back to basics

I realize that my clothes are a little weird by rural folks’ standards. I guess my style could best be described as post-apocalyptic-gothic-ninja or something. I’m the girl that pays extra for the sweater that looks like it survived a catfight or thermonuclear disaster. I like Isabel Benenato, Rick Owens, Martin Margiela; but generally have to wait until it goes on clearance on yoox or the local Junior League shop that gets Neiman Marcus returns to sell. I prefer moto-style skinny jeans and pants, and I do NOT wear dresses.

So I suppose it wasn’t a complete shock to me that my clothes are a bit weird.  I’ve been known to accidentally scare people when I walk in a meeting wearing show-blacks with combat boots (with a pocket knife clipped to my hip) on a day when I was working a show; and folks here in the swamp have called my outfits “interesting”. I get it. I’m not your average 40-something in Texas.

So over the last couple of years since I quit being a stagehand, I’ve gotten a little less fit and gained a few pounds. It’s been significant enough that I’ve had to buy new clothes.

I’ve ordered some great things off of etsy. There are a lot of great indie designers and small-business artisans selling really cool stuff on there.  It’s been pretty easy to find things that fit within my aesthetic that will also fit into the lifestyle we are looking to transition into over the next several months. I certainly won’t be needing stiletto-heeled point-toe pumps or platform high heeled boots, blazers or twinsets, dress trousers or blouses. Hell, I don’t like blouses anyway–my shoulders and arms need knits. So I shopped for things that I liked the look AND function of. I found lots of interesting tunic length knit tops and an awesome pair of closed-toe sandals on etsy. Crikey, I even asked Santa Claus for Chippewa snake boots–they look like equestrian riding boots but will protect me from venomous creatures, and look fabulous with my skinny jeans.

Then the cold weather came around and I needed some things that fit and that help me stay warm. As I took inventory and planned my purchases, I began to realize that I have no basics. I didn’t own any sweatshirts, or plain sweaters. The only t-shirt I owned was the one that my Sunshine bought me from the Little Rock Film Festival when we went for the screenings of the documentary film he is in. The closest thing I have to a “basic” is my black leather jacket and my nude suede pumps. It was all shredded sweaters, leather leggings, faux-suede leggings with vented knees, tank tops with really odd details in the back, and gothic-ninja sweatshirt jackets.

How the fuck did I make it to 45 and not have any fucking basics?

It’s not like I WANT basics to begin with. So boring.

And yet I have had to buy some basics as I’ve been choosing new clothes.

I’ve managed to be very deliberate with my choices, mostly buying from brands that produce clothing in the USA to reduce my carbon footprint. I’ve actually found a few brands that I don’t hate the aesthetic–in fact, I like it. It’s a lot less post-apocalyptic than I’m accustomed to, but it’s still got a minimalist aesthetic that seems related to the gothic-ninja. The colors have not been particularly gothic, but they are muted enough that they have a dry-and-dusty-end-of-days feeling to them.

It’ll be nice to be able to go to the grocery store in the middle of buttfuck nowhere and know that I don’t look like the mothership just dropped me off. It will be really nice to not have people wonder if I’m a devil-worshipper or emo-goth or something. It will be even nicer to know that I can accomplish all that without feeling like I’ve compromised my personal style.

I guess back to basics isn’t all bad.

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