Quotidienne 003


A Socratic Method Iteration of this Column
in which we ask each other Loaded Questions


Culture - 11.16.19
Words: Xandra Robinson-Burns
Photography: Kerrin Smith



K: When it comes to outfits and manicures, always trust your first intuition. This is tried and true. Every time I got to the nail salon, whatever color it is that I first have in my mind or am first drawn to is always the color that I’m always happy I got or wished I had got. It’s so easy to overthink oneself out of a manicure color! But I’m also realising, because I also just spent 50 minutes trying to get dressed to go out, which is like uh, I hate it when that happens! - what I ended up wearing is actually exactly what I thought I was going to wear, and was planning to wear, but for some reason it didn’t seem right, so I tried on like 38 other outfits, to my great dissatisfaction, only to wear exactly what I was picturing the first time! That has to be a CAT Quotidienne don’t you think?

The reason why is because there is some lesson in there about trusting oneself. It’s less about intuition - I have a fraught relationship with intuition because in some ways I think Yes you have to listen to it and I’m a terrible listener to it, and other times I think NO that’s NOT what you should be listening to and I’m actually quite skilled at listening to something else and therefore making excellent choices, but that is a whole other conversation.

For now, it’s less about intuition, because I’m not quite sure where I stand on intuition.


X: Here’s what I think this is about: Getting dressed should be less about thinking and more about feeling. I no longer own a full-length mirror, and I realised that this helps me to not overthink. A full-length mirror is information overload, distracting me from how an outfit makes me feel. An outfit is most effective when it makes us feel good. If we feel good in the clothes, we will look good too.

Now, shopping is another matter. Shopping involves feeling, but must welcome thinking too. I catch myself feeling drawn to pieces that are most similar to what I own already. Before purchasing, I must consult my capsule inventory to ensure that the new piece will increase the mileage of my wardrobe. Shopping must involve my brain, because a wardrobe is a puzzle: what will go with what? What about the upkeep of the garment? Is it made of durable materials? I must use my brain to build my wardrobe, to plan in the long-term, for myself and the planet. Then, on the day, I can relish in the short-term, and trust my body to adorn itself.

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Xandra Robinson-Burns is an Essayist, and the Founder of Heroine Training. She hosts The Art Life podcast, and specialises in character development for everyday life.