When Clothes Go to War

Contrary to what you might think, clothes do have feelings, and I’m not just talking about the colorful ones. The thing to remember about clothes is this:  They are narcissistic, vengeful bitches, and they will turn on you for no reason at all.

Their typical strategy is to confuse and humiliate.  I think this tactic is devised in many closets on a cold January night when clothes are feeling neglected because you’ve been wearing the same pair of stretched out yoga pants and an oversize sweatshirt for five days straight.  The holiday clothes, those glittery, festive, velvety creations, are especially bitter because they know it’s going to be a long 11 months before they see the bright light of day, not to mention a vodka tonic.  It is my belief that post-holiday depressed clothes are responsible for 90% of closet mutinies.

It might start with a beaded tunic casting a sympathetic smile towards a highly neurotic silk blouse.  “Oh, look”, it will say, “You’ve lost a button.  It’s a shame she doesn’t take better care of you.”  And then the silk blouse will obsess about this button until it is seething on its hanger.  It will turn to the fuchsia sweater hanging next to it and sneer, “I don’t know how you can be so complacent with that oil stain so prominent.”, whereupon the fuchsia sweater, normally quite cheerful, will burst into tears because she had convinced herself that no one would even notice that tiny little stain.  When she dries her tears, she’ll helpfully point out the dropped hem on the work pants hanging next to her, and so on, all down the line, until everyone turns and looks wordlessly upon the beleaguered white dress shirt with the massive red wine stain down the left side.

“Don’t look at me!  I said don’t look at me!” the shirt will cry out, ashamed and trying in vain to turn away from the pitying looks of its peers.  All the twisting and commotion will eventually shake the poor thing right off the hanger, where you had left it a month ago with every intention of looking up red wine stain removal tips on the internet.  The sight of this formerly pristine shirt lying in a dejected, neglected heap on your closet floor will unite your clothes in a common cause, at which point they will condemn you in the name of their fallen comrade.

All of this will take place while you sleep, blissfully unaware that your clothes have just declared war on your lazy, neglectful, carbohydrate-overloaded ass.

Clothes are patient.  They’ll wait until just the right moment; the big date, the annual convention, that important interview…that’s when they’ll strike.  On your big day, you’ll pull out the clingy, wrap dress you scored a few months ago in a post-fall, pre-holiday plus extra 30% off the sale price sale. The memory of that shopping experience still lingers.  The dress was a perfect fit and even self-critical you couldn’t help but preen and pose in the dressing room mirror thinking, “Damn, I look good”.

So how the hell did that dress become THIS hideous dress with the bulging boobage, the tight arm holes, and the back fat spillage?  How did that happen?  You’ll try on another outfit, and then another, with the same horrifying results each t ime.  You’ll lower your expectations and pull out those larger sizes you swore you would never need again but kept anyways. It won’t matter. Blouses will pop cleavage buttons, committing hari-kari for the cause, pants will refuse to meet in the middle, zippers won’t zip, and you will cry.  Don’t think you won’t.  Because if their timing is perfect, and it usually is, you’ll go to your special whatever wearing the most shapeless, waist-less dress you can produce  from the way back of your closet, with an ill fitting cardigan pulled over the mess as camouflage, and boots pulled on to hide your suddenly swollen calves.

You won’t get a second date, or that dream job, but guaranteed, you will get singled out and called on stage in front of all your colleagues, and your photo will be taken for the corporate newsletter.

The irony is that while your devious clothes are hanging in the closet celebrating their victory, you are planning a post holiday, pre-spring 40% off the sale price sale shopping spree.  You’ll find a new, bigger, better party dress. When you get home you’ll pack up all that old crap and consign it. Clothes might have feelings but they are not very bright.

Even the colorful ones.

up to no good

Chicken out

  23 comments for “When Clothes Go to War

  1. January 17, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    Haaaaaa!!!! I will read whatever you write. I always look forward to your posts~


  2. January 17, 2014 at 4:56 pm

    Dear Chicken:
    This was great! I hate most of my clothes and the feeling is mutual AND has been escalating for years.
    I bet you could write a helpful fashion-advice piece for somebody like me. I have to buy a mother-of-the-bride dress this year. I can already feel its evil, conniving stare.


  3. January 17, 2014 at 6:32 pm

    This is hilarious and oh so true!
    *wipes eyes yet again*

    @ Kerry: I just bought a MOTB outfit; hopefully it doesn't mutiny before the wedding. I also got it for 60% off the regular price. I'm wondering when and how I will be punished for such good fortune. LOL


  4. January 18, 2014 at 12:29 am

    You are a very funny little turkey … er … chicken. Sorry for my fowl slipup.


  5. January 18, 2014 at 1:29 am

    What size is it? Can I just borrow it when you're done?


  6. January 18, 2014 at 1:49 am

    Thanks Shelly, and likewise


  7. January 18, 2014 at 1:51 am

    Ooh, bridal wear is the worst, Kerry, be careful out there and whatever you do, keep your MOB dress away from your other clothes. It only takes one bad apple to ruin a whole closet


  8. January 18, 2014 at 1:52 am

    There you go, that's a good plan!


  9. January 18, 2014 at 1:55 am

    Jenny_o and Kerry, congratulations! I hope your dresses are sweet.


  10. January 18, 2014 at 1:56 am

    hahhaha. That was funny.


  11. January 18, 2014 at 5:23 am

    Thank you, Chickie! And Kerry, I am just under five feet tall; sound promising? Notice how I avoided giving my dress size publicly 🙂


  12. January 19, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    And yet on the guys side of the closet they just laugh at the holes and stains then they burp loudly.


  13. January 19, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    This is so true! Haha. And, what in the world am I supposed to do with those loops they started adding INSIDE my clothes at the shoulders? *SERIOUSLY confused*


  14. January 21, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    It might not surprise you to know that my clothes are terribly conflicted. Sure they hate that I ignore and mistreat them (esp. the whites as they believe me to be anti-white…I stain them at the first possible opportunity)
    but they are so thankful that I am their owner. They get to stay in my closet for the long haul with little or no chance of being tossed out. If one year old is considered old in the clothing world…my clothes are elderly.


  15. January 23, 2014 at 12:15 am

    At first, I was going to suggest you just set a vodka tonic in the closet periodically, to keep them happy. But after they betrayed you like that?

    I. think. not.

    Thank you for helping me feel less alone about the part where I buy an awesome new dress and then look like hell in it at home.


  16. January 23, 2014 at 1:34 am

    I've become convinced that it's low humidity in the house that keeps shrinking my favorite clothes.


  17. January 27, 2014 at 5:57 am

    such a vivid imagination!

    ALOHA from Honolulu
    Comfort Spiral
    > < } } ( ° >
    =^..^= <3


  18. January 28, 2014 at 1:32 am

    Yet one more way guys have it easy:-) Except the metrosexuals. They are in the same boat as us.


  19. January 28, 2014 at 1:36 am

    interior epaulettes, Minxy, they are all the rage! Calvin Klein is doing them with leather trim this year.


  20. January 28, 2014 at 1:37 am

    Cheryl….sort of like government workers, then?


  21. January 28, 2014 at 1:39 am

    Thanks for having my back Jocelyn. I'd never waste a vodka tonic on those whiners. You know, we're the lucky ones. We realize the dress looks like bloody crap before we leave the house. So many of us leave the house only to realize later, in photographs that we can never delete from the internet, that our clothes were out to get us.


  22. January 28, 2014 at 1:40 am

    Yes, Geezers, I'm sure that's it. Better drink up and stay hydrated!


  23. January 28, 2014 at 1:44 am

    Thank you, Cloudia. I like thinking of myself that way. Usually, I associate more with delusional. Vividly imaginative…how refreshing.


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