Just over a week ago, someone waltzed into the baggage claim area of McCarran International Airport, yanked my suitcase from the carousel and disappeared into the night with my well-cultivated collection of dresses, cardigans, Judas Priest merchandise, and size four shoes.
Because I lack vision, I thought that this was a bad thing.
The staff at Delta Airlines, with their tough love approach to customer service, were more than willing to help me see the error of my ways. While other airlines might mollycoddle customers with profuse - and maybe even genuine - apologies for permanently losing an entire suitcase full of their worldly possessions and cash vouchers to cover any undue expenses, Delta prefers to address the very heart of the issue and offer you Important Life Lessons about materialism and the impermanence of life.
"It happens," the woman behind the counter callously told me when I asked her if it was really possible that someone had stolen my baggage right off the carousel. And then she handed me "The Bag."
At the time, I thought that the woman at the counter was being disinterested and rude because she was unprofessional. Now that I have come to understand the true power and potential of "The Bag," I realize that she was probably just unable to contain her violent jealousy. And I forgive her.
The Bag is many things, you see.
It is, to the naked eye, just an unassuming vinyl bag packed with basic amenities like a travel-sized antiperspirant, two whole cotton balls, a t-shirt, a toothbrush, and the world's tiniest tube of toothpaste. But it's also so much more. It is a lesson in resilience, and proof that you don't need a whole suitcase full of ostentatious consumer goods and grown-up sized products from apothecaries to enjoy a week-long vacation or look like a decently groomed human being. It is an inspiring exercise in creativity, forcing you to Think Outside Of The Box in regards to your styling choices. Most importantly, though, it is the vessel through which I was exposed to The T-Shirt.
The T-Shirt, you see, is the most important fashion tool of all time. Whether you're clubbing at Lavo, attending a fancy dinner at one of Vegas's many fine dining establishments, or lounging poolside at the Wynn, it is the perfect choice. It is, in fact, the only piece of clothing that you will ever need.
Here are just a few of the looks I rocked in Las Vegas once Delta and some random ne'er-do-well freed me from the chains of my material goods.
(Apologies for my face in most of these shots. Having your luggage stolen tends to mess with your sleeping habits and it's impossible to cover up the subsequent puffiness and mess when your makeup was in said luggage.)
NINE WAYS TO WEAR A BASIC T-SHIRT
The T-Shirt can, of course, be worn as a basic, every day t-shirt. You can also dress it up with one of your miniature amenities. I was partial to the toothbrush.
The easiest way to sex up The T-Shirt is to let its enormous, gaping neck drift to one side and show a little clavicle. It’s Flashdance with a sleek, post-millennial twist!
Once you’re comfortable with that first step into the brave new world of T-Shirt fashion, you can experiment with the sleeves. Try rolling them up for a fun and flirty look!
Want something a little more fancy? Whip off your pants, slap on a belt and you’ve got yourself a pretty party dress!
Or you can slide both of your arms through the gigantic neck (this won’t even stretch it!) and tie the sleeves behind you. Suddenly, you have an adorable strapless number on your hands!
Find the sleeve bow too cutesy for your tastes? Untie it and slip the sleeves inside out for the super popular formal dress with pockets look!
Or, if you prefer the whole asymmetrical thing, you can mix and match. This was a personal favourite of mine.
Think you need pricey plaid or a Hypercolor shirt to be a part of the hot new ’90s revival that’s sweeping the fashion world? Think again. Grab one end of The T-Shirt’s undulating folds and tie it to one side for a classic pre-millennial vibe.
Or you can grab the bottom edge, thread it through the neck and pull for a more obscure blast from the past. I call this one The Sophie B Hawkins, because it reminds me of that summer I spent listening to “Damn, I Wish I Was Your Lover,” watching 90210, and ruining the collar of my precious Vuarnet shirt trying to perfect the style.
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