Here's a thing I didn't buy: Tibi silk velvet culottes and top
Y'all, I'm dying over this outfit.
I want to lead a life where it is appropriate to wear this everyday. Drapey silk velvet culottes, swimming around your legs. Drapey silk velvet top, cascading down your arms. Monochrome taupe for days. The luster of the velvet, the pleats, the lines falling from shoulder to wrist, from waist to calf. I love the weird shoulder pad vibe. I can feel the weight of the fabric with only my eyes.
Researching this post I actually googled Tibi because while I admire things and see the name attached, I didn't actually know about the brand. This article was a good introduction to the brand history. The designer Amy Smilovic is from Georgia — of course she is, all the great things are from Georgia, haha — and she's retained independent control of the company for the last 20 years. The triumvirate of keywords to describe Tibi's aesthetics are minimal, edgy, and feminine. I want to be this! I don't know about the exact ethics of the brand, but I know I like the aesthetics. (Sidenote, I fucking love everything at Kick Pleat)
I also want to lead a life where I buy this outfit. But — I'm not buying it.
I'm not. I can't. I mean, I COULD. The combined price tag USED to be $1,058. But NOW its only $518. That's HALF off y'all!
That's also... still a lot. A lot a lot.
How much is too much to spend on a garment? It's gonna vary based on: how much money do you have to spend; how much do you love a thing? Sure, there are other variables, but those are probably gonna be the top two deciding factors. Last year Liz Pape wrote about how Elizabeth Suzann sets their prices, and it illuminated a lot why things cost what they do. But she recently followed up with some more thoughts on why that's only one part of the equation of what something is worth. Ultimately, the end user is going to decide something's value. Do you value something a lot? Then you might pay a lot.
So while I really value the look of this two piece monochrome dreamboat soufflé of a getup, I gotta say, I just don't see it walking through my door — because I don't value it QUITE as much as I value, say, filling in some other far more practical holes in my wardrobe this year. I definitely bought a shirt last year more expensive than this shirt, but the cost per wear on that is looking pretty decent because it's actually a thing I can wear daily. Like, I could wear this getup to a wedding maybe? But the only wedding on tap this year is outdoors in July. A fancy new years? But who am I kidding, we probably will just stay home.
There are a million ways to tell myself it isn't meant to be, but I still want it. What's wrong with all the other fancy outfits I wear once a year? Nothing.
Desire is the ultimate knife in the minimalist's heart: wanting something but knowing it's not practical or necessary.
Maybe if we'd hit the end of the year and I looked at the budget and thought, OK, I didn't buy a single item of clothes this year and this dumb outfit is calling my name and there's cash leftover — OK. But the reality is, I don't think I can say that in January I know this is the only thing I need for the year. I just can't. I want to. But I can't.
There will always be some other dream outfit I guess? Last year my obsession was this pair of shoes I was dead over, except I'm not dead — I'm still alive and I've moved on. Desire passes.
I really hope I don't write this post and then buy the thing because that would be embarrassing. I hope by writing this melancholy paen, I'll wash myself of the desire for the thing. Still, I can't help but envision 80-year-old wrinkled Talia and wondering if she sits around staring out windows, thinking about the velvet drape duo that got away.