It’s once again time for the Friday Fry-up. First on the docket, THIS DRESS:
At the beginning of the week I wrote about the walk M and I took last weekend, post-vote. As we strolled along Columbia Street, bundled up in our warmest warms to protect us from the new winter frost, we window-shopped at the many boutiques and store fronts.
Now, anyone who has ever walked the length of the Columbia waterfront knows that it is otherwise known as Wedding Dress Central or “WDHQ”. The many shops range from incredibly high end, to give or take a box of triscuits, two Andrew Alberts hockey cards and a napkin IOU and well, you’ve got yourself an outfit fit to be wed.
It was outside one of the latter that I we espied the dress to the left, which in itself isn’t a huge tragedy here.
I look at it more as a sociological experiment.
Specifically, I need to know at what marriage ceremony is this appropriate dress FOR ANYONE IN THE BRIDAL PARTY? IF THIS IS FOR THE BRIDESMAIDS, WHAT PRAY TELL WILL THE BRIDE BE WEARING? And where is it taking place so I can be there? Hell, I’ll wear the thing just so I can witness, not only the exchange of vows, but what I like to imagine would be the most epic fashion statement of the year. Nay decade.
Paging M. Antoinette, you’re in for a fight. Plus, these people (wherever they are) not only let them eat cake but look damn sharp (or at least blinding) in the process.
Speaking of weddings, if I were to tie the knot again, this would be my choice of dress for the festivities:
For all intents and purposes, a “Banana Republic” carries overarching negative connotations (at least for me) so I always feel a little off-put even checking out their window displays, but heck if I wouldn’t rock this frock while re-affirming my fidelity and troth.
(Oh who am I kidding? I would have bought this dress in a Finnish flash if the proper funds had only been in place. And yes, that was a direct reference to my other husband, one Teemu Selanne.)
Yet alas, at present, I am on a strict “try-don’t-buy” clothing diet. This can be exceedingly hard in so far as I work downtown – a place where, at any given time, the number of beautiful outfits on display can be, to put it mildly, five chillies (or, you know, HIGH.)
So I’ve become something of a roving try-er on-er. I’m hesitant to enter any one store too often, lest I be blackballed as the persistent jerk that shows up and refuses to purchase anything, ever.
Also, there are specific stores that I just know not to enter, due to the fact that 1) they have the prettiest clothes – clothes that make my knees weak and palms sweaty; 2) the amount of sweet cash dollars required to buy these beautiful pieces are, in the parlance of Cher Horowitz, way expensive – WAY expensive; and 3) because I’m so in love with the clothes I try on I’ve started taking photos of myself in the outfits for posterity sake.
Exibit B (exhibit A can be seen above):
To the shop keeps, I am not only a frugal spazz, but a snap-happy, narcissistic counterfeiter!
ONLY SOME OF THAT DESCRIPTION IS TRUE SO DON’T JUDGE.
Even though I would gladly live forever in some of those outfits, I will freely admit that having a roof over my head is more preferable to spending six months in the rain wearing nothing but a lace dress and superhero heels.
But only marginally.
On a deeper lever, this whole endeavor has also got me thinking about how we price clothing. What differentiates a one hundred dollar dress from one that costs two hundred? Or one that costs two thousand? Can the untrained eye actually tell the difference between the two?
Walk through Holt Renfrew and you can see shoes that are priced at three thousand dollars. THREE THOUSAND. Trousers for seven hundred; dresses for seven thousand.
I won’t deny that many of these pieces are incredible (on the mannequins at least – I don’t have the nerve or guts to pull my shenanigans in H.F. I’m too afraid of a public stoning, or the inevitable pre-requisite credit check. Plus, in third year of my undergrad, whilst in search of a beautiful dress to wear for my first date with the opera, a security guard followed me around from the moment I entered the store, to the moment I left.)
Our society is stratified in so many areas. The fact that human beings make judgements based on aesthetics is true, and serves to make hard edges all the harder.
Plus I cannot help but wonder: what is the percentage of the cost of a piece of clothing that goes toward those involved in the actual construction of the garment? Who is benefiting from a $20,000 coat?
How much was someone paid for that $15 dollar t-shirt?
In trust, as much as I love beautiful clothing, I cannot help becoming more aware of how darn exploitative the entire industry is, and will undoubtedly continue to be.
So while yes, I’m not buying clothes because I inherently lack the proper funding. I am also abstaining because when I do finally purchase something, I want to feel good – not only for how I feel wearing it, but from knowing where it came from.
I am working on it.
I am making it work.