Back when I was a tiny young mother and still gleaning a sense of fashion, which by now is as well rounded as my seamstressing skills (see below), I bought very few items of clothing in which I would be caught dead today. This is partially due to the fact that I couldn't squeeze one calf into a size two now, and also because they are just not that cool. Maybe for 1997, if you lived in a rural community, cut off from civilization they were ok, but.... I did buy one thing, back in the olden days, that I still have. One of the reasons I have kept it is because my little sister has hounded me for years to give it to her, which equals cool status regardless of current trends. This stand alone item is also still cool because Robin Wright wore it in Unbreakable with Bruce Willis, and as we all know, there is nothing in an M Knight Shyamalan movie, or that the Princess Bride would wear, that goes out of style. Ever. Anyway, this specific article of clothing is a tan leather jacket from the Gap, which I felt cool for owning over all these years, until I received this picture from my sister, of the identical jacket that she bought off of eBay.
And I was flattered. Slightly deflated since I no longer have the One Thing that she wants, as I already gave her the smaller size (loathe) of my favorite belt, and she adopted her own collection of (also smaller, also loathe) Liv Jeans and we even have the same Frye boots (ok, these I copied from her, but I still feel like I should get credit for her over all sense of style). We could be twins on pretty much any given day, as these items are pretty much the only things we both wear constantly, except I would be the ginormous twin and she would be the little cute one that makes all my favorite clothes look good (super loathe). How did I turn the ONE flattering thing into a non-flattery. The heck.
My sister tried to get the jacket from me, but I was unwilling to relinquish it, encouraged in part by someone advising me, "Don't give that jacket to your sister. It will fit you again eventually." In my defense, the jacket still DOES fit me, and I can even squeeze a hoodie under it if I don't want to bend my arms at all. Which I frequently don't. Just because I can't button it doesn't mean it doesn't fit. It's a jacket after all. Meant to be left open all carelessly with a scarf and sleeveless shirt that allows at least some arm movement. Also I would like credit for the 13 pounds that I have lost this year. Collectively of course, over the last 12 months or so. And I may or may not have gained more than that back, but that doesn't take away the loosing part. Really.
Another unflattering thing is sewing. At least for me. I can work with words. I kind of like to mess with them and bend them around to say something that at least somewhat resembles the abstract mess that is my head. But fabric? Especially dollar-a-yard, laugh-in-your-face, deny-your-dreams fabric. That's the thing about dollar-a-yard fabric. It's sole purpose in existing is to make an utter fool out of you when you try to translate some totally awesome thing in your head into a totally awesome thing out of your head. I was mocked repeatedly by some pretty vintagey fabric that worked well as table cloths for an event we had, largely because my sister was the one handling it. But when I put one finger to the stuff, it's like it wanted to punish me for thinking I could sew. So this one time, since some bean soup I had made turned out ok and I was still feeling domesticish, I tackled this vision of a bed skirt that had been swirling around in my head for the last several nights as I was lying awake, missing my Tylenol PM. It only took me 6 hours to find out that I have not the slightest idea how to make a bed skirt, but by then I had resorted to using safety pins to FORCE the stupid cloth, in assorted pieces, to do what I wanted. Eventually I put it on the bed and pretended I liked it, but during my last move it disappeared with all the other things in my life that don’t spark joy. Like the elliptical, and anything resembling workout gear or clothes that my sister looks cuter in. I recently saw that “bedskirt” I made in a bin of scraps at a thrift store… no surprise it found its way there. But the leather jacket is still in my closet, waiting for the day I don’t want to bend my arms.