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and so it began…

vintage de la Renta

My love affair with fashion began at an early age, before I even knew what love affairs were. While most little girls were playing house, I was playing Barbies. My cousins wanted Barbie to drive around in her pink corvette to her three-story dream house with the ever perfect, ever plastic Ken at her side. I would have none of that nonsense. I was much too occupied with changing Barbie’s outfit to ever worry about Ken.

 

I would spend hours in the toy aisle examining the tiny outfits encased in plastic, clutching the dollar bills given to me by grandmother. In those days, Barbie outfits were $1.79 for a dress and $2.99 for a package that included two or three pieces plus those tiny plastic shoes that never stayed on Barbie’s feet. After carefully choosing just the right outfit, I would take it home and immediately dress Barbie. I had no idea that all the other little girls, didn’t do this.

 

It wasn’t until middle school that I realized I was different. My classmates would save their leftover lunch money for lip gloss or cassette tapes. I spent mine on fashion magazines like Elle and Vogue. I pored over the pages looking at the glossy photos secretly hoping to be able to wear one of those beautiful dresses someday.  I am fairly certain that I was the only 7th grader in Indiana who desperately wanted an Oscar de la Renta ball gown.

 

In high school, one of my classmates bet me that I couldn’t go the entire grading period without repeating an outfit. I took this bet as the ulitimate challenge. I promptly took stock of my wardobe and raided my Dad’s closet taking a navy blue sweater and a green cardigan. I don’t think he ever wore them or noticed they were missing. I spent the next two months mixing and matching pieces in my wardrobe carefully making sure no look would be repeated. I won that $20 and extended the original time frame to 12 weeks.  It was this bet that taught me the importanace of wardrobe of basic pieces around which outfits can be built.

 

College taught me the value of a good roommate…one who wears your size. In college, very few of us had extra money for clothes. So when we wanted a new outfit for a party, we shopped in each other’s closets. The last few days of every semester were spent sorting out whose sweaters I had and reclaiming my own miscellaneous items of clothing. Your wardrobe expanded exponentially by the number of roommates you had, and that is the only math I ever needed to know.

 

I wouldn’t say that fashion has defined my life, but I would say that fashion definitely played a major role in who I became. I have the shoes to prove it.

3 thoughts on “and so it began…

  1. I still remember the day I first met you – all spiffed up in leopard print (or was it tiger? no, I’m positive it was leopard). 🙂

  2. So that’s why when I called you that fateful summer you said “yes” to my roommate request? Because we wore similar sizes? (Not that I’m complaining–it was a fab three years)!

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