I stopped by the Apron Stage tonight on my way to bed...and found this new post...I loved it and I especially enjoyed the comments...Which jogged this memory and turning point in my life.
I moved to Victoria, B.C. for a summer (a different story in and of itself). I didn't know many people and enjoyed my hermitty ways while I was there...going on bike rides, daydreaming at the beach, working in the lab in the wee hours of the morning, and listening to the buskers in the harbour...I have many fond memories from that summer, but today I would like to add my own "Friends don’t let friends make fashion mistakes" story.
As that summer drew to a close, I took my last stroll through the downtown harbour...enjoying the salty air, and the vitality and charm that seems so abundant there. On my way home I decided to check out a few of the downtown shops...and eventually made my way into the sears store...
Now let me just add that I was simply window shopping as money was quite tight that particular summer. I had a casual $10/hour job cleaning house for a blind lady (easiest $10 I ever made...jk), and no intentions of squandering it.
--And then suddenly it caught my eye...and it was exquisite!...the most beautiful green corduroy blazer I had ever laid eyes on...I had to have it...I checked the price tag and as I recall it was pushing $60...
I couldn't. I can't. Just try it on. I Shouldn't. It's perfect. I did.
I was the proud owner of a full price (it was the new fall line) corduroy coat...and I loved it...
I moved back to Alberta and returned to my life...this time accompanied by my coat...I took that coat everywhere with me...strolls down white ave. dates. church. class. institute. The grocery store, work--and I loved it! Sometimes my roommates would comment about it's "shabby" chic look (okay...they called it my hobo coat) and seeing how I often wore it with my matching green tights (which they called my "peter pan tights") to church...I guess I was an easy target when it came to fashion (or the lack thereof). But I always took it in jest...truly believing that it was a beautiful coat...and it made me feel just that-- Absolutely beautiful!
The rude awakening came suddenly one day after a baptism…I wore a black skirt with a large pocket in the front, a pink floral blouse, my green “peter-pan” tights, and of course…the pièce de résistance….my corduroy coat! and I went with a fellow. When he saw the way I looked I could immediately sense disapproval…but shrugged it off as indigestion from the meal we just had….we went to the baptism, all the while sensing a very palpable dissatisfaction from my accompaniment and then finally, on the way home…the truth came out….“sometimes the things you wear make me less attracted to you”. I was shocked as this was truly one of my most favourite combos….I was going for the earthy-artsy, girl-next-door, intellectual look…not the less attractive look. Oops. And to top it all off, the beloved coat was apparently one of the major offenders…after a lengthy discussion of how to look more “classy”…I returned home, gathered my thoughts, and then the next day proceeded to do what any other sensible (by that I mean silly) girl would do…I went shopping (with my student loan money no less) and I bought a new wardrobe (a classier one of course)…which apparently never turned out to be much more classier than my current style was…but at least it was an effort. I still cringe at what a moron I was…Did I really think that that was the solution? Or even that my clothes were the problem? Or what was I thinking when I paid for them with SL money (I am sure I paid for those clothes 4x over –cursed interest!) Anyways, later in life, as I was discussing this event with the said fellow friend…I admitted that it was a big mistake for me to do what I did…that I truly believed that clothes don’t make the man and as my dear friend Thoreau would say…’beware of all enterprises that require new clothes, and not rather a new wearer of clothes”. Henry David Thoreau, Walden, 1854
And in a nutshell I admitted that if I ever were to have a daughter, who inherited the same fashion sensibilities (or lack thereof) as me, who had friends that had a hard time being friends because of said fashion sense (or lack thereof)…I would tell her, in no uncertain terms, to run away!! He of course…as any gentleman would…agreed.
(DISCLAIMER: This is in no way meant to reflect poorly on this fellow...as I have had many people other than him suggest I could do better fashiony-wise)...but for some reason this moment resonated with me...(perhaps because I had read Walden over ayear prior, which did something to me, and was trying to test and form my own theories).
And so it began…My lovely coat and I became quite the team…it was the ultimate dating litmus test. I wore it religiously on every first date I went on (we truly were in cahoots, you could say). If a guy asked me out again (despite the coat)…check for him…If a guy complimented the coat…double check for him. If no second date arose from the first…naturally it was due to my coat/style sense (or lack thereof), which was not to his liking, and not of course, because of my personality (or lack thereof). It was a very simple, quick-returns, type of test. The "how to tell if a guy likes me for me kind of test...Absolutely brilliant.
And in the end, I am truly grateful for the fact that “friends don’t let friends make fashion mistakes”. It taught me a very valuable lesson about my silly self, and became a great aid in my dating career.
To be continued….