I once borrowed a jacket, and within hours of wearing it, I was crying, thus getting snot all over the sleeves when tissues couldn’t be found. I felt bad, so I washed it twice before returning it, thankfully no guilt hanging over me as I handed it back, looking at the sleeves and thanking God that they looked as they should.
I once borrowed a jumper from a boy-friend (I use the hyphen, because we weren’t exclusive, he was literally a friend who was a boy) and I kept it on because it smelt like boy, and that can sometimes (only sometimes) be extremely comforting. There’s something in the way it was too big that appealed to me at the time.
I once owned a jumper, which I no longer have, probably having given it to an op-shop, and whilst I didn’t particularly like the way it fit, I kept it for a long time because I was wearing it the first time this certain boy hugged me. I didn’t like the item itself, but the memories it brought were sweet and very, very welcome. (I also remember the shirt he was wearing, which is an odd detail to know. It’s funny what my brain views as important enough to retain, even after all this time.)
Clothing in a store doesn’t hold that much significance. You might see something, and it might be the perfect item, but it hasn’t yet been introduced into your life. You find your wedding dress, but your husband hasn’t seen it yet. You find your graduation dress, but you haven’t said goodbye to anyone in it yet.
Some articles of clothing you know as “the one I bought out of my first pay check” or “the one I bought on my own, based on no one’s opinion but mine” or “the first bright colour in my wardrobe”. These are special items, but they weren’t special until you purchased them and they became a part of your life story. These items don’t call for compliments; you will be confident in them no matter what, because regardless of whether other people notice them or not, they mean something to you.
I own the perfect pair of jeans. Do you know how rare this is? Whenever I wear them I feel like a model. I love them to bits and hope they never get worn, because I don’t want them to die.
There are items I wish I had. I hope to one day find the perfect leather jacket, and I will find it in an op shop because then it won’t eat away all my money. (Note: I want a glamorous, elegant, fitted leather jacket, not a scary, big shouldered, tough biker jacket. I don’t want my shoulders and arms to look like the size of the sun, I want to look stylish.)
Our tastes change. Our bodies change. What I like now will not be what I wear in ten years. But who knows, maybe there’s a dress or jacket in my wardrobe that will be timeless for me, regardless. I look back on photos and ask myself why I did my hair in that certain hairstyle, but I remember how confident I was at the time, even though looking back I cringe occasionally (I’m sorry front-fringe; I thought you were a good idea at the time).
Style is an interesting thing. I’m 98% sure I could read fashion and style essays all day without getting bored. It’s an interesting topic, there’s an art to it that I hope to one day get a grasp on. Until then, campers, I hope you have something in your wardrobe that says you like nothing else. And if you don’t, I hope you find it.
Don’t be afraid to try something on,