purse: target // dress + sweater: lane's hand-me-downs // chelsea boots: shoemint // hat: h+m (similar) // bangles: gift (similar)
I have been thinking lately about what a very social thing our clothing is. I actually prefer to shop on my own -- to take time perusing, try things on slowly + just so. It's an exercise in slow-moving for me, shopping is. Watch me sometime in a store -- like molasses being poured out.
Even so, I've been looking at my closet and thinking how much a communally created thing it is. There are the big and obvious ways -- the friends who challenge your modes of dressing, or maybe the ones you inspire, or pinterest -- all the big influencers, and trends, and ways of transmission. But in other ways, too. I was packing some things for a friend to borrow -- a floral backpack, kimono, big old sunhat, and an instax camera. I get so giddy at the thought of these things going on a new adventure, with someone else. And then that same friend in turn handed me a bag of hand-me-downs. As I pulled things out, I would remember -- she wore this when we took photos out in that field, or I remember her thrifting this! Memories, tied to them already.
And so I was attune to this connection while hanging things up -- and it became more evident, then. The big things -- prom dress, his wedding suit -- but then all the small things imbued with bits of other people -- I wore that dress to photograph so-and-so's wedding, to church (when I met so-and-so's daughter-in-law). How I dress a little different for meeting different friends. Or this would be a nice homage to my mother-in-law's college days (and yes! then it sparks a conversation about Gunne Sax jumpers that lasts several blocks!). Maybe it's my hyper-photographic memory, or the fact that I'm always chasing stories, but connected to every piece in my closet are 100 people -- that I talked to, passed by, sat near, stood at the crosswalk and had the fastest conversation with. I couldn't wash off their faces if I wanted to -- and I don't.