Fashion, Travel

Philosophizing in a Vintage Sweater

My breath caught in my throat as my fingers carefully grazed the cover of a record showcasing the timeless duets of Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald. My lungs filled with the wonder and excitement that comes along with a deep inhale near an antique book collection. I perused racks, shelves, and nooks stocked with decades of fashion’s most notable phases. The history that made me who I am today all flashed before me in a myriad of colors, textures, and loads of 80’s sequins.

That’s the magic of a vintage store for me… It’s a place that is truly filled with all the dreams, accomplishments, and mistakes of those who have already left their mark along life’s journey.

This particular vintage store is large, extremely organized, and it’s not quite as one-note as some smaller boutiques; they have something for a vast variety of tastes. Athens Underground is the name of this brick-and-mortar time machine and it’s located in the heart of Athens, Ohio alongside some other really unique shops, as well as, Ohio University. The occasion for my trip to Athens this time around was extra special because I got to meet up with a friend that I hadn’t seen in two years. I met this girl for just a passing semester in college, but our bond was instant, and although we’ve kept in contact, it was so great finally getting to reconnect in person. We are so similar in many ways which allows conversation to flow so easily…so easily, in fact, that two hours passed as we explored Athens Underground and we didn’t even realize it!

I ended up leaving with two fantastic vintage sweaters, and yet another cameo necklace for my collection. I’ll just go ahead and admit this right now…

I am Mackenzie Morgan, and I am slightly obsessed with sweaters.

(Cue your line… “Hi, Mackenzie!”)

It’s not like I live in an extremely frigid climate and need sweaters all year round or anything, but you wouldn’t know that by looking in my closet. The ratio of fall and winter clothing to spring and summer attire is highly in favor of the former two seasons…what can I say, they’re my favorite! In reflecting on my beautiful new sweaters, I realized something… friendship really is like a vintage sweater.

Every single sweater I sifted through on the racks has its own story. That’s the thing about buying vintage rather than brand new, the possibilities of the life this sweater had gotten to experience before me are endless. I’m just adding one more chapter to the story these woven threads tell. That’s exactly how relationships are; of all the friendships I’ve been blessed to have, every single story is different. Some were formed from birth due to my mother’s friendships. Others were instant connections. Still others took a lot of work and effort to mold into the tight bonds they are today. They’re all special, they’re all unique; one is fully beaded and patterned and another is cozy cashmere.

Another beautiful thing about a vintage sweater is the fact that it could have more travel bragging rights than my passport. It could’ve already flown to Paris on the body of a fashion model, or maybe been thrown over a bathing suit at the beach on a chilly day in Maine. As the sweater traveled, its owner made connections with people all over the world. That’s one thing that never ceases to amaze me; If we allow ourselves to be open to meeting people, it really isn’t hard to connect with people of the same belief or interests no matter where you go.

There really are friends everywhere; you just have to be willing to look.

And finally, a friendship can be similar to a vintage sweater in the way that sometimes it stays hanging on a rack, completely forgotten. Sometimes you get so busy and distracted with life or new fashions that you don’t pay attention to what you had all along. Then, one day, you’re sifting through your closet and your hand lands on that familiar piece that makes a statement and tells a story. You pull it on and it’s like nothing ever changed; it still fits just as good as it did before, and you’re going to wear it as you write more of your own story.

There are some friends that are only meant to pass through our lives for a season, so we can learn from each other at the time; there are others, however, that are meant to stick with us…and sometimes we need to take a little extra time to pull them off of the rack and invest in that story.

I’m so thankful for the friends that are willing to stay a part of my story, and for all the sweaters that have come along for the journey…



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