Thursday, December 26, 2013

A Coat for Me from Me

The ever-wise Eva Chen of Lucky mag recently claimed that "when you give someone shoes or clothes, it's like they're on you--hugging you." 

As a person who loves both giving and receiving clothes, I found this neat little thought highly resonant. It is true that whenever I wear a scarf or sweater or even socks that someone awesome gifted to me, I feel like I'm getting a rad sartorial hug that transports me to a particular time, place, memory, experience... a hug that remains entwined around me for the entire day without eliciting any typical adverse side effects of lengthy embraces such as co-mingled body odors, unintentional exchanges of fluids, or running out of stuff to discuss. It's the best! 

But what about when you gift something to yourself? When you save up, waiting for the right moment and the right item and the right mindset?

Wearing that kind of (self-)gift produces a very different kind of feeling. It is of a less sartorial hug and more of a sartorial high-five.

This past October, I had the pleasure of being both dispenser and recipient of such a sartorial high-five when I bought myself a winter coat. I'd been on the lookout for a new coat of the perfectly oversized, imposter-model-off-duty cocoon variety ever since the silhouette was popularized in the various collections of Isabel Marant. My only requirements were that it have excellent proportions and also essentially transform me into a French boy moonlighting as a terribly chic doorman who only rides aesthetically pleasing bicycles. 

I finally found the coat amidst the All Saints selection at Bloomingdales. I shrugged it on, looked in the mirror, came face to face with a French lad I'll call Jacques, and was sold. It was the most idyllic first-portion expenditure of my summer intern earnings I could have ever imagined. Why? Because wearing the coat made me feel like a grown-up, and not just any grown-up, but a grown-up version of the particular self I wanted to embody, sartorially speaking at least. Every time I put it on, I get all bone-tinglingly excited thanks to its capacity for lending me a certain exterior (and thus interior) sense of confidence. I know who I am and how I like to look. And that's what I call a self-high-five. 

So no matter how awesome it is to receive permanent, fabric hewn hugs from other people, there's also something to be said for taking the act of gift-giving into your own hands for once. After all, no one knows you better. HA.

Do grown-ups use the phrase "grown-up"? I would like opinions please.

All Saints coat, Uniqlo sweater, H&M button down shirt, Zara jeans, Marni shoes, J. Crew socks.

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  1. I am jealous of your coat, your hair, and your writing talent. X


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