| Carmel, California |
You know how there are certain things in your closet that you really love, but just never wear for whatever reason? For me, it was always hats: I would find one, and love it, and buy it, and then never wear it because every time I put it on I felt like I was wearing a big sign saying HELLO I AM THAT GIRL WEARING THE HAT.
And then one day I realized: I totally don’t care if I’m that girl wearing the hat.
I love being that girl wearing the hat.
And so now I wear hats. But there are still a few pieces in my wardrobe that are in the loved-but-unworn category: a wayyyy over-the-top fringed jacket that I put on and immediately feel self-conscious in because holy fringe; a pale-pink blouse that’s beautiful but that makes me look a bit ghostly unless I wear far more makeup than I enjoy wearing on the average day; a white silk skirt that terrifies me, because oh my goodness that is a lot of white silk. And when I see white silk, what I see is tiny, strawberry Pop Tart-covered fingers.
So I’ve had this skirt for a good…what, like two and a half years now? I wore it as part of an Ann Taylor campaign way back when, and I remember being super excited about it when it arrived and thinking I’d wear it constantly with everything, because it was just so beautiful and floaty and elegant and perfectly cut. And every so often I’d take it out of my closet, put it on, and then panic at all that whiteness and silkiness, and take it right back off again and put on something else. Like jeans that don’t show every tiny little strawberry fingerprint.
And then, this weekend, we took a day trip to Carmel – a little town about an hour and a half south of San Francisco that’s all adorable restaurants and adorable shops and adorable flower-lined streets populated by adorable dogs and adorable children with adorable ice cream cones, and it felt like the perfect day to break out my white silk skirt. And I fretted for a minute about whether the day’s activities would result in a stain or a scuff or what have you…and then I realized: the only way I can be absolutely certain that I won’t mess it up is if I never wear it. And what that means is that it’ll never get worn.
So I decided to put the thing on and then forget it about it entirely and go about my damn day…and that’s exactly what I did. Sat on street corners playing with sharks in it. Jumped off of stairs in it. Rolled around on beaches in it. Lived in it.
Because in my world, that’s what clothing is for: living in. And no matter how pretty a piece might be, if I can’t live in it it’s of no use to me.
I think if you love it, you wear it, and then you watch it take on a life of its own.