lessons learned from a silver silk blouse

I've been updating my wardrobe in anticipation of the cold, dark days ahead. No, not winter. I'm talking of course about my forties.

It's two parts purge and one part upgrade (where finances allow). It's saying farewell to a lot of favorites, breaking up with Free People, and accepting the fact that at my age, "boho chic" reads more like "eccentric art teacher." It's slowly integrating pencil skirts and fitted sheaths and bypassing fit-and-flare. It's looking at my current closet contents with a critical eye and calculating the longevity of any new acquisition carefully.

It's not as bad as I thought it would be.

The difficulty of facing fashion maturation growing my clothes the fuck up is offset by the joy they've brought me. The hardest pieces to part with have the richest, happiest histories. I can't begrudge them retirement; they've earned it. Loading iPhoto to find an example, I ended up falling into the rabbit hole of my own recent past. Oh my god, that's right. I wore that dress the night we met those crazy Australian girls. Totally forgot about that. 

And no matter how much I antagonized over my outfits at the time, when I look back at these pictures, they are by far the least important aspect of the memory. I could Photoshop myself into something else entirely and the edit wouldn't alter one word of the conversations I had, or the laughter of my friends. Big fat duh, I know, but for someone who gets a leetle too spendy with the fashun, it's worth thinking about.

There's a silver silk blouse I've been needing to let go of for a while. It's unique, well constructed, and drapes beautifully. But it shows more of my torso than I'm really keen to show these days - possibly than I ever had a right to show. It was the first piece of clothing I bought when I moved to LA, and oh man did I think I was hot shit the first time I wore it out. There is no exhilaration like the suburban transplant's exhilaration of going to a trendy Hollywood club for the first time (at least that's how it was for me). And since that night, I've worn the hell out of that top.

It's utterly replaceable. When it's gone nothing will change. Had I never bought it, nothing would have been different. It's just a shirt. And probably the most useful it's ever been was last night, when I glimpsed it in pic after pic - awesome memory after memory - and was reminded to be grateful for the other people in those photos. Because they're not replaceable.

Forty is around the calendar corner for me, and yeah, I've got some feels about it. But if the next decade of my life brings me half as many good memories as the past one has, I will be one lucky mid-lifin' bitch. Possibly even a well-dressed one, too, though let's not get carried away.

Bad Clothes, Great Times: An Incriminating and Ill-Conceived Goodbye Collage

p.s. In case you're wondering what on earf happened to my hair - those were extensions (in a couple of pics toward the top and one at the bottom). Wore them from late 2010 through 2011. Second worst thing I ever did to my body, after tanning. Ugh.