“Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.” ~Mark Twain
The other day my cousin Colleen asked if my mom still wore little carved rose earrings. She said, “I’ll always remember your mom wearing those pretty little earrings.” Funny what article of clothing or accessory we remember as helping define another person. My mom did, in fact, wear those earrings almost every day. They were delicate and simply elegant.
Just like my mom.
And I’ll always remember my dad as wearing his grey coveralls and his red cap. He wore that cap for years and years. I remember being VERY unsettled when he finally retired it for one of another colour. I could easily spot the red cap somewhere in the middle of the big farmyard be it under a tractor or deep in the back of the old machine shed.
The red reliable cap was my father.
My grandmother wore a white gold wedding ring (wrapped in white first aid tape later on in her life. She had lost weight and wrapping it in tape helped keep in on her finger) her silver watch and a violet kerchief around her head and tied under her chin to keep her hair in place on windy days.
Traditional and proper and always a lady.
I, myself, have always had a sweatshirt that I adopted as a piece of myself and wore it and wore it and wore it. The first one was a white “Ghost Buster” sweatshirt that actually glowed in the dark. I loved that sweatshirt and would frequently close myself in a darkened bathroom just to see it glow fluorescent in the mirror. The second one was a red shirt I found in the laundry room of the first apartment I rented at university. No one claimed it for months so I adopted it as my own. I wore it with skirts and shorts and jeans. I loved it. The third one, I still have today, is an extra-large Dallas Cowboy grey and navy blue piece. The sleeves are unraveling and the Cowboy symbol has all but washed off but I wear it whenever I’m tired and grouchy and in need of comfort. I don’t know what these sloppy sweatshirts say about me but I know that part of my personality can be defined as being one who is comfortable in schlepping around in big cozy articles of clothing instead of dressing to impress.
How about you? Do you have a piece of clothing that helps define who you are? A “go to” piece of comfort clothing or maybe a sentimental piece of jewelry? Are you reminded of your grandfather when you see a pair of galoshes? Or an old boyfriend when you smell Jovan Musk for Men? I wonder what it is about single articles we subconsciously choose that have the potential to become part of someone else’s memory of who we are.