25 November 2013

tales from the closet

These days, it seems like almost all of my best/favorite clothes are ones only appropriate to wear in the winter.
I suspect that this is partly due to a longstanding body image problem that has always flared up particularly badly in the summertime (like Regina Spektor says – summer in the city, it's “cleavage, cleavage, cleavage,” and heaven help you if you don't want strangers on the bus staring down/rating yours), and partly due to my love of wearing tights instead of pants, which I can generally only justify under sweater dresses.

...Well, I say generally. I am becoming steadily more shameless as I get older. At this point in time, for example, I have been seen publicly in sweatpants at least once. I like to think of it as half of the special secret shame shared between myself and the guy working the late shift at the 24-hour pharmacy. (The other half, of course, was the quart of Ben & Jerry's that I purchased and took home to consume by myself. You're welcome.)

Anyway. Weirdly personal stories aside – wanna hear some more? Here are a few of the silly, mundane and occasionally weird-ass tales my clothes could tell.

First - I give you the "Aunt Fran sweater."

PROS: My favorite aunt gave me and my sister this sweater, and I stole it by the simple expedient of taking it with me to college, and I love it – I think it makes me look artsy and sexy and super classy (most days). Also, I had my first real kiss while wearing it.

CONS: That kiss, unfortunately, was the harbinger to a lot of poor relationship decisions. C'est la vie.
Also, it's really hard to fit these sleeves and neckline comfortably into a winter coat. AND it has an enormous cowl-neck that I sometimes drop crumbs down, and I don't always remember not to dig around in my bra while people can see me. Super classy? Possibly not. Moving on...

Up next - the Kingston cardigan!

PROS: I bought this on a grey day in Kingston-on-Thames, when I was on my way home from class. I still remember the mothbally-smelling Oxfam charity shop where I bought it, and the chocolate biscuits and heavy English change that were the first things I carried in its pockets. Also, it's wicked cozy. And this cheery shade of green. I love this green. Almost as much as I love the goofy way the sleeves are just a little bit too long, so I'm always pushing them up my elbows to work or pulling them down over my thumbs because I'm too stubborn fashionable to wear a real coat.

CONS: I purchased this adorable cardigan for the truly awful reason that I desperately wanted to look like everyone else. Every single girl in the Kingston University theatre department had one, and they were all looking slouchy and effortlessly cool every day when I got there in my practical coat and bought-for-England-weather shoes and why-yes-I-have-had-this-since-the-sixth-grade t-shirts. I felt big and uncouth and I wanted to be more like the wannabe West End stars in my classes, so I bought a cardigan and some hideously impractical flats and proceeded to freeze to death every day as I walked to class.
Shockingly, this did not make me less big, uncouth or American, but that was hardly the cardigan's fault.

(By the way, I think I'll take the opportunity to apologize for my truly awful photo-taking abilities...in my own defense, you can't really see that camera, but it is hella old. I got it as a Hooray Vacation gift right before my aunt and uncle took me to Europe for two weeks. I was 13 at the time.)

This is my Nothing Matches My Red Coat, and I love it, even though it clashes with all of the maroons and fuchsias and rusts in my closet, of which there are a surprisingly large number.

PROS: Is really warm! And bright red, which is a great thing when the actual cold is starting to move in, but it's not entirely here yet, so you can get away with wearing a short coat and no gloves. This was also bought in Kingston, because the only coat I packed was huge, and there was this long English period of time where it was cold...ish?...but not really? Also, I learned that year that I do get a bit of seasonal depression when it's cold and grey outside, and that is an actual legitimate thing that lots of people suffer from, and that it's okay to wear things just because they are bright and make me happy.

CONS: The aforementioned clashes-with-everything issue.

And finally - the green corduroy mini! (What, you mean you don't have one?)

Oh, green corduroy miniskirt. I love you. But I have no idea how to correctly incorporate you into my life. Are you a winter-only item? Are you appropriate for the office? Do you still technically fit? Will I ever be able to spell 'corduroy' without a spellchecker? Of course I would never let these minor details get in the way of our love, but, green corduroy mini, these remain questions that must be answered.

PROS: Do I even have to? Everything you could want in a garment. It's right here. It's green, it's corduroy, it brings all the boys to the yard. Actually, I made that last part up. Maybe.

CONS:  It's a little bit like hanging out with your super-cool and chillax friend, who's all like, 'Whatever, I'm awesome,' and you're like 'OMG I love you but...am I cool enough for you?' Real talk.

Is all for now, friends! It's a toasty 20 degrees in Chi-town this morning, so let's all go out and scoff at some cold!

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