Representing the childhood clothing section is my famed overalls. “I finally found them! I’ve been looking for these for YEARS,” I told my boyfriend excitedly. “Yeah, I know, you’ve mentioned it several times,” he replied, clearly unimpressed.
I bought this dress in the 8th grade for my first and only middle school dance. I found it heavily discounted at Sears; when I bought it, it was even more discounted and cost a total of $2. This was memorable, as was dancing to Enrique Iglesias’ “Hero” and Will Smith’s “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It”. I fit into this dress but will admit it was a little strained in the hips.
Here’s one of my shining accomplishments of high school and one of my weirder least weird fashion choices (forgot about my corset and snood phase for a moment there). I took a pair of hand-me-down jeans and applied all the craftiness, “cool” imagery and amateur sewing I possibly could. Let’s tour these, bit by bit, ok? The black dragon pocket (a nod to my Chinese birth year) adds a cargo-pants effect. I added fabric to the ankle seams because bellbottoms are timeless. Please note the laminated fortune cookie sewn onto the left knee and the little fairy figure painted onto the upper right pocket. The back of these art jeans is more of the same, plus a painted sunflower covering part of the butt.
So here’s to forgotten clothes, to beloved statements of rebellion, to childhood jewelry and memories of first dances, bat mitzvahs, homework and track practice. May we (I) remember, appreciate, and then donate most of it.
“I brought the bags and bags and bags to the Salvation Army. The man at the drop off was incredulous. He has never seen such a contribution. He was wondering if you had any clothes left in your closets.” -Ma