What Ruined it For You?

Mattie brought up an interesting point last week with her story, It’s Not You, It’s Me.

We’re all familiar with that curious drop-off that occurs at some unwitting point during our relationships with fashion items we’ve deemed indelibly lovable. You love it, you love it, you love it, you can’t live without it so much so that you’re contemplating purchasing another and then bam! — like with an avocado in the process over-ripening, it goes bad and you want nothing to do with what once was the capstone of your closet.

Why this happens, I don’t know, but we can cogitate. One possible reason could be tethered to our perpetually-at-fault menstruation cycles. Why? Because the decline in amiability certainly denotes a change of heart and in mood and who knows about that shift better than a bleeding woman, am I right? I suppose the thing is, once the hormone agita subsides and that grumpiness goes away, we’re ourselves again.

So…okay, never mind! Bye!

Another, more substantial case could be made for the extrinsic variables that affect the ways we interact with our stuff. I was meeting Amelia, for example, at a restaurant in NoHo for lunch last fall dressed in a pair of yellow Acne slouchy jeans, a beige t-shirt, dirty white tennis sneakers and an ankle length, double-breasted trench coat. When I left home I felt paradoxically Americana in the same effortless European way that Lauren Hutton or Katharine Hepburn do. When I sat down for lunch, Amelia agreed that I’d done something good with my pairing du jour but for a profoundly different reason.

“You kind of look like this girl from New England who rides at my barn,” she told me, placing a 100 dollar bill in the Douche Bag Jar and that was it.

That ruined the whole thing for me — almost instantaneously I metamorphosed from American done the Euro-way to polished white girl with hypothetical berets in hair.

Don’t get me wrong, though. New England seems fantastic, the people from New England even better, but when the aspired-for-intentions of my outfit (the disconnects! The grime of Bowery! The spirit of a Ralph Lauren renegade!) not only get lost on someone but get lost on someone who is supposed to get me all the time, do those initial intentions even matter anymore?

Sometimes, the ruining factor occurs more acutely. You could love a handbag you’ve spent your life savings on because you knew it would be forever and in just one fashion week season, find yourself so comprehensively turned off because of its over-saturation as told by an avalanche of street style images. Conversely, your best friend might tell you that your favorite [insert item here] makes you look like a. a member of The Real Housewives of any city, b. King Joffrey from Game of Thrones or c. Heidi Montag. Or maybe I’m completely wrong. Stop me while I’m ahead and let me know: what ruined It for you?

  • The Ruminator

    SO glad this was covered. I often have this problem where unrequited paramours are involved. If they have made any comment whatsoever in the past/present concerning any faction of my wardrobe, it promptly disappears the minute they do. I know “memories aren’t in objects” and all that jazz, but let’s be real. The sartorial psyche is a fragile thing.

    • Leandra Medine

      Go with your gut, girl. Memories are most poignant in objects

  • CDJ

    college. college ruined many things for me. not things, brands. every girl was SOAKED in the following: tory burch anything, hunter rainboots, patagonia fleece, burberry jackets, david yurman rings, longchamp bags, lilly pulitzer dresses. those items i SO BADLY wanted during college (not the lilly) are almost cringe-worthy for me now. maybe it was over-kill, and almost four years out i’m still not over it? also- i’m from NE… REP-RE-SENT. I bet someone reading this could almost guess where i went to college by that description.

    • alejandra

      FUCKING DAVID YURMAN. sooooo over it. This doesn’t sound nearly as bad as what everyone wore at my college. Northface, ugg boots, coach bag, and leggings. vomit.

    • Katiealacarte

      Boston. ’04-’08, or thereabouts? Because that’s all I saw.

  • Sabrina Haskinson

    People.. call me a classic hipster but when too many people are wearing a certain brand or ‘uniform’ as I like to call them it makes my stomach turn. I’d rather never be in the in crowd even if it that meant never getting to wear that velvet skater skirt.

    • But trying to be different or “never be in the crowd” sounds like it could be as strenuous/frustrating as showing up to school, work, etc with the same skirt on as several other girls! I get what you’re saying, but then again I am positive that you would wear the skirt differently than your counterparts on the sole principal that true style will ultimately reflect the soul of the wearer. Who knows, maybe you should give that velvet skater skirt a go!! X

  • Rosemary

    But soon to be birthday person, another perspective. Kate H was quintessential NE with a Q and an NE. She was a Nutmeg state gal thru & thru. I don’t think that was a slam. I thought it was like you were a young CZ Guest or young Kate.

  • Quinn Halman

    Kim K and I have the same Dannijo bib necklace. Let me clarify, she did not ruin it for me as I still love this necklace, but I wear it better than her by a lot so it’s really frustrating that People magazine hasn’t recognized that Bitch stole my look.

  • Crushes ruin pieces of clothing for me. It’s sort of weird to wear something the year after whatever did/did not work out. It has the same effect as a song — one minute it is your anthem and the next minute it makes you like you need to take a shower because you’re soiled with now-foreign feelingzzz and nostalgia you can’t quite get behind.

    • Charlotte Fassler

      I totally agree with this and that cringe worthy feeling is the worst, especially when it’s induced by a song. However I try not to completely discount those items that remind me of a crush that didn’t work out. Sometimes there is a sense of empowerment that can come from wearing a particular dress that you evokes a fond memory of a time you felt really confident and happy (even if it ultimately didn’t end well)… you just need to let some time pass first!

      • This is so true! Good thinkin’ (as per usual), Charlotte!

  • Morgan

    In College, a friend of mine invited me to her apartment to snatch up some of her clothes she no longer found use for. One of the items I snagged was a navy blue full skirt dress that had a cute button up bodice and a collar. It hit a few inches below the knee and exuded delicate simplicity to me. I paired it with a vintage thick brown belt at my waist and felt like a liberated (and oh so cool) 50’s housewife.
    A few years later, one of my employees at work told me the outfit made me look like an inmate in a Mexican women’s prison. Apparently they wear the “same thing”, and she grew up in Mexico, so she would know. Yeah. That was the end of that.

  • Andrew

    Kanye West. I was THIS close to buying a bedazzled Margiela mask, but it would look like I’m trying to impersonate him, and that’s just way too much ego for one outfit.

    • Leandra Medine

      Andrew, may I suggest you go forward with the mask anyway.? Or at least tell us how you planned to wear it!

  • Instagram ruined leather joggers for me! and Kanye!


    • Natalie

      But Kanye invented leather joggers, don’t you know?!

  • For me it was the “Fish scale handbags”. I saw them everywhere and loved them. Got a brown one (it doesn’t have those beads on the handles though) and have never carried it. It’s still in my closet to this day…waiting…and waiting

  • Hereshoping Themayanswereright

    I ordered a pair of gold metallicized, snake embossed, leather gladiator sandals I saw in a magazine that I “had to have” before they became popular. Shortly after I received them they began popping up everywhere and much cheaper. Totally ruined it for me and I never ended up wearing them even once. Still sitting in their box.

  • Keilit

    When I wear an oufit on a date and we hit it off with a guy, but then break up at one point, I just can’t wear the stuff he liked. For example there’s this outfit I was wearing – black&white skirt combined with a black ‘comme ci, comme ca” t-shirt – and my latest crush-gone-bad told me “You look so chic” and I will probably never wear those things together ever again.

    Also travelling can ruin it for me. I remember when I went to London for the first time and packed some of my favorite garments with me, and suddenly I was on the streets of London seeing everyone looking so wonderful, and my clothes were just… well, boring.

  • alejandra

    I started to wear flower bomb a few years ago, I had a boss who started wearing it a few months into me working for her. I hated her, she was jealous of me. (Greek woman rivalries, what can you do?) Needless to say that was the end of my viktor and rolf love affair.

  • Jordan J

    I had just bought these awesome overalls (floral print) and was planning to wear them on my first day back to school. (this was over summer vacation) when I told my friends my idea, they laughed in my face and told me overalls were not cool. I haven’t worn them since and it sickens me because I loved them, I felt like a high-fashion rocker in those babies!