So You’re Stranded on An Island, Right?

What do you take?

11.25.13

If I had a dime for every time an inquisitive (albeit box-shaped) mind has proposed the inevitable, never new but always, for some reason far beyond my understanding, highly lucrative scenario-chased-with-a-question: you’re stranded on an island, what do you take?

Personally, I find several difficulties with this hallmark investigation. First, the assumption is that because you know you can — and likely should — bring things, you’re well aware that you’ll eventually find yourself moonlighting as the lead roll in an adaptation of Robert Zemeckis’ 2000 hit, Cast Away. So let’s just take this off the table now: Tom Hanks will not be there when you arrive.

Furthermore and because the question comes from the initiated denizens of fashion fairly frequently, why is the assumption that if and when you do proceed with your trip and subsequently find yourself stuck sans WiFi, the supposition is always that the things you will take are highly fashion oriented?

I’m a victim of this answer myself, you see. “Definitely a white t-shirt, maybe jeans though my instinct is to say shorts. Does it get cold over there? Should I waste one of my precious items on a sweater I don’t even really care about? I’ll probably need my favorite pair of shoes but in the interest of comfort, I’ll take sneakers too. Golden Goose, please.”

But, hello! Earth to Leandra! You’re on a desert island! No one is here! No one cares what you’re wearing! You definitely don’t need pumps, especially because you’d probably want to wear them to dinner which, surprise! Does not exist on a desolate patch of land. Take your passport and a WiFi box, maybe your childhood blanket for emotional comfort, so that you can a. communicate with life on more developed corners of the world and b. cover your shoulders with a memento from purer days if it gets chilly.

For someone self-dubbed practical, I think I suck at surviving.

Bygones shall be bygones though, and in an attempt to modify the rules of this “game,” I propose the following: say you’re about to be deported to an island or otherwise location very far from your home. You can only take a carry-on sized suitcase with you but make no mistake, you will not be in isolation, your social life will remain ferociously robust — in fact, Fashion Week occurs where you’re going and you’re invited to every single event. It’s just that once you reach your destination, there is absolutely no shopping. You’ve got to take what you have and make sure its edited down to a selection you will love and feel beautiful in and happy about forever.

So now what do you take?

Are you thinking about it?

Good. Because what I’m asking in essence is what you believe makes up the best and most concise version of your wardrobe. In thinking this over myself, I keep reverting back to a pared down iteration of the basic items that help speak for me. I’d take blue jeans but probably not ripped ones. A white blouse, but not a mens button down, no. I want a cotton twill crew neck that pulls on over my head and fits like a mens blouse might but without the fuss of a collar or line of buttons I must tend to.

I’d still take pumps. Probably a pair in white patent leather or a short pair. In yellow. I’d need a coat should it get cool so I’d opt for something tailored, likely ankle length and bell shaped. I prefer a rounded collar but would settle for a traditional one. Maybe a grey cashmere sweater, maybe not?

When it got warmer, I don’t think I’d want to wear anything save for a shin-length vintage lace white sleeveless, high neck, zip-back dress. A jean jacket might nicely compliment my christening dress and for shoes? A pair of short-heel sandals that continue up my leg until a few centimeters beyond my ankle. Sneakers, too.

It’s sensible, that’s for sure, but is it what’s smart? Do I really want to be dressed sensibly for the rest of my life? Why don’t I just take that spectacularly sheer, green off the shoulder balloon blouse and a pair of wide leg purple pants to pair with them. A metallic plaid shift dress to wear with a wool striped jacket and military style over coat — gold buttons, red velvet, the whole enchilada — for, I don’t know, green utility pants? Glitter shoes, three pair of sunglasses. I should fill that suitcase to its brim until the zipper is about to tear with hats and colored socks and thick gold chokers that will do nothing for my protection. If I’m conceding, after all, to remove myself from my comfort zone, I may as well really stray, become the most hyperliteralized version of myself and in doing so, turn the dramatic into my personal prosaic.

The way I see it, there are always surrounding cities that still maintain shopping centers.

But that’s just me. What are you taking?

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