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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!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Zebra Suit

Zebra Suit

By Robin Kozloff

I call it my zebra suit because that’s what it is: a black and cream, zebra-striped, long-sleeved, loose-fitting, jumpsuit out of heavy soft cotton jersey, like a little kid’s sleeper without the feet. The stripes are not evenly spaced but are varied in width and jagged-edged just like a zebra’s. It has black buttons down the front, a tidy black collar at the neck and solid black cuffs at the wrists. My eagle eyes spied it from barely inside the door of the thrift store as it hung unaware among the pale flannels and terrycloths of the lingerie rack. I crouched, sprang, and pounced. It was a sixty-second kill. I trotted home with it in my teeth, gloating and triumphant. 
When I wear it belted, the top half blouses out but the bottom half gathers in sleekly, leaving my haunches long and lean. Without a belt, it’s a baggy, shapeless, comfy retreat.
I wear it to amuse my nephew at Thanksgiving family reunions when everyone stays over, sleeping on couches and air mattresses. I wear it to read the paper on cold, gray Sunday mornings when I can’t bear to get dressed in real clothes. I wore it once for Halloween with a black stocking for a tail and a mask made from a paper plate. And I wore it the night of our mother’s first surgery, when we all just waited at her house, and my brother found me hiding, curled face down on the bed. He sat down next to me patting my back and the kindness made me cry. I wore it rollerblading one fine, clear midnight, on a smooth dark road under a starry sky, swinging my arms, humming along, until some jackass grabbed my butt from a passing car window, nearly making me fall and filling me with a spitting, useless rage as the red tail lights faded into the distance.
Thinking it silly looking and sexless, I once put it on to discourage the advances of an overnight visitor, but before the night was over I shed my zebra skin.


Anonymous said...

I keep voting but my vote is not recorded. Is this contest rigged?

Heather Caswell said...

No it is not rigged...we have been experiencing technical difficulties but are in the process of fixing things. If you can not vote then leave a comment saying that story is your favorite. Sorry for the inconvenience.

-Style Girl

Unknown said...

Robin Kozloff's story is the best. Funny, poignant beautifully crafted words that remind us how comforting and significant a special outfit can become.

sophia said...

I love how this article of clothing becomes animated by Robin and transforms her, too! Great storytelling.