Three years ago, fresh out of the job which introduced me to fashion, I started my own blog. I wanted to document my relationship with clothes and style, but I didn’t have the commitment or the dedication required to sustain the blog. A couple of days ago, I revisited what I had written then. While my words may be different now and some of my thoughts more fleshed out, my feelings remain the same. When I was writing this week’s column, I decided to return to a piece from then; one where I talked about how our romantic relationships often display a curious similarity to our relationship with clothes.
Romantic relationships are often complicated. They can be messy yet invigorating. They can be heartening and yet, can cause you to feel the deepest despair. They can be beautiful and sometimes, sadly, can get very ugly. A lot like clothes. Maybe a weird comparison but hopefully not completely exaggerated. Read on before you dismiss the idea completely.
The Crinkle of a Crush
You meet a guy. He is cute and intelligent, everything you’ve always imagined. You make a move (or he does). You try to convince yourself that this (whatever this is) is going to be perfect but a couple of dates later, when everything seems to be going south, you realize it’s all too wrong.
You see a dress. It’s love at first sight. You try it on. It fits. Not perfectly but you can stand to lose a couple of kilos, and then it would be perfect. You wear it once, maybe twice and then it’s relegated to the back of your wardrobe, never to see the light of day again.
The Tale of True Love
You meet a guy and he seems kind of perfect. You make a move (or he does). You get to know each other. He’s not everything you have imagined but he is perfect for you. Over the years, coming home to him at the end of your tiring day is your favourite time.
You see a dress. It’s love at first sight. You buy it. It fits perfectly. It is flattering. It gets you umpteen compliments. It’s the first dress you pick out when you have a special occasion to attend. Over the years, it becomes your comfort blanket. And even when you can’t wear it out, you wear it at home.
With online shopping, high-street brands, and fast fashion, our relationship with clothes has been tainted. We aren’t building for the ages but we are living in the moment. And isn’t that what’s keeping us from finding our true love? Like every long-lasting and loving relationship, your clothes, too, need attention.
It’s time to write your ever happily ever after and here are three commandments that can help you do so.
Thou will understand
Get to know your clothes. The fabric it is made of, the shoes it can be worn with, the storage it requires. Your clothes have needs that you need to fulfil.
Thou will nurture
Often enough we ignore the care instructions that come with clothes. Pay close attention. These are important for a long, healthy shelf life.
Thou will bring excitement
Your clothes can get boring. You need to excite them with funky accessories; shoes, bags; jewellery. Go the whole nine yards where your clothes are concerned.
Simple enough tips to build a life-long relationship. Make your own rules, find yourself, be true to yourself, and let no one dictate you. Your style journey and your love life, both deserve the best version of you, don’t they?
Note: This article is an edited, reworked version of the original piece I wrote in April 2014 on my now-defunct blog, Style Not Rocket Science