I should have been a princess. I love crowns and tiaras. If I considered it acceptable I would wear one every time I dressed up. Basically, my tastes could be summed up in these words, “if it is sparkly I want it.” I don’t know, maybe it’s a southern girl thing. I mean if you think about it, we do embrace big hair, and if you look at coifs from the late eighties and early nineties you will see what could be interpreted by future historians as the shape of a tiara upfront. Oh, the things we did to our bangs with a little bit of teasing and a lot of hairspray. Did we as girls, fashion crowns from colorful paper and while playing dress up? Yes. What young lady didn’t want to be crowned homecoming queen? As a senior in 1990, I even competed in one beauty pageant vying to become Miss AHS. I wanted that crown. Much later in life, one year I went as Holiday Barbie for my Halloween party. As I recall, that particular costume called for a tiara. Afterward, I was even able to wear my crown again, this time it was for a sleepover with my niece and daughter, and looked smashing in our pajamas and sparkling accessories. Ahh, the memories.
Are you asking, where is she going with this one? Bear with me. I’m getting to it.
Yesterday I was reading Shannon Ables’s newest book, “Living the Simply Luxurious Life.” She wrote a list of things which were disguised as luxury but when the layers were peeled away the shine was lost. For example, living in a big beautiful house furnished with lovely expensive things, but you must work sixty plus hours a week to pay for it is not luxurious. When do you have time to enjoy your home? Exactly. What about investing in the latest tech gadget to only find your hard earned money went towards an antiquated piece of junk in a year? Ables, like many other experts on living well, advocates the philosophy of quality over quantity. She embodies this by owning a few really nice things that will last years rather than in a closet full of quick fashion clothing made from cheap materials and so on trend, they will end up in a trash bag by next year because new trends have emerged. Two things here my friends I’d like to point out, this practice is bad on the environment and on your wallet.
There is a flip side to having less but more…
I have been working as a teacher on the weekends with nursing students since the Fall term began at the end of August. I sought out the position as an adjunct instructor because I, after earning my BSN last year have wanted to try my hand at teaching. I’ve found it very rewarding, which is another story for another day. Anyway, I’ve earned a little extra over the last few months, and I decided to buy a new coat for the winter season. Since we are coming up on Christmas many sales are out there to be found, which makes me oh so happy. I found my dream coat online at one of my favorite designer’s website. It was on sale, plus everything on the site had an additional 30% off code! The navy blue, buttery soft wool blend, single row of gold-buttons, subtle herringbone embossed coat was even named the Holly Coat. How perfect is that? It was as if the angels were singing and as the sun illuminated my computer screen when I made the purchase.
My suspense lasted days. I couldn’t wait for my Holly Coat to arrive. Yes, it was a little dressy for scrubs and my everyday wear but I was quality and represented true style which lasts for years. Well, the UPS man dropped it at my door yesterday so I took a break from decorating the Christmas tree. The wait was finally over. I opened the box with so much anticipation. The orange paper was wrapped around the contents of the box and a gold embossed sticker sealed it. Always such a nice attention to detail comes with these deliveries I thought to myself as I took out my Holly Coat. I slipped it on, savoring the feel of the fabric, then modeled it for my daughter. She agreed it was beautiful. I walked to my room to gauge how it looked in front of the big mirror. The length was a little too long. Oh, but it is lovely. I may have to exchange it for a bigger size I thought as it was a little tight across the chest. Wow, the material is so soft. The placement of the pockets is a little wonky, but isn’t it beautiful? Hmm, I wondered how long before I close the car door it and drive to work or have a coronary when someone steps on the hem while it’s draped over the back of a chair in a restaurant? Yeah, but this is the epitome of quality. It will last forever.
That’s when it hit me. This coat was crown! Beautiful and representative of all things sparkly, which I do love. But this coat like a crown would stay in storage only to be loved and admired, not worn. I mean, of course, I would get far more mileage from this coat than a tiara in my life (maybe I should have more slumber parties…), but would my investment piece of clothing be worth the price I paid in terms of its usefulness? I believe it was Willam Morris who said, and I’m paraphrasing, get rid of it if it isn’t beautiful or useful. Perhaps, both should be observed when it comes to our wardrobe? How many crowns have I invested in under the pretense of seeking quality? The honest answer is a lot, but that ends today. While I love and completely appreciate the exquisite Holly Coat in the box sitting next to me, I am without sadness I’m boxing it up to for return.
If it isn’t useful and beautiful I’m over it. Luxury that can’t be part of my every day isn’t l. So the search continues for an elegant everyday coat. I’m confident I’ll find one and maybe even a sparkly broach to wear on the lapel. Yeah, there’s my sparkle.
Wishing you only what is beautiful and useful.