The garment essentials I found with my recent decluttering
RAZZLE-DAZA - Pat-P Daza (The Philippine Star) - September 21, 2020 - 12:00am

I went through my closet recently to look for clothes to donate to charity. I was on the hunt for clothes that were still wearable but no longer fit me or were out of fashion.

During the decluttering, I came across a few pairs of nylon stockings that have gotten brittle over the years. It must have been decades since I wore stockings, so I wondered why I still had some in my closet! I must have used them during the period when I went on lots of business trips that entailed lots of walking or standing around. I may also have used them to keep my legs warm when the weather was cold. I hardly wear dresses (except when I’m at home) so the stockings obviously weren’t used to make my legs look flawless. These days, I think the only ones who still wear stockings are sales ladies who need them for leg support because they stand for hours on end, and women who wear them for aesthetic reasons. A pet peeve of mine, though, is a woman who wears stockings and open-toe shoes.

Another garment that’s nearing extinction is the half-slip. For millennials reading this, a half-slip is an item of clothing resembling a skirt that’s usually made of sheer fabric such as cotton or nylon and worn under a skirt. I remember when my dad would call my mom’s attention for wearing a see-through skirt without a half-slip. My maternal grandmother, on the other hand, took the half-slip a notch higher by pairing it with a camisole or wearing a full-length chemise. I guess women from previous generations were more conservative and prudent.

These days, what’s sheerer and more revealing is considered better and sexier. Replacing the bygone half-slip for today’s girls is the pantylet, which looks like a pair of boxer shorts but is stretchable and hugs the upper thighs. My daughter wears this often with a short skirt or a sheer dress. A relatively new brand that made waves years ago is Spanx, whose foundation garments make people appear thinner by hugging the stomach and thighs. I tried wearing their “tummy tucker” or more commonly called a girdle and found it quite uncomfortable (specially when going to the toilet) but must admit it made my body look shapelier. But because I’ve embraced my body shape and prefer to be comfortable rather than shapely, I made the decision to junk my Spanx as well.

One garment that I hope won’t make a comeback is the shoulder pad. I remember how they were such a fashion craze in the ‘80s, when higher and wider pads were somehow considered better even though they made the wearer look like a football player. I myself was a shoulder pad fashion victim who’d wear them with all sorts of tops, including T-shirts. What was I thinking? Shoulder pads these days are more subtle and natural, adding a softer, gentler curve around the shoulders. I hope the huge ‘80s shoulder pads never make a comeback.

After going through my clothes, I also cleaned my shoe cabinet and was surprised to see that the rubber and leather soles of four pairs had fallen off! When I brought them to the shoe repair shop, the store owner said that leather and rubber need to be aired and used, otherwise they can crack or become brittle. In other words, those four pairs dried up because I kept them in plastic shoe boxes which restricted air from coming in, thus “suffocating” them.

While fashion is constantly evolving, the most prominent fashion pieces these days are designer masks and PPE outfits.  It’s only a matter of time before the big labels come out with branded face shields. Still, I hope they’ll only be a temporary thing. I hope face masks, face shields and PPE outfits will fade away one day, when they’re no longer considered essentials.

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