May 14, 2008

In a Sentimental Mood

Everyone has played that word-association game - someone says a word to you and you give the first associated answer you can think of. Summer? Flip flops. Beer? Bottle. Fire? Ice. Britney? Crash.

You get the idea.

Well, being the sentimental sap I am, I have associations for almost everything in my life. The Jupiter flute I bought in high school reminds me of the European tour my college wind ensemble did, and the dried flowers in a vase on my bookshelf remind me of my first apartment. And naturally, I have pieces of clothing and accessories that have strong sentimental associations. Not like a Sweet 16 dress or engagement ring, which are sentimental by design, but select items from my life that, somehow, have become reminders of times gone by. Some will make more sense to you than others, but even if they make zero sense to me, they still hold the power to take me back to a nicer place, a simpler time or a tackier fashion choice.

Abercrombie & Fitch Wool Sweaters circa 2001*: young college girl in cold New England.
I'm talking classic A&F, which resembled prep school gear more than the destroyed, suggestive pieces of tightness they market today. Before it was cool, I loved my classic, simple wool sweaters and still have a few today that have become practically retro.

Bath & Body Works Cucumber Melon Lotion: summer in high school.
Don't you get nostalgic thinking back to the days when a scent designed like a salad was your go-to choice to seem sexy in the summer?

North Face Denali Jacket: older college girl in cold New England.
Yes, they were ubiquitous, and still kind of are, but it was the jacket to have 4 years ago, and I wore mine within an inch of its pilled, over-washed life.

Chandelier Earrings: my favorite college bar.
This was one of my favorite trends ever, for the fun factor and easy-on-the-wallet nature of the trend. I had dozens of pairs, and wore a new pair out to the bar every night. When even Beyonce moved on, I did too, paring down my collection to a handful of understated pairs, but whenever I feel heavy door-knockers on my lobes, I can still taste the Long Island iced teas.

LL Bean Monogrammed Boat-n-Tote: Lake Shaftsbury, Bennington, Vermont.
This adorable little town in southern VT is a great weekend place in the summer, and my mom and I would go together to do the lake and go south to Tanglewood. I've had this tote for around 3 summers, and it's come on every trip to the lake with me.

Black letter sweatshirt: pledging madness, freshman year.
My house isn't shown, but after going through a very chaotic period of "membership education," the right to finally wear this sweatshirt was a big deal. Until sophomore year, of course.

Hot Tools Hair Iron: sophomore year dorm.
Pre-party, I would wake up from an energizing nap with the most cow-licked head of hair you can imagine. While my 3 suitemates would struggle with hair driers and the like, I would, as my roommate B would say, "Go into the bathroom looking like a mess, and come out with the silkiest straight hair ever. It's so unfair."

Blue Floral Kimono Dress: Vegas, summer of 2007.
I wore this dress with my first (I know, right) experience with Gray Goose, at Pure in Caesar's Palace. Mistaking smoothness for weakness, I was eventually tricked and ended up having quite an interesting night. Woke up in this dress (and shoes and jewelry) in Mandalay, at 8:30am, ready to gamble.

JCrew Terry Popover Hoodie: Jones Beach, NY.
Walking on the boardwalk, in the sand, playing volleyball, drinking and grilling, this hoodie's been there.

What's on your list?


*- Yes, I'm aware this sweater is Bean, but this is what A&F sweaters looked like when I shopped there, around 94-02. Spring of 2002 started the tight, bright, message tee shirt era and I haven't looked back.