Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Love, Loss & What I Wore to the Play

Dress (INC, Macy's); Shoes (Massini); Bag (Nine West)
Last weekend I had the good fortune to see the Nora and Delia Ephron play, "Love, Loss and What I Wore" during its opening weekend at the Phoenix Theater.  The play is based on a 1995 book of the same name by Ilene Beckerman.  Through a series of monologues, the characters share personal stories triggered by memories of clothing and accessories connected to key moments in their lives.  Both hilarious and poignant, the tales will have you laughing, crying, and fondly (or not so fondly) recalling your own historical wardrobe. 

I have long associated memories of events with what I was wearing.  It's not just about my favorite outfits or even those that were definitely Glamour "don'ts" - I just always seem to remember what I was wearing, whether the occasion was significant or inconsequential.  I still remember what I wore to my first "boy-girl" party in Kelly Tacket's garage.  In particular, I can painfully recall the grey rubber jelly shoes that dug in to my feet so badly my mother threw them away after the first and only time I wore them.  They were a size too small when I got them, but they were the last pair in the store and I was so desperate for them I'd told her they fit fine.  

I remember what I wore to Debbie Etter's birthday party at The Pipe Dream (a long-defunct pizza, piano, and arcade venue) in downtown Kokomo, Indiana:  blue and white pintripe pants, red polo shirt with a popped collar, and a blue and white striped railroad engineer hat that I thought made me look so cool, even though no one else was wearing hats at the time.  I also recall what I wore to a differnt birthday party at Debbie's house - a sweatshirt that featured a white mouse and a black mouse dressed in pastel suits and the caption "Miami Mice."  It was horrible.  I loved it at the time.  And I will never forget the yellow flannel Garfield nightgown that I once took to a sleepover at Brandi Hulet's house.  I probably would not remember this particular garment, but it left a trail through the blue gel icing on her birthday cake when I carried it through the kitchen on my way to change.  I was mortified.

For the first day of school in the 7th grade, I wore a white Liz Claiborne mini skirt and a white Hang Ten camp shirt with multi-colored palm trees, both purchased with lawn mowing money I'd saved over the summer.  To my high school graduation, I wore the first of many spectator pumps I've owned over the years - these were navy and white and the perfect match for a polka dot dress in the same colors.  

When I met my husband for the first time, I was wearing navy sweatpants and a nylon Reebok windbreaker with navy, green and burgundy colorblocking given to me for my 20th birthday by my best friend and college roommate Melanie (it was a softball game, otherwise, I wouldn't have been caught dead in sweatpants).  Twenty years later, I still have that windbreaker.  I uncovered it during a big closet clean-out last fall and it's actually hanging on the back of our laundry room closet door at this very moment.  I tried to give it new life and wear it again, but when I did (also for a softball game), it immediately became the butt of several jokes by my teammates.  It did look sort of ridiculous, so it's now been permanently retired, though I haven't quite decided whether I'll actually get rid of it.

As I drove to the theater, I also couldn't help but recall the last time I wore the bright, bold print maxi dress I chose for the play.  It was a miserable 14 hour plane ride home from Mumbai throughout which I was violently ill with food poisoning.  India was definitely not an "Eat, Pray, Love" kind of experience for me.  It will be nice to now be able to associate an exponentially better experience with the dress!

Love, Loss and What I Wore is playing at the Phoenix through August 11.  You can purchase tickets here.  It's a perfect play to see for a girls' night out!

Fashion is what you buy; Style is what you do with it!

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