Fashion / Style

A Stranger in My Own Closet — Reentering the Now Foreign Land of Dressing Up

Bringing Back the Old Days?

BY // 01.01.21

I stepped into my closet on New Year’s day with the intention of cheerfully making a fresh fashion start, retiring the current uniform of pajamas and Lulumons in favor of lunching lady frocks and Prada heels, and making renewed acquaintance with my sparkling ballgowns. But it was far from gleeful.

Re-entering my closet after a 10-month hiatus was beyond strange. It was as if I were treading through a landscape forgotten. Was I trespassing through someone else’s closet?

I had a similar feeling when going through my mother’s closet after her passing. It was all ancient history with an underlying melancholy. My closet felt like the graveyard of a bygone era. Who was that person who used to dress so splendidly?

Silent odes to a happier time: the faux Hermès Kelly bag we had picked up in Beijing several years ago; the Ralph Lauren outfit worn at the M.D. Anderson Santa’s Elves in 2019; the Oscar de la Renta cocktail dress I had worn to a Super Bowl party  in 2017; the red beaded gown worn to Tilman Fertitta’s Galveston Mardi Gras ball; the chapeaus worn at Hats in the Park, and on and on.

Hats in the Park 2019 (2)
Hats in the Park is one of the fundraisers that invites creative dressing.

All have been quietly hibernating in my closet since March 11, 2020, when socializing as we once knew it came to a COVID-19 crashing halt.

So strange to visit my closet where I felt like an uninvited guest. This was a visitation of ancient fashion moments, those that I had once cherished.

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While it felt that cobwebs would be appropriate, dust was accumulating on the shoulders of my YSL tuxedo jacket. The slinky silk tanks had slipped silently from the coat hangers to land on the crowded closet floor. The suede boots I bought on sale late in February of last year have yet to be removed from their packaging.

I look through my jewelry boxes and wonder if it will ever again feel important to wear this or that. All those sparkling indulgences seem so unimportant now.

Despite the dust and the sadness that this sleeping closet evokes, I am eager for its revival. I want to dress up. I want to go out. I want to party. I want to swan through Houston restaurants and bars without worry of infection.

Alas, I want the old days back!

But I have learned/confirmed, while ignoring my closet, is that the most important things in life (beyond good health) are family and true friends. God bless our bubble.

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