Crisis in Denim is Actually Pretty Impressed

I’ll never forget one of my favorite sweaters. I was in ninth grade, and the sweater was a charcoal grey wool cardigan with a small royal crest on the left side offering a tiny pop of red and yellow. It was Benetton, and the pride of my wardrobe. Even when I was young(er) I had a thing for simple, understated clothing in neutral colors. Of course, my peers were not impressed, since the Benetton logo wasn’t emblazoned across the chest. I don’t remember getting a single compliment on my Benetton cardigan unless I did some serious fishing.

Which is why I was not surprised to find that my favorite Olympic garb has been the grey jackets that the U.S. team members competing in indoor sports have been wearing on the podium during the medal ceremonies. I especially love that they are cinched at the waist and longer in the back with black piping and a simple patch on the side. Because I am a big fan of symbolism I especially like the 50 little notches on the back representing 50 states. Forget the bright ensembles worn for the opening ceremony. This simple jacket paired with black track pants has been my favorite Olympic wear.

I did have to laugh at a couple articles, especially this one in Forbes criticizing the understated silvery grey as not being patriotic enough, since apparently the American flag

I bet I would look almost as cute in this jacket as Missy Franklin does. Plus, I could swim 500 meters– it would only take me like an hour and a half.

sewn on the sleeve and the giant “The United States of America” across the back still leave room for confusion.

Also, apparently, anyone can buy one of these jackets for the low, low price of about $450. Enough people seem to have been sufficiently impressed with the jackets, because they are out of stock now.

If I can succeed in convincing the International Olympic Committee that wine drinking and New Yorker reading and sample-sale surfing are Olympic sports, I may just treat myself to one of these great silver jackets someday.

You Can’t Always Get What You Want & You May Not Want It Anyway

I am not a fan of stealing other writers’ ideas—especially because I think I should be the only one generating all the good ideas.

However, The Sartorialist recently wrote about that thing that sometimes happens, where you fantasize about owning a certain piece of clothing; then, once you buy it, it sits in your closet unworn.

Reading the 600-plus comments on The Sartorialist post, many of them quite touching, I was surprised at how common this experience is.

Blame it on Your Brain

I began mentally perusing not only my current closet, but the ghosts of closets past. I thought back on the grey and pink Lululemon gym bag with the polka-dotted lining and all the little pockets that I just had to have, then ran out and bought as soon as I received a small raise.  I use it every once in awhile but not as much as I thought I would, and it still looks new.

I thought back to my strapless, black lace Betsey Johnson dress. I wore it once but always felt a little too exposed in it. I would try it on every once in awhile just for fun. Then one time I found I could no longer zip it up all the way. I know I should consign it but I keep thinking I’ll suddenly lose my perpetual  ice cream craving or develop a tapeworm and suddenly be able to fit into it again, and feel great in it.

A quick, albeit clumsy Google search with the phrase “psychology behind not wanting something once you have it” yielded this article in Psychology Today, which says (and I’m summarizing it very simplistically) that one part of the brain controls the experience of “liking” something, and a totally different part of the brain controls the feeling of “wanting” something, so you can want something you don’t ultimately end up liking.

Whoa.

At least I don’t feel so bad about that Betsey Johnson dress anymore; I mean, it’s not taking up too much room in my closet, and I still want it. Maybe soon I’ll even like it.

Buying Away the Blues

Just Doing a Quick Size Exchange at Nordstrom. I’ll Only be 5 Minutes. Really.

That’s not me. That is my jacket.
Photo: Courtesy of Nordstrom

I have something I need to confess.

Last week, I self-pity shopped. It was a brief but highly successful retail therapy session that made me feel even better than a gazillion milligrams of Prozac mixed with a bottle of merlot and poured over a gallon of Edy’s Slow Churned probably could have.

It started innocently enough. I had an exchange to make at Nordstrom—one size blazer for another. I’d be in and out in five minutes.

But. Somehow on the short walk from car to mall, I started to feel liked I’d gained 20 pounds in two days. Before me appeared the face of every guy who had ever not texted or called me for a second date. I saw all my job applications in the reject pile on the desk of the editor at my dreamiest of dream jobs.

Then I bought a leather jacket, and I felt much better.

A Quick Lap Around the Store

This is also not me. My jacket, though.
Photo: Courtesy of Nordstrom

I mean, it was the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, and all bets are pretty much off when fall clothes are marked down by a third. Plus, it was almost closing time and the store was all but empty. Over the weekend it had been crowded, and wasn’t there the chance that I’d missed something great because someone had planted herself in such a way as to block  my view of the perfect top? Just in case I’d better do a quick lap around the floor.

In my defense, Really Irritating Internal Voice (RIIV), I had been wanting a short black leather jacket for quite awhile and hadn’t had much luck finding one I liked in my price range. But there it was. Continue reading