Monday, June 21, 2010

The Vest

I’ve spent the last few weeks floating around Boston in various skirts and dresses. New, old and those never worn. Kicky ponytails and pink scarves and earrings that clink and clang. I have transformed into a veritable fountain of femininity. At least until some sarcastic quip escapes my lips. Until someone says Well you are just sunshine and flowers when they mean the opposite, and I throw my hands up and smirk guiltily.

On an off day, you’ll find me in jeans. It is summer after all, and, as I told someone on the evening that I debuted the Thakoon for Target dress (seen below) that had been sitting in my closet for 18 months, I plan to wear every dress that I own.

While searching for one of those never worn dresses in my closet, I discovered a favorite temporarily forgotten. One that does not fit into the flirty persona that I’ve adopted since the temperature has warmed.

I bought The Vest following The Summer of the Dress. It was one of the last pieces I bought that was a smidge too small for me, though I am glad for that bit of folly as it means that I can still wear it today. It is a deep navy and resembles those often seen in a three-piece suit. It was tailored and sharp at a time that I still favored pieces that allowed me a bit of breath. Things behind which I could still hide the tiniest bit. There was no question of the size of my waist, or my breasts, in The Vest. For this reason it frightened me slightly, but I began to wear it. With jeans skinny and wide. Over tees and oxford shirts. I traded the shape that I gained from wide belts, belts that made the skirts of my dresses billow gently, for that of The Vest. It found itself sitting through multiple internship interviews in the summer of 2008. I began to wear it so much that one of my friends threatened to take it away. In many ways, its lines more closely emulate my character than the flirty pieces. Sometimes rational to a fault. Harboring a love of structure.

Though I love them dearly, the dresses deceive. Sunshine and flowers I am not.

That morning, as I stood holding The Vest, I decided to try it on with some of the new pieces that had entered my closet during its brief retirement. The fit was better. The look was sharp. I had missed the seriousness it seemed to endow me.

Though its best season is the fall, I’m going to remove it from its hiding place. There are ways to wear it this summer. With chambray and gingham. Over a tee worn with an A-line mini. With kicky ponytails and pink scarves and earrings that clink and clang.

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