Tuesday, March 22, 2016

S/S 2016 | Wardrobe Planning

Do people still do these? Does this image clearly identify me as a dull, sartorially-conservative, future New Englander? Maybe just a bit.

My goal this summer is to not default to athleisure garb when I go about society. The items here are non-descript and consistent with my warm weather wardrobe staples (grey denim shorts, navy blue twill shorts, 4000 grey t-shirts) and look comfortable enough for me. If I need a boost in formality, I have warm weather-appropriate dresses to rely on.

Without further ado, here are my prospective purchases:

1. Sperry boat shoes - I have always been a secret admirer, even if my roommate finds them horrendously frat-daddy and preppy. Expensive? Yes, but I can't possibly wear my leather Chelsea boots every day once the weather warms up. My point is that I have grown fond of the rugged brown leather shoe, and that knowing myself, cost-per-wear will be low this time next year.

2. Black shorts - of these three options from Uniqlo, I plan to pick one. Nothing complicated here.

3. Breton shirt - I'm not too sure about this one, and it may be a long time before I actually buy one of these, considering how many variations there are.

4. Red polo - nothing more needs to be said.

5. Seersucker shirt - this is partly to counteract the darkness of my wardrobe, but also because I need warm weather shirting that looks somewhat put-together. But, really, this is a stand-in for any lightweight warm-weather top.

I crossed a few things off this list, the bulk of them being dresses: a casual summer sundress, a graduation ceremony dress, and a white coat ceremony dress. The first I am fairly sure I have enough of, especially since I plan on wearing some neglected skirts of mine more often. The second and third I'll find as well in my closet, which should be fine considering both will be covered by much more important garments. However, I reserve a sixth purchase for a dress that suddenly appears (and I feel very strongly about).

This list was generated with mild Bay Area weather, potential summer travels, and August in Boston in mind...and is subject to change. Even so, I've been keeping up the pattern of moderate/minimal shopping throughout college, and don't expect to deviate.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

The deathless Red Polo

Here are a few pictures of myself wearing a dark red polo, a beloved, worn-down garment that has been stretched thin from too many wash-wear cycles, a tenacious representative of fast-fashion throwaway clothing that has stayed with me for too many years. I bought the Red Polo in summer of 2006 as part of my back to school outfit and wore it to picture day in seventh grade that same month. The first picture comes from 2010, the second from spring 2015 in lab to mimic the 2010 picture, the third from spring 2013 where the Red Polo (and I) made an appearance on a campus banner, and the fourth from summer 2015 at SF Pride.

The Red Polo was from the now-deceased department store Mervyn's, and cost around $5. The quality is not very good and the fabric has not survived well. The shirt itself is very long, the fabric clingy, which makes for easy tucking into jeans or layering under cardigans or jackets. It's in my favorite color of high school and early college. It was due to be recycled as a cleaning rag years ago, and it's still holding on by literal threads.

The point of this post is sort of to promise myself that I will not allow myself to continue wearing this very dated, very adored shirt from middle school past summer 2016. I have not tossed this shirt because it was the first item of clothing that I felt good about myself in, which is a very important thing for the insecure middle school whelp. I've worn it so many times and have no strong memories tying me to it. I have tried and failed to find a Red Polo to replace it, and thus, I have kept it in my closet. The Red Polo is my prime example of forming strong emotional attachments to material possessions, even after they've served their purpose. In the spirit of creating a more useful, concise wardrobe, I think it is reasonable for me to face that this deathless shirt that I love will need to die soon (and be replaced, of course, by a higher quality version).

Consider this the prologue of a forthcoming S/S 2016 wardrobe planning post. It's becoming clearer to me that if I, at age 21 and at the starting line of my professional career, I will need to buy higher quality if I want to wear clothes with the frequency and longevity that I wish for.