Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Behind the Outfit

For me, most things contain meaning.
I remember the stories behind articles of clothing... jewelry... furniture... books.
Fashion isn't just fashion... everything holds a memory.

A lot of people don't get this, and I get that.
I get why they don't get it.
It seems superficial, or materialistic, or whatever.
But the bottom line is I tend to attach meaning, whether warranted or not, to just about everything I have.
(I probably contain in my dna hoarder tendencies.)

Love languages?
My first is Acts of Service.
My second? (I've said this before.) Gifts.
Not gifts for gifts' sake. I remember when this came up in a specific conversation, and a short time later someone gave me a bunch of little stuff, because they thought "gifts" meant "stuff."
But, it's actually not about the "stuff" at all. It's the thought... yes, the sentiment... that speaks to my heart.

When I'm throwing together an outfit, there's always a back story.
I laugh and think of the memories, sometimes deep, sometimes not-at-all.
But, either way, I tend to remember... and hold dear.

This was a recent Instagram #outfitpost.
(You can find me under @angela_white on both Instagram and twitter.)

That navy early 90's shirt I found this summer at a Goodwill in Eugene, Oregon... the big town by the little town I grew up in. I was there with Nate and we were looking for something I can't recall. I was super excited to have something with such fun detail from our trip home.

When I say that scarf came from Forever21, that's no big deal. But in reality, it was a Forever21 in Michigan that we stopped at shortly after I got off the plane with my dear friend Rachael (now) Kiehne. We were there for a women's retreat at her home church, where she was leading worship and I was speaking for the weekend. We had been goofing around in the store (I think I wrapped this around my head), and I wound up buying it. I think of her and our fun trip and how blown away I am at the places God takes me nearly every time I wear it. (Hey, look! It's me & Rach in Michigan!)

The tank was actually a birthday gift from Hanna Hughes, who lived with us all last year. She had bought me something else that didn't quite *ahem* fit when she came for a visit in September, so I exchanged it for this tank with the cool strings on the sides. 
But that happened after she had left, and she never got to see it.
I always think how she would love the way I pair it with things.

The American Apparel skirt I went out on a limb and bought online. I just hardly ever do that stuff!!! But, there was an AA sale on, and I just knew that I knew that I knew that I would adore this. It's a reminder every time I put it on that I WAS RIGHT.

The boots I've actually blogged on before... back when "myspace" and "blog" were still mentioned in the same sentence. (Oh, dear goodness, that post makes me emotional!)
They're my hometown. They're country girl. They're a bit of my past, which sat for a long time buried in my closet, but now are used SO often... if even in a different way than originally intended.
(Now THAT'S a message, right there.)

The moth pendant I remember hanging around my mom's neck when I was a little girl. Sometimes she would wear it with this dress that was all white with pink detailing that Dad bought for her on a trip to Korea.
She had pink pumps that matched the pink thread of the dress, and everything about it was just so perfect. Even now as I hold that image in my mind it has a soft-lens light to it.
Sometimes she would wear it to church.
Other times for very rare dates with Dad, which were usually to business meetings, because it wasn't often they could afford to go on an actual date.
I remember always being so mystified by the moths on either side that were pressed between the glass. It had belonged to my Great-Grania, and always seemed to have some kind of magic about it.
When Mom gave it to me there was such a thrill in my heart, like that was somehow an official passage into woman-hood, wearing the moth pendant.

And none of these "things" will last forever.
The clothes will fall apart, just like my mom's beautiful white dress from Korea did.
And the moth pendant will someday be passed to my daughter, but is also doomed to disintegrate, just like the dress.
It's good to recognize the meaning in things, and not look at everything in life from a sterile point-of-view.
And it's good to use the things that mean something to us, instead of keeping them behind glass to simply look at.

We only live once.
Let it be filled with meaning.

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