn’t wear the pants for a job interview, a court appearance, or to church. I wore them to a bar. If they are appropriate for the setting, why the heck not?
Do I like it?
I like the leather pants. The musician likes Flounder. If you like it, just go for it! You’re not too old for a Mickey Mouse watch or a Barbie T-shirt. You’re not too young for socks and sandals or an eyeglass chain. But whatever you do, just do it proudly.
And then carry over that confidence to another aspect of your life.
Originally published August 2020.