you never forget your first…

…tank top, that is.

This morning I was rummaging through my dresser for something to wear and came across this green camisole. I’ve had it for a few years, but it’s still comfortable and vibrant. I don’t have documentation of the shirt from today (I didn’t end up wearing it), but to give you an idea, I dug through the depths of my photo archives on the ‘book and found a picture of it. Don’t pay attention to my silly expression, this was from the summer 2007, if I recall correctly. Summer, open fields, getting ready for a kickball game, why wouldn’t I be silly?

Seeing this tank top in my drawer brought back a flood of memories. Which is strange, because it seems like an insignificant purchase, but for some reason it’s really stuck with me: this tank top was the first ever “spaghetti strap tank top” I ever wore. Which meant I had a score of years behind me (literally) in which my tank tops fit much more Puritanical standards.

Story time!

When I was in high school (read: finally old enough to go clothes shopping on my own and making money in which to buy clothes on a semi-regular basis), I still heard my mom’s voice in my head when I stood on line at the cash register even if she wasn’t standing next to me at the time. It wasn’t a bad voice, it was a practical one: How often are you going to wear that? You know you can’t wear that to school, right? You just bought a pair of sunglasses, do you really need another one?

I’m quite like my mother, and I embrace that. I also adhere to “the rules” whenever possible, especially when they’re easy enough to abide by, which resulted in very few of those oh-so-typical clothing arguments that young girls have with their parents. It was nice.

Anyway. In high school, you couldn’t wear tank tops that had straps less than an inch-wide (and yet pants with words splayed across your derriere were fine). And since layering and cardigans weren’t really “in” back in the day, I didn’t think to wear tanks underneath anything else. In addition, since I was working a few days a week and they weren’t acceptable work attire, spaghetti straps just didn’t seem practical for me. And if you’ve learned nothing about me except for one thing, it’s that I like to be practical.

I do remember eventually buying this tank top, which is either a good sign of a good memory, or a sad reflection of the life I lead that causes absolute minutiae to be remembered vividly. But either way, I still remember. I was at the mall in college and I was in H&M buying something else. They had a table set up of these tank tops, and I bought two in different colors. I did still hear my mom in my head telling me that I shouldn’t wear them by themselves, that they were too skimpy, and “dress for the job you want”, etc. But at the very least, I figured they would make a good alternative to the million t-shirts I used for pajamas. So I told my inside-my-head mother not to worry, picked them up off the table, and went to check-out. Four years later, I am a camisole buying champ, I haven’t looked back since. 

Zero to two in five minutes flat! And I do still have both of them, because they’re comfortable and fitted but stretchy and go underneath just about everything. They’ve become part of Halloween costumes, underneath sweaters, my standard “quickly get dressed to run an errand” uniform. So Mom, whether or not they were appropriate for high school or work is another matter altogether, but you can’t deny I’ve gotten my moneys worth!


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