Love ❤️ - an intense feeling of deep affection: to hold dear: cherish
The world seems to run on such things, to seek it. Every art form and act of expression seems to revolve around it in one way or the next. From the way we dress to impress those we love to the clothes we steal from their closets, love always finds its way into us.
Movies, songs, and literature all romanticize that jacket, the one the pretty boy lays on your shoulder when you get cold, how its bulky size cradles you as if he is the one keeping you warm. The way you "accidentally" forgot to take it off and how it now sits in your room, a constant reminder of that fuzzy feeling that burrowed in your stomach when he kissed you. He never asks for them back, little by little as he notices the sweatshirts in his closet have been run bare. He thinks of you when he's cold, laying in his crewneck, going about the motions of your day with a piece of him attached; it brings him warmth.
When you split, the first thing you notice is what's left of him-- that same jacket, the sweats you took, and the necklace he gave you. You never want to look at them again, yet the thought of returning them seems like tearing an opened wound. You pack them in a box labeled "things that were once yours," even though you know it's really pieces of you in there. He gives you back the sunglasses you'd leave in his car; you wish he hadn't.
When you go shopping with your best friend, there's this unspoken rule that everything they pick out is "ours" and vice versa. That skirt will rustle between both of your closets and change form with every pairing, leaving a mark on your distinct designs. When you stay over, you'll scour her closet like everything's up for grabs; things will go missing for weeks on end until she notices them on you; simultaneously relieved it's not lost, angry you took it and endeared you have it, "it looks better on her anyways" she thinks.
When you forget your sweater at home, you text her frantically, hoping she has an extra in her car; you know you'll be cold in fourth period. She doesn't, but she gives you hers and silently shivers in her seat. You'll give it back at the end of the day, and she'll crank up the heater on the ride back.
Your mother's old blouse occupies that space in the nook of your closet. It's too hard to look at, to remember how she used to wear it to family brunch. It was her "special occasions" shirt-- the one she took extra care of in the wash, the one she took the steamer out for, repetitively yet gently passing it through the linen, stretching it out with her delicate hands. It's wrinkled now, a sad piece of all that she was; you should've taken better care of it. You slowly remove it from the hanger, paying extra close attention to the blue florals and the lace around the edges. It still smells like her; oh god, it still smells like her. If it were ever to lose her scent, you think you'd just die, shrivel into what it looks like now; it can't fade; such cruel things just shouldn't be allowed.
You slept with it that night, grasped it close as you dozed off. The dreams were even more vivid than usual. You swear you could almost touch her, and then you awoke, and she was still gone. The blouse was still with you, but it's just a piece of cloth, "what does it matter" you thought, but it was her, the same as the photographs and the voicemails left on your phone. It was the portal connecting. When you touch that shirt, somewhere, somehow, she is still wearing it.
It's in these pieces of clothes we find humanity; woven into the fabric are people. The ones we love, the ones we've lost, and the ones somewhere in between; they feel us through clothes. They are the time capsules of our hearts. Love leaves its mark on fashion because it's always there, in the same way as clothes; it's a necessity. They meet in the middle and bleed into each other with such familiarity. They are intertwined.