My take on 2013 … from a 32 year old fashionista …
I don't typically utilize my blog to write about life in general. I try to focus on my neighborhood, my community, and what interest me and my surroundings. Sadly, I don't find the time to update enough and doubt many read anyways, but I am going to challenge myself to do better in 2014. Yet, as the final hours of 2013 are approaching, I have read through many Facebook posts and everyones fair wells to 2013 and cheers to 2014. I am the type of learner and listener when one can make an analogy to something that interest me; I then comprehend. Many of my daily inspirations are non conventional.
With that being said, the last few days I have been slowly cleaning out my closet, literally. As I shuffled through boxes and drawers, I realized that "cleaning out my closet" metephorically is just as important. Of the 32 years on this planet, I am extremely guilty of holding onto that pair of shoes that should have been thrown out years ago, or seeing the beauty in the 2001 fluffy sweater that had no business being in my closet any longer. But it meant something. It meant memories. It wasn't the sweater, it was the memories that came along with that sweater and the people it reminded me of, even if they aren't in my life anymore. Most of the memories, good and bad, made me who I am today.
As the day progressed, my closet reminded me of how relationships work. 3 basic principles came to mind.
1. Good genuine friends are like fashion.
2. Some friends or aquaintances are more like style.
3. Loyalty is vintage.
I thought about all 3 of these principles. How they have impacted me the past 32 years, and what I can do differently in order to keep my closet in my most organized manner in 2014.
Good genuine friends are like fashion. Timeless. They are the signature pieces that will never go out of style throughout time. You can always count on them to complete the look. They are the 'little black dress' that will always be there when you cannot find anything else to wear, and you know it will always flatter your figure, even after scarfing a large pizza, a liter of diet coke and 2 reeces cups ( I know from experience ). The 'little black dress' is versatile. You may need it for a cocktail party, a business meeting, or meeting the parents, but you know it never fails. Smokin. You trust it. You have confidence in it, and you know without a doubt its always there. But you have to take care of that 'little black dress' also. You can't just throw it in the floor when you get home, especially if you get white-girl wasted. Oh no no. You take it off, and hang it nicely where you found it, but of course you still have to make sure the 'little black dress' gets dry cleaned sometimes, but she is coming right back home. As I look back in my life, I have very few 'little black dresses' that stand the test of time. I have acquired plenty of them. Yet the thread came loose, the fabric was rubbish, we didn't fit together anymore, I busted the seams while I was dancing inappropriately one evening, and bottom line is…..the 'little black dress' and I didn't withhold the test of time. We have parted ways. In my own mind, naturally, the dress let me down. I chose my wardrobe wisely, right? And I treat all my garments with care, right? But one thing I have learned is you can't force something to fit when it's not supposed to anymore. You can keep stitching up the same old dress, but it will never be the same. And in relationships, especially friendships, sometimes they won't ever be the same. But my goodness, the French Connection 'little black dress' and my Louboutins…..we will never part. Just like the select few awesome people in my life I can consider my go-to people. My Fashion. You are a reflection of me :-)
Some friends or acquaintances are more like style. Style is seasonal. Style goes away. Style changes. In most cases style is a choice and one must decide when your style needs an upgrade, a fresh look, and in some cases a complete style make over. You must NEVER confuse fashion with style. And in life unfortunately we do confuse the two. We go back and look at old pictures from the past and think, "what the hell was I thinking? That outfit was a tragedy" ( aka the bad friend = 1998 platform shoes, choker necklace and Tommy Hilfiger button down). Looking back, if we would have just stuck to the classic and always favorable 'little black dress', we wouldn't be having this tragic conversation and everyone would look fabulous everyday and the world would be full of perfect relationships. But our closets just don't work that way. Why is it we continue to buy horizontal stripes when we see them in the latest Vogue or Harpers Bazzar, when clearly they only look good on .009% of the population? Or we attempt to squeeze our size 4 butt into a size 2 just to see if it works cause the skinny jean is in. News flash friends, those are just trends, they aren't necessarily fashion. And just because you see it on Heidi Klum, certainly doesn't mean its going to look as fabulous on you. I realized today, I've mistaken trends/style for fashion so much in my life. I want to see the good in all. I want to over look the fact that I can't wear the damn size 2 anymore and I need to just get rid of them. Even if i don't wear them, or they are somewhere in my closet hidden, they are still there. Why? Because of the memories of that size 2 and maybe there is a slight change in hell I can squeeze back in those puppies. But what value is that size 2 bringing to my life now? Absolutely nothing, besides reminding me of the fact they are out of style and no longer fit even if I jumped around my bedroom like a bunny rabbit trying to get them on. So what to do with those stylish friends in our lives? I know for me, its 2014, I'm 32 years old with one fabulous closet that I have worked my ass of for and that I would do anything to protect. I'll be damned if I let a pair of cheap Nine West reside beside the Christian Louboutins or a 2005 Express mini-dress hang next to the French Connection 'little black dress'. No ma'am Ok, so that was a little shallow, but in all seriousness to keep up with my theme here…. one must keep your circle small. One must chose the finest of the finest to associate with. Quality over quantity. Substance over superficial. Authenticity over Counterfeit. You are the company you keep. Have a few individuals thrown me out of their closet? No doubt. I have been completely disappointed with a few individuals that lack loyalty, but that only makes me realize that we weren't cut from the same cloth in the first place, and I've got to take care of the fabric I'm working with. They were just a trend, or a season.
Lastly, the closet also reminds me that loyalty is vintage. It is not something that is found easily. It is sometimes the mink coat or hand made polyester dress you found for $3 at the Goodwill that cannot be duplicated. I have been obsessed with the goodwill and thrift stores since I was about 19 years-old (first saturday of every month is half off at the Goodwill my Nashville friends.. if you wanna find me :-) . I have always been fascinated by what other people consider to be "trash". I moved in a neighborhood in which most consider to be trash, dangerous, and undesirable. But I see humble people, a stellar view of downtown Nashville and a kick ass house. At a lot lower costs than some of the other more desirable neighborhoods in town. But just like the mink coat, my neighborhood, and the hand made dress…. loyalty is vintage. Its value increases over time. One person's junk is another person's treasure. I make it a point to tell people who compliment on my vintage attire where I got it from and what I paid for it. "Lindsey, i LOVE that dress! What designer is it? Who made it?" My response is usually, " I apologize if I stink like an old lady, the colors aren't as bright as they used to be, and the zipper might bust at any minute, but I paid $1.99 for this jewel. I got it at the Value Thrift on Dickerson Pike. By the way, the Piggly Wiggly on Dickerson… have you seen that 5 items for $20 deal? Amazing!". Although sometimes people think that the word "vintage" has to do with things that are old. That is not true. (for example, Bettie Page Designs by Tatyana makes amazing vintage & retro clothing for the modern woman… you must see!!! http://www.bettiepageclothing.com ) It's the design, the cut, and the uniqueness that makes it vintage. It's unusual. It's the way the dress makes us feel, no matter how long you have had it on. Its the story behind the dress and its rarity. You just know it when you see it. Money or name brands don't define your closet. The Real Deal. Authenticity. Irreplaceability. Classic. Priceless. Relationships work the same way people. You can't buy them. We don't have price tags, brand names, labels that describe what we are made of, or warning instructions on what wash cycle to use. But when you find loyalty, you hang on to like nothing you have ever had, because its value added to your life. It's rarity should be cherished. One thing that I can honestly say is that I am one loyal woman if I'm behind you, but once i'm gone, I'm gone. This is a HUGE lesson I have learned this year. Just because you are loyal to someone, doesn't mean they are the same way. Some individuals don't see the beauty in vintage. Some individuals will always find their wardrobe to always be replaceable and are constantly dropping off their unknown prized possesions at the goodwill like yesterdays garbage. Some individuals quite honestly can't see the value in what they have hanging in their very own closet. They neglect to take inventory on what is vintage and the potential to be something beautiful vs. what is just a pair of warn out socks that have no added value to their over-all ensemble. This goes for personal life and in business as well. These are also the individuals who will go digging through their closet years later looking for that 'little black dress' or digging through emails looking for that 'old' client, in which they will not find anywhere. The dress is gone. The client is gone. It is now hanging in the closet of someone who saw the beauty in it's simplicity and authenticity and the old client is now doing business a with girl/guy who actually values a loyal client. It may not be perfect, and there may be some loose strings and snugs, but that dress is genuine and valuable. And that loyal client may not be your biggest client now, but imagine the referral base and growth that comes along with one client in the future.
As I close out 2013, I realize that in life, there are too many people worried about being in style. Always looking for the next best trend and unfortunately treat their signature, timeless pieces like their next pair of socks. Replacing everything worth keeping with what may be hip and easily accessible. If this is you, I hope you realize before its too late that your sense of fashion is gone. It's in the hands of someone who valued it, and now you are probably suck with a counterfeit Fendi from a street vendor in New York City. It may look good, but its counterfeit. It's a remake of the real deal. Maybe you are completely confused by analogies. I understand if you are because I am ADD and get lost lfjdkal;ajkdfla;jfkdl;a and my keyboard types faster than my brain :-). But in all seriousness, maybe today is a good day to take inventory in your closet like I am. Maybe you need to clean it completely out with a fresh start. Maybe you just need to do some re-arranging. But before all that, maybe you need to ensure that you "are" what you are wearing. Are you vintage? Are you fashionable? Or are you just worried about the next big trend? We all wake up every morning with a choice on what to wear and who we share the day with. I will continue to aspire to be timeless in this fly by night kind of world. Regardless of other people and their actions, I am in control of my actions and reactions. I will try to spread Love no matter what. Nothing is greater in this world than the ability to give and receive Love …. and a pair of Louboutins :-) xo
Cheers to a 2014 of fashion -