There are some items of clothing that wear themselves. Designed by unhinged creative geniuses, made of the most exquisitely delicate fabrics and cut to a millimetre of measured perfection, their existence is to be marveled at. You wear them with pride, knowing full well they’re actually wearing you in a role you accept with humility. It’s your go to piece – the one you bit the bullet and bought, hoping it would be the emergency showstopper your wardrobe needed. And it was.
Owning a piece like that is not so different from raising a prodigy child. From the very day they enter this world, they are destined for greatness. First musical composition at 5, university at 14, whatever it may be, they’re self-explanatory and you love them for their simplicity and sheer brilliance. You almost can’t believe they’re yours, your pride and everybody’s joy. Yet at the same time, being around such greatness proves high maintenance. Not wanting to stifle their creativity and development, you labour over their protection, treating them somewhat too preciously. You lose sleep over them, worry needlessly about them. You know that a creation like this doesn’t come around twice and yet the more you stress, the deeper you get thrown into the reality that their existence has already outshone, no, eclipsed your own.
Then there are the clothes that are imperfect from the outset, that you buy anyway. Be it one inkling or another, they satisfy your need at that point in time. In some ways, these pieces are a lot like adopted children. They’re not things you have that intangible connection to but something about them does catch your eye as a little spark, a certain je ne sais quoi compels you to take them home and entertain these curiosities further. There’s something about them that, humbled by the many before you who have bypassed without so much as a second glance, yearns for a place to belong.
At that point in time, you don’t understand completely what their addition into your life will bring. But you give them time, consideration and a great deal of patience and slowly, you make inroads. You watch them grow and blossom before your eyes, with their own individual character and quirks, as the two of you become inextricably tied with one another.
This dress is my adopted child. When I bought the metallic frou frou number last week, my shopping companion was a little bemused and largely horrified. Why on earth had I bought the strapless, ostentatiously coloured poofy creation reserved solely for the tacky discos of the 50′s? Without any real idea myself, all I knew was that I loved the volume, the oomph, the look at me factor. And somehow, just somehow, I was going to make it scream va va voom without blinding unsuspecting onlookers with its Marie Antoinette levels of excess.
By highlighting the things I adored and tzuj-ing the things I didn’t, the result was a statement ‘skirt’ that I loved. With its awesomely abundant circumference, it blocks me from any chance of colliding with other pedestrians but more importantly, wearing it makes me want to sing and dance and be on my merry galloping way, as few items of clothing have ever done.
Sometimes when you give things, people, ideas a chance, it pays off. By keeping an open mind, you also open up possibilities you never fathomed existed, proving that there is always a silver lining to everything.
But in this case, it’s gold.