You know those t-shirts that you got for free as a kid for participating in things? The illfitted, unisex t-shirts with somebody’s logo plastered all big on the front of the shirt?
Well, I participated in a summer track program pretty much all through elementary school. And I had probably umpteen bazillion of the track t-shirts you’d get for your uniform or for certain track meets. I remember one shirt in particular that said “First Place All County Track Meet” that our track coaches had made too many of, so they gave them out with otter pops after track practice. I remember it so clearly because I had three of them and was pretty proud of myself.
Up until about November of 6th grade, I wore these shirts to school every day with a pair baggy jeans. They were comfy.
I remember there was one week where I wore all three (no joke) in a row. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. And on Wednesday, one of the girls in my class was like “Gross. You wore the same shirt to school every day this week.” I retorted, “Uh no, I have three of them, so this one is different from the one I wore yesterday.” And she was like “Where do you shop at, DI?” and the whole class laughed. Or maybe just she did, but I remember it a little bit more dramatically than that. There’s nothing wrong with shopping at DI, really. But to the well manicured girl with the perfect skin wearing Abercrombie, I might as well be living in a cardboard box on the playground.
I forced my dad to take me shopping that day. When mom took me shopping, she’d always try to find the cheapest sales and the fanciest deals. So I took my dad, because he would just buy me whatever it took to make me happy. I remember breaking down and telling him I needed to go to Old Navy and buy some of those bedazzled jeans or the jeans with decorations on them that everyone else wore.. It was that day also that I found out I didn’t fit in “juniors” any longer and had to buy from the women’s sizes. We bought me two pairs of flare jeans from OLD NAVY. I remember they were like $40 each, and I could not BELIEVE that my dad was spending that much money on clothes. We also bought two shirts. I remember one of the shirts very clearly. It was red with a little white pattern around the neckline, three quarter sleeve, and it showed my collarbone just a little bit. It dipped down just a little into a little eyelet and there was a string on either side that I could use to tie the ends closed. I wore my new outfit the next day with my strings tied in a stupid little bow that I kept tying and retying all day long. The shirt was a little bit short, but that was stylish and I remember how cool I felt.
I thought about this yesterday, as I was opening up a box from “Stitch Fix”. Stitch Fix is an online styling company. You fill out a style profile online, and one of their stylists sends you 5 pieces they think you’ll love in whatever budget you pick for yourself. If you don’t like something they send you, the box comes with a little prepaid envelope that you can fit everything in and send it back. Kind of nice to be able to go shopping without going out and letting someone else style me made me feel like a celebrity for a second. I tried it out as an early birthday treat for myself and thought it was super fun. So today, I’m once again wearing a new outfit and feeling just as cool.