THE UNREQUITED LOVES OF LIFE: Denim & TV

canadian tuxedo

I’m in two great relationships right now. They don’t know about each other, but I’m sure they’re okay with it. The thing is I never knew that I would ever be in a relationship with either of them. I  have a relationship with denim and TV now in that I never had them growing up. It’s almost like an unrequited love story, except that it was never one-sided love since I didn’t appreciate them, while denim and TV didn’t really know about me.

I grew up as a dancer. I did ballet, jazz, tap, the whole works. So it gave me pride that I was the only one in my 5th grade class who could do a split during gym class. What is the only thing that could restrict me from showing off my splits, pirouettes, and grand jetes? Denim.

The constricting fabric that held my legs together could never let my legs make more than a 40 degree angle. Wearing jeans was like being in jail. I was a nerd, so jeans never fit my personality either. Multi-colored sweatsuits and Capezio jazz pants were a large part of my repertoire on “dress down” days at my uniformed private school. At one point, the only pair of jeans I had were from the boys section of GAP with patchwork all over the legs and formulas written on them.

The same goes for my TV viewing habits. My love for TV now is garnered by the fact that I hated TV when I was a kid. I spent endless hours in libraries and I grew up in a home that watching classic movies during lunch was normal behavior. In fact, I distinctly remember watching Gandhi with my dad for snack time.

Of course, I still kept up with pop culture with crushes on Zack Morris and creeping in the next room when my brother watched The OC. Still, the relationship was meant to be when TV came into my life like a long lost friend in high school starting with Saturday Night Live. Now, my Monday morning schedule simply consists of reading reviews of last night’s episodes of Mad Men, Silicon Valley, or Veep.

As I felt like elaborating my teenage wardrobe in high school, I subscribed to ELLE. It was then that I saw a new trend of stretchy jeans, which were so cleverly advertised by having a ballerina do an arabesque in the so-called stretchy jeans. It’s like they were trying to sell them specifically to me.

Fast forward to present-day, I wore my own version of a Canadian tuxedo. Rolled-up my favorite Madewell high-waisted jeans, with a J. Crew chambray button down. I guess you can say that the two-toned Ralph Lauren loafers are an homage to the nerdy me who used to never wear any denim and thought jeans were just blasphemy. If 2001 called, then surely Justin & Britney would have a great rebuttal outfit.

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BABY, WE BELONG TOGETHER

SPICE GIRLS UNIFORM

Being called a “teacher’s pet” or “suck up” for the majority of one’s life can lead to the inevitable demise of such connotations. On my journey to exchange my pastel variety of Lacoste polos for leather pants, I knew I was missing something.

Last month, I bought my inaugural pair of Doc’s, an experience every Brooklyn native has probably gone through. Having gone to an all-girls school that required us to wear construction boots reminiscent of the Spice Girls, stomping around in large shoes was a familiar adventure. Soon after, Ms. Miley debuts a new music video notoriously wearing nothing but my Doc’s that I thought would be my induction into my new age of Punk Renaissance. Then much to my dismay, my classmate turned to me and asked what color my Doc Martens were because she wanted to “buy herself a pair.”

I’ve only taken one Sociology class and it will probably stay that way. And while I probably will not and could not remember how Goffman or Mead contributed to the study of something or other, I do know that there is a human and natural need to belong. I’ve already examined the culty nature of SoulCycle, but of course the reason we all still go there or to the gym is not to just “be fit,” right? We just need to belong somewhere. It’s obviously a theme that I’ve been exploring lately.

During my weekly visit to Facebook, I have discovered through NewsFeed (if that’s what it’s still called) that BBM is apparently on the iPhone now. A few of my Facebook “friends” complained about people sharing their new BBM Pin because they just want to copy everyone else who is using it. Yes, this is something that is literally “discussed” on Facebook. Maybe it’s because I didn’t understand what irony was until my sophomore year of high school but it is the only thing that I log on to Facebook for. And while we complain about women being Photoshopped for magazines, we admittedly take one hour to choose what Instagram filter makes us look best.

It’s hard to know who to admire and who’s a phony, except for Holden Caulfield. Remember Dash from The Incredibles? When his mom tells him that everyone is special, he responds with typical Pixar wit, “Which is another way of saying no one is.”

The only people I admire are those who stay in their “outside clothes” inside their house. I mean, really, if changing your shoes and removing your bra are not the first things you do when you get home, then I will assume you are Superman.

As for the color of my Doc’s, they’re 1460 Cherry Red.

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MY LIFE-ALTERING PANTS (THAT NEED ALTERATIONS)

Life Altering Pants - HELP!

Last weekend, as I walked the glossy, waxed floors of Bloomingdale’s, I had no intention of purchasing anything, much like everyone else everywhere. Then my mom pointed to a colorful spread of striped sweaters in the Free People corner of the department store and exclaimed, “Oh, this is so you!” I took a quick glance at the mannequin wearing one of the displayed sweaters and my first thought was, “Yeah, it is.” Then my gut kicked in overdrive and my subconscious iconoclastic aspirations caused me to yell out, “Am I that predictable?!”

Throughout high school, I was struggling to be in fashion rather than finding my style. I subscribed to ELLE during my freshman year because I was mandated by the school magazine drive, but also to find out what I should be wearing that winter season. I, along with most girls, aspire to work in fashion the way all boys aspire to be cowboys and baseball players but settle to be a sports newscaster or something. I thought I would be the next Tavi Gevinson, but then I soon realized after reading my first issue of ELLE that all the avant garde clothes featured in editorials were not meant for 13-year-old me. Alas, I was unfulfilled with my wardrobe that was “so lacking of cool.” During that time, I had an utter contempt for fashion and its rather expensive schemes. I did, however, quickly understand fashion and trends by reading all the articles which gave me a detector for who was really keeping in style on the streets of New York.

It would only be a far-fetched dream of my 13-year-old broken-down-Converse-wearing-self to believe that my current college best friend would tell me that I should start a fashion blog. Now that I find opening my birchwood IKEA closet to select my day’s garments an actual party, I learn that I have become “predictable.” That’s not what I asked for! But maybe it is, when my first subscription to ELLE came in the mail. As my mom and I continued to the SALE racks of Bloomingdale’s, I spotted a pair of pants which I looked at for five seconds before realizing that I would never wear it. Being the supportive mother that she is, my mom tells me, “Those pants are cool.” And when a mom tells a girl that something is “cool,” sirens are supposed to be going off alarming the girl that it is in fact, “not cool.” I somehow reconsidered and took a second look at the dual-fabric pant saying, “But this is so not me,” to which my mom quickly whips a mildly teenager-ish, “So?”

Only in college did my sense of style finally arrive, much like a teenage girl having her first sip of unsupervised alcoholic drink with initial befuddlement, “So this is what it’s like.” I first walked into a J. Crew during the summer after high school when I assuredly called that store the mothership that I never knew was calling me. The only way to describe my current style would be Kennebunkport meets Williamsburg Farmer’s Market, with the occasional “villain in a John Hughes film.” From then on, my collection of button-down shirts ranging from shrunken ex-boyfriend to perfect-fit has grown beyond compare. I do daydream that if I were an unabashed risk-taker (and unbelievably wealthy) that my closet will replicate that of Beyonce’s, and maybe these pants that were paneled in linen fabric, fitted in jersey fabric on the back, and are “so not me” is a step toward that.

I bought the pants, but with a mild reluctance. It is currently hanging on my bedroom door, still with its various tags, and it is staring at me. Of course I Google the pants’ brand name to see what celebrities have worn it, as well as to validate my purchase. There in the vast wasteland of Google Images are Hilary Duff, Olivia Munn, Kristin Cavallari, among others. I think to myself, “Olivia Munn? She’s cool, I watch The Newsroom. But do I want to wear the same pants as Hilary, Olivia, and Kristin?” I examine its rustic-looking zippers and faded linen cloth, I imagine it something to be out of a 2008 issue of ELLE. I realize that they’re just pants. So I cut off the tags because that’s what Beyonce would want me to do, yet all I wanted was to escape the void of predictability.

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