I had a really difficult time getting dressed this week. Emerging from under the covers felt nearly impossible, and the very last bits of energy I had in reserve were saved for commuting to work and doing my job. Picking out a fun outfit to wear was not at the top of my mind. So, whether through coincidence or subconscious, I chose a hoodie nearly every day.
On Wednesday, following the election, I wore a hoodie that my partner had left on a chair, because it was nearby, it fit me, and I didn't want to try any harder than that. On Thursday, I chose another one of his hoodies, because I liked that it smelled like a safe place, it felt like a hug, and the sleeves came in handy when I found myself without a Kleenex in the middle of a cry.
On Friday, I put a hoodie on on purpose. I chose a black one that was my own, and I wore it with earrings when I met up with friends for a drink. I wasn't wearing a hoodie to make a political statement, but as the week went on, it began to feel like one. In a country that killed Trayvon Martin simply because he was a young Black boy who chose to wear a hoodie — the same country that celebrates men like Mark Zuckerberg, a young white man who chooses to wear hoodies — hoodies can be as much a form of apathy as they are a form of protest. The difference is your intention, and as the week wore on, I saw my intentions shift.
Yesterday, I wore a hoodie (pinned with a safety pin) to a meeting with friends to talk about how we're organizing around our sadness and fear. This week, hoodies have become my security blanket and my uniform, and a reminder of how lucky some of us are to feel safe and supported, because so many of us are not in that position anymore.
The women in this slideshow were photographed during Fashion Week, and their joy and insouciance is palpable. When I came across photos like this on social media earlier in the week, I felt angry to see them. But today, these photos feel different to me. I can't tell you why, but there's a confidence in these photos that feels fortifying one week later. I hope it feels like that to you, too.