Clothes are just clothes, you know?
But at the same time, they are more than just garments that you drape all over your body. They are more than warmth, or sustenance. They make a statement.
Yet, if it’s a Tuesday, and if you have a paper due, and if you don’t want your body to feel constricted, it’s also a sweats day. Or it’s a t-shirt and leggings day. Or it’s a no clothes day, because clothes are ultimately…for the weak.
What do clothes mean to me? Well, it depends on the day. In my opinion, I don’t really have a unique style, because I don’t have one very stable personality to be tied to. I am not inherently girly, preppy, “soft grunge”, emo, laidback, or polished. It all depends on the day.
If you step into my closet, you’ll find all sorts of clothes. Dresses, for school dress up days, debate tournaments, and when I’m feeling extra girly. T-shirts of every color and size, as plain as white and as exuberant as bright blue with a family of orange cats (as is the case with today).
It’s high school, and clothes matter very much to most people. I value clothes and shopping is absolutely one of my favorite past-times, but I believe that at this point in time, the importance of fashion choice to me is characterized mainly by novelty. New clothes, whenever possible. I’m still following the trends and wanting to update my wardrobe with every season. I look to celebrities and flip through magazines (though not as avidly as some people might) and at least notice what they are wearing.
I think that the novelty effect will wear off, when I get older. As my body stops growing and I have one less excuse to buy new clothes, I’ll start buying higher quality clothing, timeless so that it lasts for longer than a season.
Right now, they represent a statement that I can make of myself. The statement doesn’t really say much; it doesn’t tell people who I am, it doesn’t scream “girly” or “tomboy”. The statement is simply…there. It’s a statement just for the sake of being a statement, indicating that if I were to someday settle down and assume an allover personality or style for myself, then I would have the liberty of doing so.
Chatter. Lots of it pervades the muggy air of Ann Arbor as swarms of people wander the streets of the Art Fair.
At 6AM on a Wednesday morning, I walk past tent stations where vendors are preparing themselves mentally and physically for what is probably one of the most popular events of the summer.
My fatigued eyes graze over dozens of white tents but ultimately fix on the white tent that stands out from the others – the holy Urban Outfitters Sale.
ZOOM. My feet carry me over to racks and racks of discounted clothes. I see dresses of every length; my fingers brush past fabrics of every degree of softness and thickness, and rows of jeans in every cut and color. As I focus on the issue at hand – maximizing the amount of fabric I can manage with as little money spent – the cutting chatter fades in the background, a dull buzz now.
As I peruse the racks, I make my way past girls similar to myself: we’ve woken up at an unreasonable hour to justify a long-running tradition. Some have skipped makeup, some have just come in their sleep-clothes.
We come from all areas of campus life; some of us are campers at the debate camp, the math-and-summer camp, some of us are tourists visiting the Michigan campus, and some are actual college students studying here over the summer. Despite our different backgrounds, we all suffer together. Everyone endures the unbearingly long lines to the fitting rooms and then in the payment line; everyone quakes in excitement at the racks of clothes that are replenished every hour or so.
The way I see it, this Art Fair will be the center of attention for however long it is here. People will inevitably end up with the same clothes, and people will gratefully spend money that they have been scouring for weeks. New camp kids will learn the tricks of the trade – wake up early, go during breaks, and browse after lab. The golden oldies will rely on the tactics that have been used for years.
Thus concludes my narrative of the first morning of the Urban Outfitters Sale of the 2013 Ann Arbor Art Fair.
Oh, the things we do for high style.
We don’t have to deal with reality much longer
There’s this world out there, in here that everyone knows
Yet it can be entirely ours
Untouched, crafted down to the most detailed details
There’s this world where we can be ourselves
And watch the food roll by in their carts
Perfectly assembled, on display for all eternity
For all to long for, for all to ogle at
The waves will crash in perfect rhythm
Day after day, year after year
We can ride that same swing into the sea
Time and time again
Everyone will have brightly knit sweaters
Perfectly pressed suits
Perfectly tied shoes
No ripped hems or frayed edges
Those don’t belong here
The words – encouraging and piquing
They float around in the air
For just us to see
And yet everyone has read them
At one point or another
They assert vague statements
This is life!
Life goes on!
Onward we march!
March 4th – the only day that is also a call to action.
So what do they mean?
What do we do with them?
Do we smile and look away
And the thought immediately flees our minds
Do we grimace and take it in stride
Stand up and search for its meanings?
The lighting – spot on, day or night
Filtered immaculately, to tickle our buds
To satisfy our criteria
Words on photos,
Photos on words.
Here in this paradise,
We are welcomed.
We are strangers.
Yet we are all family.
Yet every day is a new revelation.
(Just curious, does anyone have any clue what I am writing about? Hope it’s not too obvious.)
There are people all across the world that are passionate about what they wear and how they look. Just observe the rush to pick up the latest releases of glossy magazines on a weekly and monthly basis and you will see what we mean.
This one is popular because it’s short and funny! There’s a picture of a cute duck, and most of the viewers found this through a writing challenge that I did online, in which I left a link back to my blog. Not much more to say about this post, there’s not really an underlying meaning, except I suppose to question the legitimacy of eggs, but I don’t mind eating eggs and I’m not really disgusted about where it comes from, but hey, that’s just me.
This guest post finally addresses one of the biggest themes that blogs rant about, that I have yet to acknowledge: love. Specifically, teenage love. I haven’t been able to bring myself to write about it because I know I’ll get lots of questions and pesterings from the people that know me personally, so I suppose for now the only time you’ll hear about love on this blog is when anonymous people submit their writing to me. Perhaps later, I’ll feel confident enough to state my opinion on teenage love, but for now, I think I’ll refrain from it.
This post is popular because I advertise it a lot. I slip it into a lot of other posts whenever writing is relevant, and that’s one of the best methods to get more hits on your blog. I think my teachers probably appreciate this one the most because it shows that I’ve learned something from my eleven years of English class. I made this one general and applicable to anyone on purpose; I knew people would be able to relate to it, and I guess that shows, through the amount of times it has been read.
I know why this one is so popular. For starters, it is the first “This Kid I Know” post I wrote, so no one was expecting me to be so straight up about the people that I know and respect. Secondly, I posted this on his Facebook wall on his birthday, so that definitely generated a lot of views. Perhaps Holmes liked the post so much that he shared it with a lot of friends? I haven’t asked, so I guess I’ll never know for sure. The post was short, sweet, and to the point. I know that high school kids definitely appreciate this kind of post. And they’re eager to find out who exactly this Holmes kid is. (He’s world-famous, by the way.)
Perhaps this one was pretty popular because I wrote it in a different style than I normally do. It was unconventional for me; it was more of a shot at creative writing. I wanted to test and exercise the way I could depict details, so that the reader could imagine themselves in my closet through my words. This post was a work in progress for MONTHS but one night I finally finished it after sitting in my closet for an hour or two, rifling through my special box.
I’m genuinely surprised that this wasn’t #1! Whenever I find new blogs, I always look at their About page to find out whether or not we have anything in common, and whether or not I think I’d be interested in reading their blog. An About page is basically a mini autobiography in which the writer can write anything they want, in whatever form they want to. This is their moment to hook in potential loyal followers by preaching to them what exactly it is that they write about, and why exactly the follower should make like a follower, and…follow. I edit this page a lot because I always want to get the best message across to people who stumble upon my blog.
I suppose this one has been the most popular because I posted the links on my Gchat account, and on my Facebook page, and a great portion of my friends on both social networking sites ARE debaters, so when they saw a post about something that was relevant to them, they just had to read it. This post was one of the first I had planned to write, but I didn’t get around to actually writing it until a few weeks later. At that point, we were a little ways into the debate season, and so I would be able to pull examples and concepts from the tournaments that I’d gone to for inspiration to write about in my post, as well as the seven weeks of debate camp I also attended over the summer. I think this post was popular because it’s policy debate is something that I genuinely care about, but also because debaters have a tendency to link things to each other in a flash, so perhaps it traveled quickly?
Post inspired by the Weekly Writing Challenge at Daily Post, here.
Imagine walking into a small room. A light switch on your left is flipped, and your eyes are bombarded with colors of every shade!
Skirts and tank tops hang on the left, next to a hanging organizer that holds Nike shorts, hats that I never wear (because I hate wearing hats), and tank tops that I’ve grown tired of, all of which are shoved carelessly into random pockets. I know that I’ll regret this unorganized decision later when I’m scrambling on a deadline to find something to wear. There’s an ugly orchestra uniform hanging, cleverly hidden behind a rack of bags, most of which I never use. Of these bags, there are two dollar tote bags of The Great Gatsby and Of Mice and Men that I bought from Barnes and Nobles, old Vera Bradley bags, and the only bag I actually use, a bright pink one cross body bag from who-knows-where that my mom presented to me a couple months back. On the floor, there’s a little dresser that holds towels, pillowcases, and bedsheets.
Look directly ahead, and you’ll notice that there are lots of similar looking jeans of all different sizes that have accumulated from 8th grade. Skimming your eyes from left to right, you’ll notice that these pants gradually get more and more patterned. Polka dots, hounds tooth, and BAM – flashes of red, first bright like ROY G BIV and then darker, of oxblood color. Then, you’ll see dresses that are probably too short to actually be dresses, that I’ll probably just wear over jeans, and with a cardigan. Notice that there’s little variety to my dresses; I just really like sleeveless scoop necked stuff. Then, you’ll see jackets of all sorts. Northface, Abercrombie, and Urban Outfitters, galore! If you happen to peek into my closet on a Sunday night, you might see a rack of clothes that I’ve picked out for the week, as I like to do this.
Glance right, and you’ll see a big row of sweaters and shirts of all sorts of colors, all sorts of styles. Buttoned, graphic, tee shirts, you name it, it will probably be in my closet, somewhere. And there shall be fancy-schmancy dresses that I’ve worn maybe once, either from big events like 9th grade PDC or just from poor fashion choices that haunt me from freshman year.
Look up and to your right, and you’ll see a stack of random blankets that I’ve accumulated over the years. A pink and purple flowery one that I got as a birthday present in third grade is one of my favorites. I don’t even remember who gave it to me, and my mom tells me its really bad quality, but it has such a comfy and familiar feel, sort of like my Kenya t-shirt.
On the ground sits a big blue suitcase that I use for debate travel, a mini fan that I took to debate camp. There’s a container full of belts and scarves that I seldom wear; I stick to 1 basic belt and scarf. My summer clothes sit neglected in a storage box, filled to the brim with light, wispy fabric and bright, airy colors destined to be worn in the summer. There’s a white box that sits innocently on the floor. Lift the lid, and you will find stacks and stacks of paper (“flows”) that I have accumulated over the years from debate camp, debate tournaments, and practice debates at school. I like to peak in there once in a while and note how much my handwriting has improved. My shorthand writing has gotten much more efficient, and there’s more ink on the paper, as I have gradually become less dependent on my dear computer.
Ultimately, the best thing in my closet would be my boxes. No, not your ordinary box that holds clothes of some sort like I previously mentioned, but rather, the box of nostalgia.
These shoe boxes are full of scraps of paper and mementos from years past. I peek into them as I write this post, and this is what I see:
- 5$ straw glasses
- A badge from Dragoncon
- Receipts from my favorite restaurants
- Friendship bracelets, long worn and broken
- Photo booth pictures
- Tags from my favorite clothes
- Those super strong wristbands that you wear when you go ice skating
- Plane tickets
- Maps of college campuses
- Room keys from camp
- A deflated beach ball from who knows where
- Movie ticket stubs
- My old, ripped up Iphone case
- Chopsticks from one of my favorite sushi restaurants
- Letters from when I actually wrote to my family when I went away to summer camp in third grade
- My journal from 1st and 2nd grade
- Tokens from arcades
- My first college letter for when I truly thought Texas Christian University was offering me a scholarship
- Notes that I wrote to my friends from 7th-9th grade
That’s right, I’ve kept all of these random items. Why not just throw these things away? They are just useless clutter that take up space in your closet.
Well, I guess you could say I’m a bit of a sentimental freak. I keep almost anything that I encounter. In the drawers of my desk, I have stored old, used up pens, pencil nubs, candy wrappers, spanish vocabulary notecards from 7th grade, and every receipt EVER since 9th grade. I keep all my old disgusting nail polishes and broken earphones, every metal bottle cap I find on the street or in the dumpsters (just kidding about that last part). I don’t know why, but I just do.
My closet is kind of special. It is a defining, physical aspect of my life that shapes who I am. Each bag of old clothes ready for Goodwill demonstrates the person I used to be, contrasted with who I have evolved into today.
It’s a funny thing, when you see a person that – with a little effort and know how – could easily become much more noticeable … in a good way.
You know what I’m talking about, right? All the time, I see people at my school that neglect their bodies and their looks. It feels strange to imagine what I might look like if I totally didn’t care about looks. Continue reading