Yesterday I tried to wear a black-and-white sundress over a pair of leggings. Then, to make things worse, I added a cardigan.
We are officially into the second day of fall, which means that I hate all my clothes. I look in the mirror and think “I have roughly the same body that I’ve always had,” but none of the outfits that I carefully folded and sorted in ROY G BIV order seem to fit.
Or they do fit, but when I look in the mirror I see the person I used to be wearing clothes that have long since pilled. A shirt featuring Community’s Troy and Abed as Calvin and Hobbes. A pair of salmon-colored pants. (Never, ever buy a pair of salmon-colored pants.)
One of the reasons I love summer is because the clothes are easy. I know that people love winter because they can bundle up in sweaters and stuff, but for me, summer fashion is my season: I’ll buy a dozen sundresses at the thrift store or at Ann Taylor Loft or Ross Dress For Less, and I’m good to go. I don’t have to match anything, don’t have to worry that my shirt won’t meet my pants when I sit down, and most importantly: I only have to wear one piece of clothing at a time.
I remember being in college and realizing that everyone else was wearing two shirts, instead of just one: a tank top under a T-shirt, a T-shirt under a sweater, a cardigan over an oxford over a tank top. It was the year of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and zhooshing everything. So I’d try to zhoosh my T-shirt over my tank top and get the wrinkles just perfect.
A decade later I think we’re finally to the place where we can wear just one shirt again, but I still find myself trying to layer pieces together: maybe the Community T-shirt over a gray tank and under a charcoal sweater. Maybe a brightly colored scarf draped loosely around the neck to hold the whole outfit together.
My outfits are held together in the way that a Jenga tower shimmers under the basement lights, right before it topples.
I have “thrift store” put in my calendar for Saturday. I don’t know if I can make it until then. I’m skulking around the city hoping nobody will see me. They’re all looking, I can tell: wondering “Who is this woman in the salmon-colored pants dropping off books at the library? Wait—does her scarf have flowers on it? And does she know you can see her underwear when she sits down?”
I’m going to go to the thrift store and look for a dozen fall dresses. Long sleeves and autumnal colors. They’re out there, I know it.
And then I’ll hang them up in my closet in ROY G BIV order and try not to think about fashion again until it snows.