I have a long-held theory that a person’s clothes shopping style often mirrors the way they approach the search for love and friendship.
Take my style: I don’t particularly like shopping, but I like clothes. I can instantly tell if a store will hold anything for me following a cursory glance. It’s all about instinct. I don’t like trying on clothes for the heck of it, but only try on clothes I really like, that really catch my eye. My taste could be described as retro meets sensible. I live for jeans, but I love a wild pattern, I like detailing that you might not expect. A pocket here, a ruffle there, a large button, a metallic zip.
And such is the case with my nearest and dearest. Mr P caught my eye thanks to a polyster brown shirt and when conversation ensued I found a quirky sense of humour, a sensitivity and an honesty that I found refreshing but that others sometimes find confronting.
I often find clothing items and special people when I am not particularly looking, they jump out at me unexpectedly almost flagging me down with an accompanying feeling that tells me I am closer to myself, that I’ve made a special find.
I was reminded of my theory this past Friday, meeting up with one of my dearest long term friends L. I still remember the feeling when I met her. A feeling of certainty. That we would be friends.
It was 1991, first week of high school. I don’t know what she said or did that led to that feeling. But I still remember it. I was alone, the only person from my primary school in my new class and I looked at her and her primary school friends and thought ‘I want to be friends with them’. And in a week or two it was so.
Since then we both escaped our small town, were flatmates for a while, moved states, moved countries, moved back and moved states again and catch ups have become fleeting but fun times that always remind me of the beauty of having friends that really get you. Where no words are needed.
Friday was one of those times. We caught up in my home town. A tiny but beautiful place where sky high pine trees line a shimmery river, where dodgy takeaway shops have given way to alfresco dining. Coffee and chat was the only plan.
Heading to coffee, we passed a little vintage clothes shop and L saw a dress that caught her eye. It was perfectly her. Ruffling through a bargain bin out front I found a dress that I instantly liked too. Venturing inside, I found another skirt. Both interesting patterns, both very me.
L insisted I try them on, minding J out front. Both fit perfectly, a rare event in the vintage shopping world, I snapped them up. L tried her dress on too, another perfect fit, and a purchase was made.
Almost skipping off to coffee, purchases is hand, we were both buoyed by the seemily fated nature of our finds. It was meant to be. And as we caught up over the next few hours, it felt like one of those charmed days when everything happens ‘just so’.
We ran into an old school friend, also in town for just a few days, we tried a new lunch spot which had on the menu ‘just what we felt like’ and we talked about where we are at, both in different places but yet somehow feeling the same.
A timely reminder that a true friend, just like that favourite piece of clothing, always fits and never goes out of style.