Yesterday, while spending several hours pulling weeds and hoping for rain so I wouldn’t have to pull weeds, I distracted myself with thoughts about the clothes of love, as distinct from the love of clothes; or maybe not. … Anyway, slicing a little wedge from a big topic, I thought of three occasions when I fell in love, or lust, or something, with a man’s shirt, or to be more precise, with the shirt because of the man. Or was it with the man because of the shirt? Sometimes, in the moment, it’s so hard to tell, is it not?
But no matter … suddenly, the garment seemed alive with the magic of some real or imagined (no, no, it was real!) essence of masculine power and beauty. Yes, ordinary-looking flannel, the shirt that I married, but on that day it was the shining armor of The Man in the Plaid Shirt, that brave knight who wore it to rescue me from a fire-breathing social situation.
And here’s a poem by Marc Halliday called “Historic Shirt.” It expresses just how powerfully clothing can embody emotion, memory, and personality.
Categories: Fashion & Poetry