Monday, March 06, 2017

Thrift shopping: something I learned about clothes

The top below is a Kenneth Cole Reaction cotton/spandex (jersey-type) t-shirt, bought for $4 at the thrift store. It looks sort of blue in the photo, but it's actually smoke grey.
The reason I say that is because it's exactly the same shade as the (officially) smoke grey reversible/convertible dress I bought last fall from Encircled (below). It even feels a lot the same (the dress is made of sustainably-produced, low-impact-dyed modal jersey).
Should I enjoy wearing one of these more or less than the other, according to where they were made (Cambodia vs. Canada), what's in the fabric, or what I did or didn't pay for them?

"That is not what I meant. That is not what I meant at all." (T.S. Eliot)

For some of us, being decisive about "what we like" is tough. Some of us could write a Pilgrim's Regress about growing up sartorially clueless. Some of us have been trained to think, "It's a shirt. Wear it," in exactly the same tone as the inner voice which scolds, "It's food. Eat it." An inner attitude of "yeah, whatever," has its uses, especially when options are limited; but it doesn't give much credit to our power of creative thought and choosing. If you think I'm wandering hopelessly here, this might help (it's from a 2012 post about homeschooling):
1.  Use what you have.

2.  Use what you have creatively.

3.  This is the hardest part to explain:  stay aware of your "big picture."  Unless you're naturally serene about letting the unschooling chips fall where they may, you need to keep evaluating, planning, trying to keep in mind whatever educational goals or philosophy you steer by.  Plus whatever family circumstances, special needs, etc. you have to deal with.

4.  In other words, you can use what you have, or what comes your way, as long as it fits into your overall education plan. In Lloyd Alexander's book Taran Wanderer, the main character Taran meets Llonio, a father who supports his family by taking hold of anything that fate throws in his net--literally.  The family never knows from one day to the next what will float down the river, but they cheerfully take whatever comes, and eat it or wear it or use it.  As Taran stays with Llonio's family, he appreciates their generosity and their creativity, but he also eventually realizes that their way of life is not exactly for him.  He wants to do a little more purposeful seeking, instead of just catching what comes his way.  
Why did I notice that t-shirt during a very, very quick trip to the thrift store last week? Probably because smoke grey jersey is now on my radar as "I like that." Not that I want to dress like a rain cloud every day, but it's in my "purposeful seeking." 

Sometimes it's worthwhile to go out and do a little purposeful fishing; because then when something useful does accidentally float past, you can grab it. It's all part of the learning.

No comments: