“The key to the art of living well is the fine mingling of letting go and holding on.”
In today’s warp-speed world, fashion has become fast and furious. Consumers’ attitudes are as dynamic as their attention spans are short. “What’s new?” is almost always immediately followed by “What’s next?”
Having said that, perhaps there are clothes and accessories in our lives which have made an appearance time and time again. There could be many reasons for this. A gift from a significant other. A souvenir from that special place that one special time. A classic item from your wardrobe that seems to match everything and anything. A seasonal or hallmark holiday favorite. I’d like to think that behind every reason, there is a story. I want to share some of mine, in the hopes that you will reflect on yours and share them too.
I had to think about this long and hard, because I have a huge accessories collection that just won’t stop growing. However, there are three significant pieces which have traveled far across the globe with me on my many personal adventures. I’ll start with the oldest.
The two silver rings featured in the above photo have been with me for over 12 years. I can still remember the exact moments I bought them. For me, there are two amazing things about these two rings, aside from the fact that they still fit me after 12 years (I guess I stopped growing around that time anyway). First is that I haven’t lost them yet, although I thought I did once- more on that later. Second is how connected and loyal I feel towards them; I have to wear at least one or the other on a daily basis; otherwise my hands feel strangely naked.
During the summer of 2008 I went on a graduate trip with friends to Algarve, Portugal. I will never forget that first day one afternoon while we were taking photos on the beach. As I was about to take my umpteenth photo I glanced at my fingers before hitting the shutter button. Nothing could describe that moment of dread when I realized I was no longer wearing my Russian wedding ring (no, I’m not married). As I yelled at my friends to hurry over to where I was standing, my words tumbled over one another in a succession of panic as I tried to describe where I had been walking along the beach, what the ring looked like and how it had been with me for 8 years at that point. We spent a good part of 40 minutes traipsing around the beach to search for this ring (bless them).
So what happened in the end? Well, let’s just say it was a case of letting the sun, sand and surf get to my head. Turns out I had left it by the bedside drawer back at the villa where we were staying. Oops.
Looking back now, what I got out of that experience spoke volumes: about my friends, about my feelings towards that ring and of course, my natural tendency to freak out very easily. Looking back, I have to wonder if some of my friends even remember helping me out, despite the large impact it had on me.
As for the second ring, there is no touching tale behind it. It serves more as a functional piece, rather than an aesthetic one. Given its small size and width, more often than not I find myself using it as a ‘buffer ring’ for rings which are too big for me but I still could not resist buying. It keeps the big, fashionable rings in place, and sometimes even adds to the overall effect. It’s a support and security ring, you could say.
Finally, the Calvin Klein watch story is quite a melancholic one. I debated about the revelations and complexities derived from this simple-looking, yet emotionally-stirring timepiece. It is not even that old, but given my flighty mindset towards accessories, the fact that it has been with me for over 5 years is testimony to my loyalty. As I conceptualized this article, a stark realization hit me. This watch was an anniversary gift from someone from my recent past. A beautiful, sweet and nostalgic surprise. It should not be on my wrist on a daily basis any more, if at all. However, this had not crossed my mind at all till now, not even when I locked away all the other trinkets and gifts I received from this person. As I wrote this I came to understand why. Function, form and familiarity. Simply put, it tells the time, and rather conveniently in my opinion (I hate getting my phone out to tell the time). Secondly, its elegant, minimal and sleek style makes it perfect with whatever I wear; seamlessly blending in, in casual and formal settings. Lastly, this also reverts back to the same emotions conjured by the two rings: a sense of security. That light but significant weight on my wrist; reminding me that I’m (most likely) late for something and that my wrist is not bare.
As I finish off, I think I will still hold on to this as very filling food for thought. What do you think dear readers? Should I still be wearing this watch? Can certain clothes and accessories live and breathe beyond their superficial, finite means, and wedge themselves so strongly into our daily lives that we can’t separate our emotions and daily sense of ease derived from them?
Dig around a little. In your drawers, cupboards, wardrobes, handbags, purses. You might be surprised at what you find, and even more so with what you feel.
Live, Love, Laugh