It’s a classic meet-cute: you’re in a store, you look around and suddenly you lock eyes. The two of you cannot stop looking at each other. You think “should I or shouldn’t it?” You feel butterflies, but you go for it anyway. You make the move, and it’s clear from that day forward: it was love at first sight.
Quick: name all the items in your closet where it was instantaneous love. It’s probably pretty easy. And if you go by my shopping motto (if you don’t absolutely love it, don’t buy it), then most of your closet is made up of those “love at first sight” pieces.
But what about those pieces that you don’t fall in love with immediately? The sneaky ones that you were on the fence about or bought in a pinch, but over time, you realize you are wearing them everyday? But one day, you wake up and realize “I’m in love”, even though you never saw it coming. Don’t we all wish we could predict these unexpected love affairs?
If my shopping motto is “if you don’t love it, don’t buy it”, my Valentine’s Day motto is “everyday should be Valentine’s Day”, which I learned from a particularly insightful friend years ago that has both caused me never to feel inclined to celebrate Valentine’s Day and reminded me to show love everyday.
And every day, I love denim shirts.
When denim shirts first became popular around 2010, I was really skeptical. I thought it was overly hipster. I thought it would never catch on. And I definitely thought I would never wear one. A few years later, I am now the proud of owner of TWO denim shirts and a frequent wearer of (*gasp*) denim on denim. How did I never see this coming, when today, it is practically my uniform?
On the day I bought my first denim shirt in 2010, I was in an H&M with a friend who was in from out of town and her friend. I was having trouble keeping up with their shopping and wandered off on my own. There was no meet-cute, but instead a few skeptical glances exchanged, lots of internal monologue, and finally the reach to grab it of the rack. When I rejoined with my friend in the long line for the fitting room, I was so unsure of my denim shirt idea that I actually remember not wanting her to see what I had picked up. I was totally embarrassed of trying out this trend. So instead, I abandoned her in the fitting room line and bought the shirt WITHOUT TRYING IT ON (this is just not how I operate). The whole scenario was filled with shame, confusion, and impulsivity.
But to everyone’s surprise, including my own (and probably H&M’s), I am still living in that shirt nearly 4 years later, since I still love it and it has lasted against all odds. Truly it has been an unexpected love that shows no signs of slowing down, but instead has constantly reinvented itself.
For all of us searching for love in our closets, I can only say that I have yet to solve the mystery of how to let ourselves grow into styles, to take risks, and to follow our seemingly irrational gut, especially when I believe so strongly in shopping intentionally. Only time will tell if I will be still looking like a Canadian cowboy by the time I close this case.
Share your unexpected loves in the comments below or tweet @ThisIWear.