Why I'm Obsessed With My Stain-Surviving Skirt

Photo: Courtesy of The Not Vanilla.
Thank goodness for dry cleaners. Without them, the contents of my closet would more closely resemble the smocks worn in elementary school art class. Only instead of splattered yellow paint, it is mustard from a corn dog accident.

Some people are prone to getting pulled over, like my one friend who got a ticket for going 27 in a 25 miles per hour zone. Others seem to inevitably get the flu whenever it comes into season. I am the one who is prone to stains and spills. This makes me sound like a messy eater, which I am not. I just happen to be the lucky winner when a glass gets knocked over, or tomato sauce comes splattering out of the bowl.

The skirt is a stain survivor. It’s a story that began in Paris 13 years ago. I first saw it on a girl walking in the Marais, and had my French been better, and my inner spirit more bold, I would have asked her where she bought it. Instead, I made a mental note, and prayed that I would be able to track it down myself.
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Photo: Courtesy of The Not Vanilla.
Fast forward a week later, in a Diesel megastore: There it was. The last of its kind, and three sizes too large, which I decided I could make work with the right belt. I wore it to dinner that night with two girl friends, and my dad and brother, who were in town visiting.

Related: Combating A Greasy Face

And just as he was going to fill my glass, his arm hit his own glass, spilling its deep red tannins all over my brand new skirt.

We started with champagne and some appetizers — we’re in Paris! Let’s celebrate! — before moving onto the main course, and a bottle of Barolo, which my dad was particularly excited to try. And just as he was going to fill my glass, his arm hit his own glass, spilling its deep red tannins all over my brand new skirt.

My memory fails me here, I think because the moment felt so traumatic, but I remember being devastated. Even though I knew it was an accident, I’m pretty sure I yelled at my dad, and may have even shed a tear. Perhaps I was feeling hormonal, but more likely, I was acting like a brat.

The rest of the scene played out with me depressed, while my dad and friends poured seltzer and salt all over the stain, assuring me that it would work. I spent the evening walking around Paris with a discolored skirt, which I eventually was able to find the humor in. For the sake of a fun evening, I resigned my bitterness to a good story, that would later be a happy memory.

The stain eventually did come out — and as I said, thank goodness for dry cleaners. Even though the mere scavenger hunt in finding this skirt was an accomplishment, it is the epic spill and a fun night in Paris that I’m reminded of, every time I wear it.

Next: Style Stigmas

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