Hi, I’m Mary, and this is my column no one asked for about things I like!
I’ve recently been trying (and mostly failing) to avoid spending money on my one great vice: clothes (and shoes and accessories, but that was implied, duh). Firstly because I don’t have much of an expendable income, secondly because I spent the last year selling all my clothes on the internet and whittling my wardrobe down to a small collection of essentials, with a few fun items I reserve for special occasions.
Admittedly, my idea of a small wardrobe may not be everyone’s (fuck those 37 item capsule wardrobe show offs!), but I’m down to only five pairs of jeans, no small feat (if you clicked on that link, you saw the show off has four. Aha!). Though I love being a holier than thou bitch who brags about her minimalist lifestyle, I still catch the shopping bug once every month or two, when I see something online or on TV or, most often, on another stylish citizen of Brooklyn and spend days obsessing over said item until I finally give in and purchase it.
Part of the fun of buying something new is wanting it, so I tend to stretch that period of longing out. It’s like having a crush, only without any doubt as to whether the object of your affection will one day be yours. In other words, it’s like being a barely legal supermodel who has the hots for Leonardo DiCaprio. This prolongment of lust is why I love online shopping: I get to find something, visit it online for a few days, order it, track the package, receive the package, open the package and wear the item! The whole experience is drawn out over weeks and days, like Tantric consumerism. I bet Sting loves online shopping.
This past spring, I went through an orgiastic period of online shopping wherein I placed about five separate orders from Madewell, that bastion of affordable casual coolness, but only kept about three items. Part of the reason I ordered so many times was that I couldn’t figure out sizing. Even though I’ve shopped at Madewell for years and have found their sizes to be more consistent than those of most stores, I still have trouble figuring out how things will fit me. Another reason I placed so many orders is because I’m a filthy little bitch who gets off on smashing that “complete purchase button.”
There was one item in particular that I ended up ordering four times. (This is the part where you realize I’m not kidding and am, indeed, a sick consumerist freak.) When I first saw this jumpsuit pictured online (in a pistachio green — I don’t wear pink and this shade especially washes me out), I knew I had to have it. I did not know, however, what size I would be. I went to a local store (I’m a stalker) and was pleased to find the item was available, though only in pink. I tried it on and the first size I selected fit well, even though pants are almost always way too long on me. Still, I knew the jumpsuit came in petite and wanted to see if that fit better, so a day or two later, I ordered the regular and petite sizes online.
The petite was comically short, which is the first time in my entire life that’s ever happened to me, and the regular size was a bit looser than I remembered. I ordered the jumpsuit again in the next size down. It was perfect. I tried it on for my boyfriend, who told me it looked like I was wearing scrubs. I’m not a doctor, but I can still dress the part!
Then something incredible happened: the jumpsuit went on sale. Since I knew I wasn’t going to wear it anytime soon, I re-ordered the item and returned the three I’d already purchased. It was a weird trip to the store (I order online, but always return in person so that I can be judged for my sins), but it was all worth it when my perfect little discounted jumpsuit arrived in the mail ready to wear.
And wear it I have, to several occasions that border casual and fancy. I wore it to my nephew’s First Communion, to my birthday party, to host a show for this very website at a respectable bookstore.
Then something terrible happened: I stained it.
Then something else incredible happened: my dad got the stain out. (My father does not do my laundry and in fact we live hours apart, but he’s a master of stain removal. When I stain something I love, I bring it home and leave it with him until he gets that goddamn stain out or else! JK, I’m very appreciative of his hard work and know that he loves a project.)
This jumpsuit, in my opinion, is the perfect spring/summer casual/fancy outfit. It toes all lines, between comfort and effort, between cool and classic. I’ve committed myself to the European clothing model: I buy one nice outfit per season and wear it to everything. The end. And since we basically only have two season in New York (sweating my tits off and freezing my nips off), I really only need two outfits a year. If other people get sick of seeing my ass in a lightweight sherbet-hued jumpsuit, that’s their problem.
I should admit I haven’t worn the jumpsuit in a couple of months for two reasons: 1) it’s too hot for me to try even a little and 2) I haven’t had occasion to. The last time I wore it was to my biggest event of the summer: my first performance in my hometown. Lol.
It was a surreal experience, in part because I was delirious with the flu, but also I’ve known about 80 of the audience members since I was a small child. Many of them hadn’t seen me since I was in high school, when I was a classic “good egg,” a well-behaved, high-performing student with the kind of brassy personality adults assumed would serve me well as a female CEO. I don’t think any of them ever suspected I’d instead become an artiste. Among the attendees were my second grade teacher, my youth softball coach, my father, his girlfriend, my aunt and uncles, my grandmother, all of my parents’ friends and all of my childhood friends’ parents. The median age of the crowd was about 65. As you may have guessed from the content of this piece, my material is fucking filthy. I was terrified.
So I had to look good. I needed to dress like both an artist and a respectable adult woman. I also had to be comfortable, since I’d be performing for close to an hour and am rather physical onstage. My jumpsuit was the perfect outfit. Not only did I look nice and feel like myself, but I was able to imagine that a few of the older members of the audience who were hardest of hearing might mistake me for a doctor giving a lively lecture on the various medical disorders that result in gushing pussies. Little Mary Cella made something of herself after all!
Though I haven’t worn my jumpsuit since, I look forward to donning it again soon. Maybe I’ll wear it to a slightly less high-pressure comedy show, or to the rehearsal dinner of a wedding I’m attending next month, or on some breezy late summer day, just because. It would be appropriate for those and most other occasions — until fall rolls in with its chilly demand for thicker fabrics and longer sleeves and I’m forced to purchase a new special occasion outfit, one that will prevent my nipples from freezing right off my modest bosom. Perhaps I should start online browsing now… OK, I need some privacy. I just found a silk top that would go perfectly with my leather skirt and things are heating up!
As always, I’d like to clarify that this is NOT a sponsored post. I received nothing for it and am pretty sure no one cares about my versatile jumpsuit. Still, if anyone is reading and ever wants to give me literally anything for free, jumpsuit or not, I WILL TAKE IT!!!!!!
Anyway, I hope this was helpful. I’ll be back with more unsolicited recommendations soon!