Reader Karen emailed me this question:
My question for you has to do with how to approach clothing and style while one is experiencing grief. The Victorians had dressing for grief figured out: the grieving wore black or grey or lavender to help manifest their grief externally, and to signal to others the need for extra care or sensitivity. But in our own time, for better or worse, we seem to have lost these visible markers of sorrow.
Could you offer some suggestions for how clothing and style might help me move through the world as I am managing my grief? What are some ways that I could mark my loss for myself (perhaps with a piece of jewelry, wearing a particular color, etc.)? How might I think about dressing for grief to encourage myself to actually get dressed on those difficult days? While clothing is not the first thing on my mind these days, I believe that an intentional approach to getting dressed in the midst of sorrow could help me present myself more authentically and perhaps help me to integrate the experience of loss more fully.