If my wardrobe could talk

One trend I’m not hip to: new clothes that look old. Perhaps I’m a bit of a fashion traditionalist that way.

Walking through the mall can sometimes be depressing with all of the new clothes covered in holes and scuffs and looking thinner than wet newspaper.


Holy jeans! These jeans have holes!

Is it wrong that I want my clothes to look more like clothes than swiss cheese made from tissue paper? I think not.

I like my clothes to tell their own story. If there is a hole in my jeans I want it to be there because a street ninja’s sword ripped it open in a dramatic, traffic-stopping battle. Not because I bought them that way.

My clothes are the only things that are with me all the time–both when and when I’m not fighting street ninjas.

The Odd CoupleTherefore, each piece of clothing that I own tells its own story. Some stories are exciting: my grey tweed jacket has starred in two plays with me (plus one with someone else). Some are boring: my Star Wars T-shirt sits in the drawer, only brought out when I know I’m among friends. (It lives a sad life, but it is loved.)

But no matter how exciting or how boring, each piece has a story. That’s what I like most about my wardrobe.

Let me give you an example of what I’m talking about:

coffeeI bought my red tank top last summer for four dollars. I didn’t buy it for any good reason other than the fact that I won a ten-dollar Wal-Mart gift card at after-prom that I wouldn’t let go to waste.

Whenever I go into Wal-Mart I want to get out. It’s a store I only go into under extreme circumstances and I consider free money one of those circumstances. However, leaving remained my top priority going into Wal-Mart.

It was a good thing the men’s section was right in front.

I went to check out clutching my red tank along with grey one and two Hershey’s chocolate bars (to make it an even ten dollars, you know?).

I wasn’t thinking the tanks would be more than two shirts taking up drawer space that I’d wear playing basketball or something. Then I’d get rid of them in a couple years and for the first year that was looking like the case.

However, this summer I’ve grown closer to my red tank. It’s my go-to shirt, just a plain wearing shirt. (For those that don’t know, a wearing shirt is a shirt made for wearing…A LOT. The same goes for wearing jeans, wearing jackets, etc.)

My red tank went with me to the 6593-foot peak of Mt. LeConte in the Great Smoky Mountains with my brother, sister, mom and dad. It was warmed by the sun and covered inside and out with black weevils blowing off rhododendron bushes at the peak. It was soaked with a torrential mountain downpour for the last couple miles of the descent. It was the most beautiful rain I’ve ever experienced and my red tank was right along with me.

mountainBut my red tank hasn’t traveled just to the top of a mountain. It’s been with me in early mornings drinking coffee. It’s been used as a hand-towel for my mud-covered weed-pulling hands from days in the garden. It’s been wadded up under my head as a pillow while laying by the Hocking River.

Do you see? My red tank has a story to tell. It’s gone from four-dollar Wal-Mart special to mountain climber extraordinaire. (And I think it looks nice with many different things.)

And the best part about it is that it wasn’t born that way. I’ll take my clothes through heck and back until they look like the ones in the stores. The only difference: mine will have memories of mountains and street ninjas while the store-bought clothes will be tattered with envy.

You may be able to buy shorts for $70, but you can’t buy memories.


My red tank is versatile. It can be paired with many things (including a mean-mug like this).

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