Oh boy. Okay, I’ve got to come clean. My name is Selise and I came pretty damn close to Nostalgia Shopping last weekend.
Here’s the story:
Earlier that day, my Mum had sent through a picture from when I was 13, wearing a button up, denim a-line skirt and my little brother’s “Save the Elephants” t-shirt. It was a favourite outfit of mine and I remember the picture was taken after a day spent at the beach. My hair had that awesome curl that only comes with salt water, and I was tanned (if not a little pink across the cheeks) and thoroughly happy.
Fast forward to a few hours later and I was browsing the racks at a chain store and there is was! A button up, a-line skirt. Only this one was corduroy – which everyone knows is denim’s super cool, underground cousin.
The fates had reunited me with a beloved from the past! Rejoice! Right?
While my emotions had already made the decision to buy the skirt, no matter what, my appraising eyes noted the skirt was quite a bit shorter than the one I had all those years ago.
Friends, let me say this:
It’s cruel how fashions come back around, shorter and younger.
There you are, living your life as an adult, content and fulfilled. When all of a sudden this piece, reminiscent of a past wardrobe, jumps out and plunges you back to being 15, wearing a baby-doll floral dress and sitting on the beat up velour couch under the house of the boy you have a crush on, while he plucks out Jeremy on his bass guitar.
You may not have thought of that dress in years but now it’s right in front of you and come hell or high-hems, you’re not leaving the store without it.
Alright, freeze frame.
There are two things that can happen here:
One: Joy of joys, the dress fits! It looks damn good and you have reconnected with the girl you used to be.
Two: You’ve been duped. It’s not actually the dress you believed it to be. Instead it’s shorter, flimsier and it makes you feel like a fool. And if you’re not careful it can tip you down into a nasty self-esteem-stripping-spiral where you berate yourself for even thinking you could wear something like that again.
That, my friends, may seem like a whole lot of power for a mere piece of fabric to wield but it’s as true as they come.
Listen, I’m a huge fan of nostalgia shopping. I still dress for my 15 year old self all the time, but I make sure I do it in a way that compliments who I am now, and gives wide berth to that dangerous spiral.
And how do I do that? By being selective. Hey, we all stumble. I have definitely taken things into the fitting room that were best left to 14 year old up-and-comers. But I don’t let that crush my spirit. I simply put it back on the rack and keep my eyes open for something a little more suitable.
I know this season is going to be particularly tempting for me. Have you heard? A-lines as far as the eye can see! (Truth be told the grunge resurgence of the last few years has been the biggest exercise in self-control I’ve ever had to endure.)
Think of it this way. It’s like finding your perfect partner and settling down.
Sure, there are millions of eligible guys and girls out there, but that doesn’t mean they’re right for you. Maybe 4 or 5 of them will seem like the real deal, and they might even stick around for a few years. But just because all those potentials are out there, it doesn’t mean you have to date every one.
Look, I’m not one to micro-manage your love life so hey, go out and try as many as you like! Just don’t settle for anything that makes you feel like shit, okay? Okay.