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A Moment with Maria
- I Love Clothes

I love clothes.

I so really do. I always have.

I remember as a child being completely taken with certain items. I remember a blue knit skirt and jacket that had a striped dickey from when I was about 8 years old. For a year I wore it to church every Sunday. Even better I wore it with tights and black patent leather shoes.

I loved the way it felt on me. I loved how I felt wearing it. I also remember so clearly a dress I wore on one Thanksgiving. In the picture I look to be about 4. It had a light blue velvet bodice with capped sleeves and a poofy polyester crème colored skirt that had a beautiful turkey sketched on it in the same light blue of the bodice. I remember wearing it in the living room watching the parade on TV and feeling so good about the day and myself in the context of the day.

When I was 16 my uncle got married the day after Christmas. My mother bought for me at Petries a green velvet full-length dress that fit me perfectly. It was perfect for the occasion and me. I felt the best I could be at that moment in time.

I could relate in detail my high school and college graduation dresses. They were chosen with care. I loved them. I don't have them anymore but I kept them for a very long time. I remember various men I've dated over the years in association with whatever outfit I had on at significant moments or occasions.

It is therefore not surprising that I spend a lot of time and money on my clothes. I shop I spend. I dress for the occasion and often for what I want the occasion to be. I have spent most of my life feeling guilty about spending money on clothes like I do. As of late I've decided to get rid of that feeling.

I know my limits. I know what is absolutely not in my range I look for and buy clothes from all kinds of different sources. Some are names some aren't.

One happy circumstance of being in your 40s is that you know what works and what never will and what you like and hopefully you can afford better quality items. I don't blow the grocery or mortgage money; I contribute to my 401K. So why do I treat it like a guilty pleasure?

I love finding a deal. I truly enjoy, as I did lately, discovering a designer at the Hathaway Brown craft show who had the most exquisite emerald green silk blouse that made me feel beautiful, accomplished and confident. I imagine the times I will wear it. She also had a most unique imaginative short black skirt that tells me the minute I put it on that I am feeling good about myself.

I like finding a perfect wool claret skirt on sale in March and know that I will wear it next Christmas and that putting the outfit together will be a project in the back of my mind over the next 9 months. I will buy an article that suits me so well I have to get it even though I have nothing obvious to pair it with.

I will envision various combinations with existing pieces. As soon as I have a few hours I will do the try on. That is I try it on with everything I think will work often experiencing old pieces in new ways. I have missteps and I catalog those in my mind too.

Further there is a practical aspect to this involvement of mine. On days that I can't seem to convince myself that a paycheck is reason enough to get up and go to work I will start thinking about what the day holds and therefore what I should wear. Once I've figured that out not only am I awake I'm looking forward to getting dressed.

It is not about looking perfect, that is not the motivation for my fun. It is not about dressing to impress or intimidate, unless that is the objective. It's about me being me. Given all they do for me how could I not love clothes?

This involvement is a creative outlet and I have a right to pursue and enjoy my creative interests. To me it can be an engaging and challenging art form. It is integral to how I operate in the world. It is part of me and I like it.

Given all clothes do for me how could I not love clothes?


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