(paraphrased and edited a tad below - full text here)
When I wear white, I eat spaghetti. Or drink coffee. Or munch on Cheetos. Or write with Sharpies or open cans of motor oil or serve grape juice to passing children or basically do any and everything possible to STAIN THE LIVING BEJEEZUS OUT OF MY CLOTHING. But I wear white anyway because what’s the point of owning it if it doesn’t get worn?
I am trying to apply this philosophy to my fancy and special-occasion garments, too. Why should those languish just because they’re flashy, or dressy, or stylized, or a wee bit more delicate than my standard boots and tee-shirts? As many have said before me, none of my clothes are "too good" for me to wear them. If I own something, it should be fair game.
But how can flashy, dressy, stylized, or delicate items get worked into daily outfits?
Don’t worry about it: ...If I am so worried about ruining something that I won’t ever wear it, I might as well not own it at all. It’s relegated to closet candy and what they hell good is that? If something gets worn and damaged, it can generally be repaired somehow. If something gets worn and ruined, well, them’s the breaks. I realize that’s some tough love, especially when we might be talking heirloom garments or investment pieces … but you hear me, right? You might as well have set your money on fire if you’ve bought a garment or accessory only to let it gather dust.
Create balance: Whatever your superspecial item may be, make sure it’s the only superspecial thing about your outfit. This is particularly important if you’re dressing down a formal garment. Balance is created when you pair that sequined bustier with jeans and a black blazer, or when you wear your gigantic rhinestone bib necklace with a simple tee and black pencil skirt. Make sure there is plenty of casual and commonplace to counteract the jolt of formal and unusual.
Layer, layer, layer: The more stuff you've got on, the more a formal or flashy piece just looks like part of the mix. And even in summer, lightweight layers can help tone down a loud item. A mondo necklace is much less mondo when it's peeking out from a button-down shirt with a shrunken corduroy blazer thrown over it. A slinky formal dress becomes a sassy skirt when you pile a cowlneck sweater and cozy wrap on top. Those special occasion pieces will be far comfier if they have a wide variety of OTHER pieces to play amongst.
None of your clothes are better than you: Who exactly owns whom, I ask yas? If you've laid down your hard-earned cash for a piece of clothing, it had better earn its keep. It's something you liked, something that fit your figure and suited your personal style, and it's something that made you feel good. So allow it to make you feel good more than just once or twice in your lifetime. YOU'RE gorgeous and special, beautiful and luminous. Why not wear the items you own that make you feel that way?
I love this post. I first experienced this concept at a young age, when I kept my first bottle of perfume hidden away in my dresser. I loved the smell of it, and would pull it out and wear it only on what I deemed "special" occasions. Well, five years passed, and that bottle was still in my dresser, and still depressingly full. At that point, I didn't even love the scent any more and ended up getting rid of it. It was a tangible reminder that every occasion should be as special as you want it to be, and that if you hold something back and save it for what you think is the "right time", you get a whole lot less use out of it than if you just wore it when you wanted to. If you love something ... use it!
I'm not sure why, but after reading the blog post, the photo spread of Emma Watson in the August 2009 Teen Vogue popped into my head. I think when I first saw these photos, I loved how casual these otherwise fancy-pants skirts and dresses were turned with a deftly placed teeshirt or blazer or pair of funky tights.
Do you make an effort to wear your most beloved pieces as often as possible?