Tuesday, August 9, 2011

My Stain Campaign

Um, can I ask you guys a question? Great, thanks. So...who decided that minor stains on clothes were so terrible? A reason to throw away a perfectly good and adorable article of clothing? Shameful and pathetic? Some Snob, that's who. Listen, I'm not saying you should walk around with dirty clothes, or show up to work in the t-shirt you use when you dye your hair in the bathtub. I'm just saying that I don't see what the big deal is if you get, say, a tiny little red wine stain on the bottom of your super cute yellow Fred Rogers-y sweater that you only got to wear twice before splashing it with, like, one (okay, ten) TINY little droplet(s) of Pinot Noir. Does that really demote me to hobo status?

I think not.

Okay, full disclosure. I wore a stained sweater today. I didn't even realize it until it was way too late. I was standing at work, gnashing my teeth and throwing my arms around in exasperation because of some stupid little thing, when I flipped the bottom of my sweater up and saw the stains. My face flushed and burned and I almost ripped my whole outfit off. I felt like everyone was looking at me and my big red stain(s). Then I started mourning the eventual loss of my sweater. I'd have to throw it away, right? Or wait. Do I?

I decided that NO, SOCIETAL NORMS, I DON'T HAVE TO THROW IT AWAY. I will not be a slave to conventional laundry rules. Listen, I stain my clothes ALL the time because I'm clumsy and I'm very passionate about eating and drinking. But starting now, I refuse to just throw away an article of clothing because it's got a little imperfection on it. It's like a scar. A stain is like a permanent memory of an event. Who am I to argue with the odd ways of nostalgia?

There is obviously a line. Bodily fluid stains of any kind are def not okay. I'm not going to walk around with a big blood stain on my jeans after tripping on the street and mashing up my knee. No. (I almost made a Monica Lewinsky joke here, but I'll abstain. HA!) And probably if the stain is any larger than, I don't know, a hand print it should probably be tossed away as well. But a small ground-in dirt stain on the hem of a long skirt is no reason to go wasting otherwise perfectly good clothes.

A stain is a stain. It doesn't make something DIRTY. Sure it might look unappealing to someone to see an itty bitty grass stain on the elbow of my shirt, but that's not MY problem, right? If you get a scar on your eyebrow after walking into a door, you don't go throwing your face away, do you? No, you don't.

Sure I'd like to be the kind of person who always looks like I crawled out of the pages of a J. Crew ad - you know, all perfect and crisp and clean with bright white things on - but I'm not. I don't iron my clothes, I don't use fabric softener, and I gesture too wildly to control the gravitational effects of spaghetti. It's who I am, people.

What do you guys think? Do you think it makes me a sloppy person for knowingly wearing something that has a stain on it? Not a gross one, or even a big one. But like a regular ol' lipstick stain on a jacket sleeve that just won't come out (seriously, all the stains I've mentioned here are ones that I have on my clothes. Clothes that I still wear.) That's not bad, right? Am I the only one embracing this concept of apparel imperfection? I really hope not, because style is only skin deep people, and those little quirks are what makes each of us individuals. Who's with me!?


Grandmaman said...


cindi said...

I am too...As an art teacher I have the dubious distinction of owning an ENTIRE wardrobe of stained (paint) clothing. I do not fret..When someone says OH YOU HAVE SOME PAINT ON YOUR SLEEVE...I simply glance down ...act surprised ....and say "OH DARN "

Pharon Square said...

Cindi, I'm totally with you. I always pretend like I didn't know it was there. "Aw man! Stupid coffee!" The jig is up after like the 4th time I wear something and people are all "So...still can drink coffee neatly, can ya?" Oh well.