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True Stories about how fashion has made a difference in our lives.

"If Our Clothes Could Talk" stories celebrate the diversity of people's experiences in wearing, designing and connecting with life through clothing. Submit your photos with a poem or story (150 words or less) of your favorite outfit from The Wardrobe. Tell us why you loved wearing it and you could win a $50 gift card and be featured on our blog! Click here to send us your photos along with your story!

Monday, December 28, 2009

 Take a peek at this week's short story written by Alia Jordan!
I’m glad that clothes can’t talk.  Your clothes know more about you than any other living being could possibly know, and they are silently judging you.  If they were conscious and chatty, they might say some nasty things.
My sports bra, for instance, might curse me for shortening its life with frequent changing and laundering, and start complaining to perfect strangers about how much I sweat at the gym.  Or announce that it’s feeling a little dingy and perhaps I should be using warm water and harsh detergent once in a while rather than the perpetual cold water wash with Woolite.  It might also tell people that it’s starting to stretch out beyond all recognition because I can’t lay off the pizza and wine.
Then there were those few (dozen) times that I partied all night in Rick Owens and woke up on friends’ couches with a dry, terrycloth tongue stuck to the roof of my mouth.  What if my outfit rebelled and decided to talk to passersby on the walk of shame?  “Do you know how much she enjoys wearing me?  She never takes me off.  She even sleeps in me.  Is that any way to treat an expensive dress?”  Rick at least would understand, if not his actual clothing.  His frail garments were designed to be grungy, glamorously grungy, worn until they decay.  When you can’t take them respectable places anymore, you can finally wear them to Burning Man and let the playa have its way with them, that is, if they can’t whine about the heat and the dust. 
If clothes could talk, they couldn’t be reused or resold.  They might spill your secrets and get you blackmailed or fired.  No more tax-deductible donations or sales on eBay.
I know that I’m projecting a pretty cynical worldview on my wardrobe.  It’s quite possible that if your clothes could talk, they would be trustworthy and say only positive things about you, like cherished friends.  Probably not the clothing I wear, though.  Alexander McQueen, Junya Watanabe, and Rick Owens make beautiful, impractical, capricious pieces that seem like BFFs rather than real friends, prone to temper tantrums and catty gossip, like the divas they were meant to drape.  You might be safe from scrutiny if you wear Eddie Bauer, but if my clothing could talk, it would have to be burned.  In a hot fire.  With lots of gasoline.  Maybe even after just one wearing.
My philosophy is that if clothes could talk, they would look radically different than they do now.  They would have been designed for disposability, like diapers, made with the cheapest materials and foreign labor, bad for the planet.  I’m grateful that they are mute, made to flatter our imperfect bodies perfectly, wordlessly, letting the ego keep the job of self-condemnation, where it belongs.

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