Thursday, October 21, 2010

Love, Loss and What I Wore

Has anyone else fallen in love with this book turned off-broadway show concept?

If you haven't heard of it, it's exactly what it sounds like. People sharing memories of love, triumphs, grief and how those memories are permanently linked to the clothes they were wearing during those moments.

Husband has often found my ability to recall at the same time a moment in my life and what I was wearing absolutely fascinating, mostly because he cannot do the same.

I find it impossible to separate the clothes from the memory because I think that's the fundamental point of our wardrobes, it's the art that we live our lives in.

Much like you'll never forget your wedding dress or the sweater that comforted you during a breakup or failure, or, heaven forbid, the dress you wore when you heard that a loved one had died, I find the same to be true of the events in my life no matter how great or seemingly small.

I remember the sundress I wore to school on Sept. 11, 2001 and, after watching the second tower collapse and, feeling more vulnerable than I could ever remember, wishing I could cover up.

Hanging in my closet still is the cranberry red sweater I wore for my senior portraits finally feeling comfortable and beautiful in my skin and for the first time ever, eager to have my picture taken. I have only had a few of those moments since, but never as wholly as I did having my senior portraits done.

I'll never forget choosing the simple khaki capris and black boatneck T-shirt I chose to wear on the first day of school just days after getting married. I remember walking on campus as a 20-year-old feeling more grown-up than my peers and that suddenly my life had taken on a whole new meaning (yes, I'm aware just how very 1950s that sounds!).

I can still recall every outfit I've ever worn to a job or internship interview, mostly because they were selected very carefully to portray a certain image. One of responsibility, maturity and hopefully, professionalism.

I know exactly how heavy and suffocating my favorite hooded sweatshirt felt when a favorite dance teacher told me that the dance company I had aspired to be a part of for the 4 years of my college career would never happen, simply because she didn't think I was right for it, or when my doctor prescribed me antidepressants a few months later.

Some of these outfits I got rid of long ago, not because they didn't fit or were no longer my taste, but because I was reminded of the memory everytime I looked at it. On the other hand, many of these outfits I still have in my closet regardless of whether or not they fit, for precisely the same reason.

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