Prada bow belt. I have this. I bought it a few years ago imagining I'd wear it with a black shirt dress or a leopard cardigan. It sits in the drawer, next to the H belt; I never have worn either one. A red bow belt around the waist takes confidence.
I used to love clothes. More accurate, perhaps, to say that I used to *fall* in love with clothes. Not just the styles, the fabrics, and the textures (though, definitely all of that), but the idea of them. Where I might be going when I wore them or who I might be with.
I've gone broke for clothes more than once. Bonwit Teller collapsed in 1989, my freshman year of college. A local wholesaler bought the remaining inventory and so did I. The only purchase I remember (but there were many more) was a pair of lime green patent leather peep-toe pumps by Charles Jourdan.
I wore amazing suits on the trading floor. One of my favorite outfits was a single-breasted Lillie Rubin black and white houndstooth jacket and black pencil skirt. The red AIDS ribbon was de rigueur and if I was feeling flush with cash I popped the collar. I had a beautiful powder-blue silk suit printed with seashells and starfish that I wore once at Hotel Dupont in Wilmington and then was ruined by my dry cleaner.
The Asian currency crashes of the 90's were good financial years for us - James had placed heavy bets on those markets and his frequent travels East meant that I went with a time or two and shopped Takashimaya with my GBP and and USD. It's not often you see Dior marked 70 percent off. Divorced, I decamped with my Armani and my luxe-quality [knock-off] bright red Kelly bag to the Texas [inaugural] ball in Washington a few years later.
In Miami, I had a Donna Karan wrap blouse in black silk with red cherries. It hugged my generous curves and, for whatever reason, I wore it the day the office visited a soul food kitchen in the Overtown neighborhood. Ka-Kow! I made friends there.
Things changed after Miami. I wasn't well, I guess. But it was more complex than that. One night, before a dinner party, I put on an Italian sundress I'd found in town. I liked it. It was a soft, navy jersey with a deep v-neck and a loose, swinging skirt. The bodice was smocked with neon pink, orange, and green threads. I'd been feeling better and working out. I felt pretty in it. My Ex took one look at me in the dress and pressed his finger into the soft lump above my scar with a smile. I took the dress off and don't remember what I put on instead. I've kept the dress in my new closet. I turned to Faconnable and Eileen Fisher and though all of it still hangs in my closet, I rarely, if ever, want to put those clothes on in this new life.
I miss the easy confidence I had in my youth. If I thought of my body in the dressing room, then, it was more about how to hide my shape at work. I could wear most things even though I chose not to. I laugh when I think of how I wouldn't wear a bikini - even when I weighed 103 pounds. That I thought I was "fat" when I hit 120. Now, I keep my back to the mirror and I don't turn around until I'm fully clothed.
Most days, I wear boyfriend jeans, flats, and a t-shirt to my office. I soak myself in Guerlain and big diamonds to compensate, but it's not the same. I'm not the same. Either I don't want to be, or I recognize that I'm unable to be. I'm not sure which one it is. I'm not sure if that's a good or bad thing.
When I moved here, I got rid of many of my clothes and shut the door on the rest of them.Now, I skim the top off of the laundry basket every morning instead of planning outfits from things on hangers. But lately, I've been thinking that I'm ready for heels and a pencil skirt. I'm not sure how to interpret that. My boyfriend tells me every day that he thinks I'm beautiful, but it's so easy not to believe in it - once you've had someone tell you, every day, that he thinks otherwise.