I wasn’t sure what it was or where it came from, but it was beautiful. It had no name, no label, no indication of who had designed it.
“It’s vintage,” she said to me, gesturing for me to try it on.
I’ve never been much of a shopper, and in relation to that, I’ve developed this belief that I must not be very fashionable. But the truth is, I adore fashion. I just have a different level of appreciation for fashion. Fashion, for me, isn’t a thing, or a name, or a style. It’s a fit. It’s a feeling.
I pulled the vintage top over my head, adjusting the shoulder pads that accentuated my already too-broad-for-a-small-frame shoulders, and ran my hands lightly down its bead-embroidered front.
And then I felt it – the feeling! The feeling of fashion. This is the same feeling that, regardless of the state of my bank account, forces me to buy a piece of clothing. It’s the feeling that makes me fall in love with myself and my body, and my entire image all over again, even when I’m dealing with my highest levels of self-loathing.
It’s the feeling of fashion that inspires an excited warmth in the core of my being.
Without this feeling, I believe there is no fashion. Without the feeling, fashion is simply clothing. This is the reason that, when I lose a piece of my clothing or when I discover a new piece to add to my wardrobe, I’m overwhelmed with emotion. My clothes are like my own little family; with each addition, a smile, with each departure, a tear.
And, vintage, too. The mystery in this piece – with its hand-stitched beading and charming scalloped edges – only makes the feeling grow that much stronger.
A feeling so enlightening, I wish it had a name.