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Sunday, January 29, 2006

Old grey shirt

I have an old grey tee-shirt that rests at the bottom of my shirt drawer. Over the years, it has acquired a tiny bleach spot on the front, and pale underarms from fabric-fading toxins in deoterant. It's way past its prime, but I can't throw it away.

Mostly, it's the perfect shade of charcoal grey, and the shirt that started my love affair with the color. It's also the first item of clothing I bought out of college, when I realized I had to start taking charge of my wardrobe. I didn't even know where to begin--I'd not really thought about clothing or fashion for most of my life. So I ended up in a boutique and bought myself a glossy, smooth, fitted dark grey tee-shirt and a knee-length, silver nubby skirt. It was the beginning of my work wardrobe.

The shirt looked good with anything: dark jeans for a night of drinks, dress pants for a casual work day. It also made me realize that the grunge era of loose flannels didn't really show off my body the way this shirt did. I figured I wouldn't always be so happy with my body--my stomach eventually would thicken and my boobs would sag--so I might as well take advantage of it then. And it was lovely.

Last year, my hips outgrew the skirt, and with much regret, I gave it away. But I kept the shirt--still holding onto the beginning of my fashion sense, the start of life as an adult. It reminds me of being independent, on my own, making decisions, and understanding what looks flatter me. I can't bear to put a symbol of that in the trash. I'll have to figure out something special to do with it.


Blogger Lesley said...

Wonderful. You got me thinking about the clothes I can't part with, but most of them are from college and earlier. Shirts can be the best of those items, you're right. My first post-college work wardrobe was actually quite terrible b/c I had to teach high school and try to look older than them. I wore really boring stuff then -- still a lot of black, but nothing very sexy, or form-fitting. Although that did mark my transition into heels and less clumpy shoes ... so those are worth keeping.

So glad your blog is back! I love it.

1:37 PM  

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