Notes From A Walkman Junkie: Wear Your Clothes To Death. Here is how.
I wear the shit out of my clothes. That is to say, I have certain favorite pieces of clothing that I will literally wear to (clothing disintegration) death and have done so since I was a child. If there are two threads left to rub together, I am still wearing it. Now, a reasonable person may think, “Anne, with your extreme predilection for wearing the same items of clothing repeatedly like a big weirdo, surely you have perfected the craft of repairing your own clothing with incredibly masterful and subtle skill.” No, reasonable person, I have not.
What I have mastered are the most primitive, idiotic and unattractive clothing maintenance tricks so that I may continue to wear my precious garments for as many times as humanly possible–and if you are game for the horrified gasps of onlookers and the silent (and decidedly not silent) judgment from friends, family, acquaintances, pets, babies, sociopaths, moms, the elderly, plants, and law school students–then I would love to share my methods with you now.
As a child, I had exactly two very favorite outfits (each equally appropriate for absolutely any given day), my pink fluffy tulle dress and my furry tiger costume. I wore them daily, alternating between them, depending on my needs, specific situations, the weather, my OCD levels, the occasion, and my hair of course. Obviously, with all of the wearing and consequential washing that these outfits endured (plus all of the rolling down stuff. I liked the roll down stuff game a lot–until I was rolling down a massive hill and rolled over a lit cigarette butt–which incidentally, burned a hole in my dress–read on to learn how I fixed it!), it was only a mater of time before things (boat-loads of fur and tulle) started to fall apart.
Having zero tailoring skills ( I was six and I hated crafts), I was forced to simply “fix” things the only way I knew how. Like a dickhead. I mean, when you are running late for your afternoon Stuffed Gorilla Collector’s club house meeting and suddenly your tail falls off of your favorite tiger costume–are you just going to go without a tail and look the fool? Don’t be ridiculous, you hunt for a safety pin in the basement and when you can’t find one because a basement is a retarded place to keep safety pins–why the hell were you looking there–you grab one of your dad’s ties, preferably a really bright red one and tie it around the waist of your tiger costume and then shove the tail inside the loop of your newly fashioned tiger tie belt.
And let’s say you are enjoying a nice weekly to biweekly game of rolling down stuff and you happen to roll over something that burns a hole in your glorious tulle dress–are you just going to stand by and do nothing? No, you are going to either put a sticker (preferably featuring the characters from The Dukes Of Hazzard or The Incredible Hulk) on top of the burn hole or you will make several more intentional holes in order to detract from the accidental hole. And what about the relentless “getting taller” thing that every child faces? You cannot just let go of your beloved tiger wear because the tiger suit pants have become closer to tiger suit shorts. Don’t be silly, you just start wearing knee socks with it and tuck the short, soft pants right into the tall socks and dress it up with your fancy party shoes so that you do not look odd.
As an adult, I am just as inclined to wear my favorite items of clothing with pathological frequency, but I still possess zero tailoring skills (and I still hate crafts)–so I have continued my pathetic and insufficient methods of repair and wardrobe trouble shooting. Sadly, there is always a time when I eventually have to give up on an adored piece of clothing and finally allow it to rest in holey, stained peace. That time has arrived recently with my favorite little black sweater. I have had it for at least fifteen years and it has been with me through college (frat party/attempted date rape holes, fruity/mysteriously strong drink stains), social work (I don’t want to talk about it stains, I also don’t want to talk about it holes), teaching (see: Social work holes and stains), marriage (again, See: Social work holes and stains), and divorce (private dance party holes, private dance party stains).
The little black sweater has had a proud, long life and I have done everything in my power to continue wearing it through all of the steadily emerging holes in the shoulder seams (just wear something darkish under it–no one will know), the massive holes in the elbows (just roll up the sleeves and quickly change the subject and/or run away, weeping when people start questioning you, “if you are so cold, why don’t you just roll your sleeves down?”), the stains (pretend that they do not exist), and the many tiny holes along the front and back (stickers still work. See: Dukes Of Hazzard and The Incredible Hulk). On second thought, maybe I can wear it still….just a couple more times….
I am attaching an old favorite song, “All Out Of Love” by Air Supply from when I was just a wee lass in a tiger suit or perhaps a pink fluffy dress in honor of my little retired black sweater (though I am pretty sure I can still get a few good wears out of it….with some tape or one staple maybe).