Navigating friendships in your twenties is often like trying to navigate your wardrobe in your twenties. It’s full of variety, bad choices, comical memories, regrets, crucial life lessons, and is never quite the same five years later. The friends and clothes we thought we would have for life, and once upon a time would never be without, we sometimes grow apart from as our tastes refine later in life. The encounter with a jacket on a mannequin, the people you meet at a house party, the try on of a leather Prada loafer, or the person you randomly meet in the smoking area of a club can unexpectedly become a timeless treasure.
The staples. Everyone has and fundamentally needs these in their lives. These are the type of friends you aren’t necessarily always in contact with, only communicate with via WhatsApp every few days or every other week, and will only see in person at sporadic points in the year. But no matter how much time passes, things between you never change. They are the type who bring balance into our lives that you go to when we need constructive advice on important life events who you know will tell you exactly what you need to hear, not what you want to hear. They may not be the boldest pieces, or most eye-catching parts of our wardrobes, but in both senses build the foundations on which they are built upon. They are the clothing equivalent to the white shirt and grey trouser combination. Smart, safe, sensible, and looks good on everyone. The easy to wear pair of black Cuban heel boots at the front of your wardrobe that you’ve had for years which are your go-to when nothing else seems to work. The pieces within your wardrobe which you might not wear all the time, but when you do choose to, they provide a sense of reassurance and stability when everything else seems to fail.
In the department of trend pieces, things become somewhat more complicated. The Balenciaga sock boots, the tie-dye print impulse purchase shirt, or the 50% off heels that turn out to be nearly impossible to walk in, but looked cute on the screen of your phone when you were online shopping at 2am. Then end up only wearing that one Friday night. Similarly can be said for the ‘come and go’ friendships you make over the course of your life. They seem fun at the time, the prospect of a new friend seems exciting, and usually you meet doing a specific activity which sparks the first sign of a potential friendship. But sooner rather than later, you see that although what may have seemed like a good idea at the time, the person you met on the dancefloor can’t hold a conversation at the dinner table. And just because they share the same passion for dancing to Madonna, you don’t really have that much else in common. That is the true nature of trends, they are there for a reason and a season. And trends are so last season! Usually these people only work, or items of clothing can only be worn, on a singular occasion. Afterwards, or over time, you feel a drift because you outgrow and realise they simply don’t fit in with your other significant interests or parts of your wardrobe. However, that doesn’t mean the journey with them can’t still be just as fun along the way.
Then you have the most important pillars of both your clothing choices and friendship circles. The investments. These are the friends you could spend hours laughing with over Facetime, confide in with your deepest and darkest secrets, were present in the most unconventionally hilarious moments of your life which develop a sense of humour nobody else could possibly understand, champion both your highs and provide a safety net during your lows, these are truly the people you could never see yourself without. These are the items within your wardrobe that were love at first sight through the shop window, took you months to save for to purchase one of your very own, spent countless hours researching the details, and the items you always pick for your most special occasions. Both of which you know that during your worst days, if you call up that friend or try on that piece, they make you feel at your very best.
But when it comes to investments the value is always significantly higher, therefore they require more from us. The investment of time, energy and understanding to build a longstanding friendship. The investment of money, research and sacrifice to buy your first designer bag. It’s a commitment we make to both person and purchase. The commitment to work through a potential argument with a friend, or the commitment to make financial cuts to save for that denim patchwork Louis Vuitton bag. But in the end the price to pay is always worth it, because these are the friends and pieces of our wardrobe that never go out of style.
By Jordan Wake