Wednesday, May 8, 2013

What's going on here?

I wish this wasn't true, but I have 124 pairs of shoes and a closet full of clothes with the tags still on them. Every time I go out, I buy something to wear. Every time someone has a party, I buy something to wear. Every time I'm invited to get the picture. I think it comes from having a dad who believed very firmly in the minimalist closet: one nice coat, one nice suit (dress), one "good" pair of shoes, one or two pairs of crisp jeans, one pair of work shoes, and so on. He believed you only really needed multiples of socks and underwear. 

That might be a bit of an exaggeration, but it's pretty close. My mother, on the other hand, loves clothes and shoes and has a good bit of stuff for a woman with self-control. That's the difference between my mom and myself: self-control. She can put something back on a rack and move on with her life. I, on the other hand, dream about the item and how perfect it would my closet with everything else. Going shopping with my mother used to be frustrating because she would talk me out of the most gorgeous but frivolous items, and I would simply have to return to the store later without her. Of course. As time has gone on, though, she has either accepted that she won't win, or she's thrown her hands up and decided that it's my money to use unwisely and I'll pay for it at some point (as I have from time to time). In the end, though, my mom has a really tasteful and fun fashion sense, and she always looks like a million bucks when she goes somewhere. She's in no way high maintenance, though, and I think that's the most admirable thing about it. Her clothes and hair and makeup always look like she took great pains to get them perfect, but she didn't. She's just...that...good.

Then there are my siblings. My brother quite literally wears something until it falls apart and then still finds a way to avoid throwing it away. Take this example. When he and I were roommates, I did his laundry once and kept finding these sort of cut-off tubes of fabric. Not knowing exactly what they were, I folded them anyway and put them in a separate pile. In the next load of laundry, I found my answer: they were the legs of pajama pants that he had cut off. I asked him what was up with the making of booty shorts from all of his pants, and he told me he had run out of clean underwear and cut the legs of his PJs to make more boxers. I politely suggested that they actually sold boxers at stores on the planet earth, and he countered with, "Eh, I don't have time for that." Yet he had time to cut the legs off his pants? Granted, I suppose it was quicker to do that seeing as one leg of his new undergarments was knee-length while the other was cut all the way to the crotch. No rhyme; no reason. 

My sister, on the other hand, is somewhere between my mom and myself. She jokes that she has a "uniform," a trusty style that she wears every day, but I don't think she realizes that the world doesn't see her that way. Her "uniform" may have some basic similarities from day to day, but she has a fabulous eye...for fashion and for prices. I am nuts; I pay too much for too little. This one, on the other hand, finds an amazing item for about a third of what I would pay for it. I don't know how when she shops at a lot of the same stores I do. It's amazing. Then there's the fact that everything in the world looks good on her. Don't tell her that because she'll argue with you, but it's true. I've never seen her look ridiculous or wear something that didn't suit her. She has what I call and easy perfection. It's something to be admired...even if it is mostly in black, white, and grey.

To further illustrate my point that I might have an issue or that I am quite obsessed with things made to be worn, I offer this anecdote. When I lived at home for a short while as an adult, I would go shopping, spend hundreds of dollars, and hide everything in the trunk of my car. Then I would introduce new pieces to my wardrobe one at a time over a period of a week or two (depending on what I bought and how much). When a family member (usually my mom) would ask about the item, I would just shrug and say, "Oh, I've had this. It was just buried." I know she never believed me, but she never said much. I confessed the amounts of money I spent to my sister, who could neither believe nor justify my actions. Once, she asked me to take her jeans shopping so she could buy a "good" pair like I buy, and when we found the perfect pair, she balked at the $120 price tag. I paid for half of them just so she could experience a decent pair of denim, quietly chuckling at the $200+ tags on mine. She would die before she'd spend that. Of course, she gets to travel a lot more than I do, and as I've gotten older, I've started to concoct ways to have both the experiences and the clothes to wear during them. So far, I've managed a Disney World trip and two academic conferences within the last year. It's a start. 

So all of that only begins to explain why I feel like I need a clothing blog. It's not intended to be something that shakes up the world of fashion. It is quite literally an attempt at therapy. If I post a Polyvore set, maybe it will get the thought out of my head. Maybe it won't. Maybe this just leads to too many ideas and a whole mess of new things with the tags still on. I'm also hoping it might streamline some ideas so that I can find exactly what I think I want and avoid buying two or three similar items until I get it "just right." In any case, it can't make things worse. 

So here I go. Ideas will begin now. 

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