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  • Claire Kalikman

An Ode to Clothing & Memory

Exploring what it means to be Cool And Thoughtful through the lens of fashion 

By Claire Akkan 

I remember moments by the clothes that I was wearing. The story of my life is woven into the fibers of my garments. I recall vividly the dark blue dress with a black silk rose that made me feel beautiful at the 6th grade dance. The lightweight linen dress custom-made for me that I wore to my college graduation. The heavy cashmere of the Loro Piana checked coat I bought to mark my transition into “adult life” in New York. The heavy satin cream of my mom’s wedding dress that I wore to my own wedding twenty-five years after her. 

Clothes are so much more than their physical qualities, and I think that’s where non-fashionistas often get tripped up. Clothes carry the histories of the people, cultures, and time periods that wear them. People who don’t like or “get” fashion don’t see past the physical garments. 

But to love fashion is to love the experience of wearing clothes. And the best clothes aren’t the trendy fashion pieces that are in one season and out the next; no, to be Cool And Thoughtful  is to wear pieces that have unique stories tangled into them. When you care about fashion and clothes, you choose pieces with meaning, and you imbue meaning into your clothes. 

I’m fortunate in my life to have the opportunity to travel extensively. Whenever I travel, instead of buying tchotchkes and knicknacks, I love to buy an item of clothing. When I wear the piece, it reminds me of the experience I had finding it. The clothes I find are often second-hand or vintage, and I love to think about the lives the people in each city or country lived before I found this item of theirs. In Amsterdam I discovered a paint-splattered suede skirt I later wore on my first day of college. In Mexico I spent the whole trip in a maxi dress that will forever remind me of getting engaged. Every time I wear these pieces I remember the moment I found them and the happy moments I’ve lived in them. This to me is the epitome of Cool And Thoughtful: to intentionally live out happy moments in my life just by putting on a piece of clothing. 

Published in Cool and Thoughtful Issue 3

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