Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Proust's Madeleine (or What To Wear When You Have Nothing To Wear)

I spend a lot of time standing in front of my closet in the buck.

For someone who chronically oversleeps, this is problematic.

There are those mornings where I actually contemplate calling in sick because I CANNOT put together an entire outfit and look in the mirror for more than 10 seconds without hating it/myself/the world. My flaky friend tells me I am a textbook indecisive Libra. I think I just have too many clothes.

A great tip, courtesy of Daddy Likey's book, Closet Confidential, is to have an all-purpose, ready to wear outfit stashed at the back of your closet for just such an emergency. Wise.

I have also found the following technique to be helpful; I call it Proust's Madeleine. For those of you unfamiliar with the reference and in the mood for some lengthy literary self-flagellation, try Marcel Proust's Remembrance of Things Past or just Wiki That Shit. The entire novel results from the sensory experience, and the involuntary memories triggered therefrom, of tasting a madeleine cookie dipped in tea (very butterfly effect).

On those tryingest mornings I now pick out one item, one fantastic garment or accessory I had lusted to purchase and since been meaning to wear. This item, this glorious find, this madeleine... this is what I will wear, come hell or high-waist trousers! Everything else that it is paired with simply flows from it, as mere commentary.

Yesterday I tasted the madeleine sponginess of a truly standout skirt, and once it was zipped firmly in place I felt the pressure wane. From there it was the simple task of adding garnish, like wrapping the little white tabs of paper doll clothes around the naked bits.

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