I've suffered through a couple of unfortunate trouser failures in the last week. Oh, nothing spectacular -- no splits in embarrassing places, no underwear hanging out in public. But rips and holes where repairs are of no avail. Evidence that the garment has outlived its usefulness, evidence that should be heeded.
My distaste for clothes shopping has been a frequent topic in this space -- or as frequent as my infrequent clothes shopping trips, which I undertake only when I can no longer avoid the need. I don't think I'm being entirely honest with myself, though. The trouble may be that I like clothes shopping way too much. I could try on infinite versions of myself, infinite stylistic variations on my look. Maybe I tell myself that I hate clothes shopping in order to avoid falling into its sucking black hole of possibilities, time, energy, money.
What I do, then, is go looking for the bare minimum. I want a pair of brown corduroys. I want black cotton khakis. I want, if it can be found, a pair of black knit pants.
And if I find the bare minimum that will fill my closet and get me through a work week, if they fit with reasonable accommodation -- a belt here, a cuff there -- I head for the register and count myself lucky. Yet when I get home, I'm as excited to wear these clothes for the first time as if they were fancy party wear. I'm as nervous about ruining them, as anxious that they not wear out prematurely.
I wrote a while back about the change that has come over me as a dresser since I became a knitter -- my embrace of accessories and flair into my utilitarian wardrobe. And yet I haven't let that creep into my clothes purchases, for which the prevailing question is always "can I wear this every day?" rather than "would I wear this at all?" I have, however, grown skeptical of my own long-standing just-the-basics dressing philosophy. Maybe it's never too late to change, although inevitably, as time goes on, it gets harder to turn on a dime. So stay tuned, but give me time.