A "new study" finds that the average woman will spend almost a year of her life deciding what to wear.
The average dame will, apparently, spend a ton of time deciding what to wear for a "night on the town," devote hours to packing for a trip, and try on two getups in the morning before work. Says a study spokesguy, "Whatever the occasion your clothes portray an image and we understand this is fundamentally important to women." Thank you for understanding. And may we presume this study is restricted firmly to the First World? The burden of choice hangs heavy.
In fact, that quote seems to me like an oversimplification. I'd guess that most of this deliberation is rooted, not in insecurity, as that statement suggests, but in practicalities and, conversely, fantasy. There are the tights that turn out to have a run, the blouse that turns out to have a stain, the scarf that doesn't quite cover the stain, the skirt that actually didn't "steam out" in the shower, the perfect belt that's gone missing under a pile of dirty laundry. This adds up over a lifetime.
And then there's the dress-up element. "Portraying an image?" Well, yeah, but this can mean a lot of things. It's often a far less conscious and more emotional process than this, and a more pleasurable one. The point of clothes, I think, is not being seen - it's those moments of decision before you step out the door, when each piece is loaded with possibility and potential. Dressing in a vacuum, at the end of the day, can be the most rewarding kind. Think of it as time with yourself: in those Pollyanna terms, it's a year well spent. And, yes, a luxury.