Fashion is a Two-Faced Bitch: Clotheszillas

Late at night, after the stores all close shop for the evening, the merchandise stretches out, gets comfortable, and enjoys some downtime.

Inevitably, the conversation turns to that life-changing moment in every fashion piece’s existence when they will be plucked from the shelves, purchased at the counter, and taken to a new home, their own home, to live happily ever after.

The mood softens, the voices fill with longing, and somewhere from the back corner of the store a whisper thin silk shirt in an impossible size waits on the final clearance rack and croons a torch song in a high clear voice, while the silk cocktail dress, recently arrived, sways dreamily on its hanger.  The pencil skirts describe their dream closets, while the pumps talk about the ones that walked away.

Like newly engaged couples, the clothes dream of a future that only exists, for 99% of them, in their fevered, lovesick imaginations; padded hangers, fashionable friends, svelte bodies, fancy restaurants, society pages, and Broadway shows.

The entitled 1% will indeed enjoy an existence of luxury and ease in their well maintained and spacious closets and will only be worn several times before being lovingly consigned to, filmed and fawned over by, the southern belles of Resale Royalty.  They will move on, after a retail refresh, to a second, and possibly more fulfilling, relationship with a young starlet obsessed with vintage.

Oh, of course, most of them are born into this privileged existence; the Birkens, the Coaches and the Lily Pulitzers, for starters.  And let’s not get started on the World of Ralph Lauren.  Every once in awhile, however, an upstart from humble beginnings, an Alex and Ani bracelet, for instance, or a Tom’s shoe, shows up on  the red carpet or a coveted foot, starts a new trend, and all of a sudden finds itself living large and taking names.  These success stories are the stuff of dreams for the “off the rack” fashion lines.

“But what about the remaining 99%?”, you ask.  “What about them?”

Well, my Darlings, after an auspicious and hopeful beginning, they will, of course, be brought to terms with reality.

The most unlucky will pick an owner (typically based on body type), consummate their relationship in the dressing room, legitimize it at check-out, and travel to their new home with high expectations.  Upon arrival, they will be disappointed by a messy abode, a minuscule closet, and the negligence that accompanies over consumption. They’ll notice signs of neglect; a missing button here, a dropped hem there, stains of every sort, and the smelly evidence of infrequent dry cleaning.  At night, they’ll cry softly for the sale rack they left behind.  It was crowded, sure, but at least they were hung up and not thrown over a stationary bicycle with 25 other sweaty, misused garments.  The energy will be stilted and the air suffocating, as all the Clotheszillas come to terms with a future not filled with parties and lilting laughter, as expected, but debt collection calls, jello shot vomit stains, and yard sales.

The average experience is sure to be something more heartening, one must hope.  A cute dress is found by an average woman who chooses it among all the others on the rack and purchases it with hard earned cash. She will take it home, to a regular sized closet, and a small but carefully selected wardrobe.  It’s a hard life, sure, being worn once, sometimes twice a week.  A dress slows down more quickly, shows some wear and tear, but at least it can count on being cleaned regularly, hung up nightly, and repaired as needed. It will develop affection, over time, for the woman, who will likewise come to rely on it when she doesn’t know what else to wear.  It will have space in the closet to spread  its wings and it will become close friends with the accessories it is paired with on a rotating basis.   This dress will learn to accommodate and forgive the occasional stretch required of early or post pregnancy weight, date night at Texas Road House, and middle-age spread.  When it grows old and beyond repair, it will be recycled in a respectful manner, and find new life.

These clotheszillas are the lucky ones.  They get to fully live.

Chicken  out

And then, of course, there’s eccentric fashion

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  14 comments for “Fashion is a Two-Faced Bitch: Clotheszillas

  1. October 11, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    Oh, you are talented. I will be reading this one again-

    Like

  2. October 11, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    Very, very nice.

    I worry about the clothes as well. Sometimes, whilst digging through my closet, I feel badly for the red skirt I had drycleaned back in 2008. MAN but that's a nice skirt. But then I gained weight, didn't I? and the poor thing has been hanging back there ever since.

    I hope she understands that I still love her.

    Pearl

    Like

  3. October 11, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    Very interesting perspective. Of course, now I will be feeling horribly sad for all the clothes on the sale rack. Why are they loved? You have given me more underdogs to worry about. That's OK, Chicken…I will do my best to save as many as I can.

    Like

  4. October 11, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    This makes me want to clean my closet and do some mercy killing.

    Like

  5. October 11, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    And then there are the clothes from my closet that have been dismembered for altering, refashioning and crafting and are now hung or stacked in my sewing closet, waiting, waiting for me to have time to put them back together in a hopefully less than Frankensteinian manner …

    Like

  6. October 12, 2013 at 12:14 am

    And is it just me, or does anyone else feel vaguely cold and clammy whenever they see that meat dress?

    Like

  7. October 12, 2013 at 3:32 am

    Jenny- cold, clammy and primal. not a good combination!

    Like

  8. October 12, 2013 at 6:17 am

    Thanks so much, Shelly. That's nice of you to say.

    Like

  9. October 12, 2013 at 6:19 am

    I have that skirt too, Pearl! In Blue! I'm pretty good about weeding but I can't let that one go because. Someday. Thanks:-)

    Like

  10. October 12, 2013 at 6:20 am

    Cheryl, your clothes will turn on you in one second, do not feel sad. Unless you feel like shopping, that is:-)

    Like

  11. October 12, 2013 at 6:21 am

    Ha. Yes, me too. In a respectful, dignified way, of course.

    Like

  12. October 12, 2013 at 6:25 am

    Jenny-at least you try to reuse things. I tend to go on clearing binges where I just start throwing stuff into donation bins. And then, a year later, I'll be looking for that one thing. The thing I threw away. And then I'll have to go buy another, all the while berating myself with “Why? Why would you throw that away? That ________was perfect, it was beautiful, that ______ cost __________retail. sigh. Fashion sense just eludes me, I do not know why.

    Like

  13. October 14, 2013 at 10:08 am

    You speak for the Voiceless, my friend
    And you do it well.

    Like

  14. October 14, 2013 at 10:45 am

    Hook-are you saying your clothes don't talk? It's just me? Yikes. Thank you:-)

    Like

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