“I am more vintage than I am high fashion.” —Kat Graham
Should you hear the term “Fashion plate” in the same sentence with my name, I guarantee it’s fake news. A slave to fashion, I am not. Style changes should be regarded in the same manner as computer software upgrades—let everyone else test them first to make sure they work.
During my “at least once every ten years whether it needs it or not” closet cleaning last week, I was again reminded of just how many decades and style changes my wardrobe spans.
My attire for any day is usually determined by whatever is hanging in front of me when I walk into the closet. If it’s there, if I can see it and it’s clean, that’s what you’ll see me wearing today.
That program has its pitfalls, though. As an early riser, I’m typically getting dressed before sunup, and even more critical, before coffee. Many times, I’ve walked out confident about the way I was dressed only to discover by light of day, mixed with an infusion of caffeine, that my choices were not necessarily the best. Some days, it’s the wrong match, other days, the wrong decade.
These are the days when it’s a good thing I’m not a slave to fashion.
For me, it’s hard to get excited about fashion when today’s “in” styles are certain to be “out” by tomorrow. It does work in my favor, however, when things that were fashionable 30 or more years ago might be on the verge of a comeback. I’m never sure what’s “in” and what’s “out.” By the time I like something that’s in, it’s out. Not to worry, however. If it’s out, it will be back in soon.
A stroll in and out of my closet is reminiscent of something between a fashion museum exhibit and a thrift store clearance sale counter.
Over the years, I’ve tried samplings of styles touted as the fashion rage, and I still have most of them. That collection includes bell-bottoms (I hear they’re back in), white belts, paisley shirts (they’re definitely back in), and leisure suits (mine was light blue—but, I’m not sure they’ll ever make it back in).
I have a vested interest in suits, some with and some without—vests, that is. An interest in suits means I also have an extensive tie collection. Whatever the style, I have a variety of them: wide ones, narrow ones, striped ones, printed ones, special occasion and holiday ties—you name it, I probably have one.
Hanging in my closet are ties so wide that I can hide behind them and ties so narrow they won’t even cast a shadow. I’ve saved them all which means I can be tied to the fashion for any decade.
Decades of tee shirts adorn the better part of one hanging rack. Resembling travel posters for air shows, car shows, speed shops, vacation destinations and special events from California to Florida, they document time from the 1969 NHRA Springnationals drag races to the Highway 271 classic car cruise I enjoyed a few weeks ago.
Can’t fold them up and stuff them in a drawer, I wouldn’t be able to the see them. But, I can’t wear them— they’re memorabilia, not fashion.
So, with the shirts sorted, the ties tidy, and the closet cleaned, I can scratch that off my list for at least another ten years or so. What did I get rid of while cleaning? Nothing—after all, I’m not a slave to fashion.