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P.S. I love you, corduroy

Illustration by Twylamae
Words by Anthony Graetz

It’s not you, it’s me.

Dear corduroy, 

I’ve been meaning to write this letter for a while now, but words keep escaping me. There are so many things I want to tell you. I’m sorry, you were right, it’s not you, it’s me.

We haven’t had the best relationship over the years and I take full responsibility for that. It feels like only yesterday Mum first introduced us, all those years ago.

We were in Target – do you remember? Mum pulled you off the rail and paraded you in front of my eyes. While she muttered the words, “nice, different, unusual,” I remember feeling horrified. 

“No way, Mum!” I rolled my eyes and objected. “There’s no way I’m wearing corduroy pants, they’re so not cool anymore.”

And I was right. Back then, you were a foul pair of wannabe pants that so weren’t in fashion. Let’s face it, you lost your appeal after the ’70s. Mum may have loved you, but I didn’t.

The year was 2007 and I was obsessed with all of the hottest brands: Jay Jays, Piping Hot, Volleys and Cotton On. Sorry, but back then you just didn’t make the cut. I shoved you back on the rail and put you out of sight, out of mind.

Over the years that followed, Mum would ask about you every now and then, to which I’d reply, “meh” or “I dunno”. To be honest, I never really thought I’d run into you again, so I didn’t keep tabs like a crazy ex would.

But how I was wrong.

Do you remember when we first bumped into each other again? I remember like it was yesterday. The year was 2017, exactly a decade on since my Jay Jays days. I was walking through the shopping centre with a group of friends, completely unaware that I may run into you. 

Like Carrie Bradshaw running into Big when after he left her at the altar, I looked tragic (typical). I was wearing a pair of high-waisted tartan pants that I’d found in an op shop. They needed hemming and had holes throughout, but like a fool in love, I looked past the flaws.

I was on the hunt for a brand-new outfit to wear to Stereosonic. I headed towards a fast-fashion clothing store, I can’t remember which one, it was all a haze really, and out of the corner of my eye, I spotted something familiar, something nostalgic.

My head snapped around and there you were, right before my eyes displayed on the front mannequin: a pair of beautiful brown corduroy pants. I gasped. It’d been so long since I’d last seen you – and you looked so great. I was in shock.

I grabbed my friend’s arm and jolted my head in your direction a few times, discretely signifying that I’d run into you. Her eyes widened.

I couldn’t help but notice how good you looked. Like, really good. Hanging out with a vintage linen shirt and a denim jacket acting like you hadn’t even noticed me.

Ten years ago, when I was in Target with Mum, I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing you, yet here I was, a decade on and more than willing to spend over $100 to call you mine.

Why had my feelings all of a sudden changed?

Why have all the kids of my generation, who so detested corduroy all those years ago, completely done a 180?

Maybe it has something to do with the endurance of vintage fashion? But what struck me more potently was that this newfound attachment to you came from a place of maturity. My rebellion against you, really, was tied to the fact that my parents had liked you before I did. And who wants their parents’ advice in either love or clothes?

Nostalgia on a collective and personal scale plays a huge part in manipulating the trend cycle. Giant fashion houses reference themselves and the silhouettes of other decades, and after Mum had a great love affair with you, corduroy, it’s no wonder she tried to push you onto me.

And, being the fool I was, it’s no wonder I resisted.

So here we are, in 2019, and you are the love of my life. From jackets to pants and shirts, our love affair is going strong. I can’t believe I doubted you all those years ago. 

Here’s to many more years to come, babe.

P.S. Mum says hi.

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