Every Day Carry
Does anyone remember, a few years ago, when the concept of Every Day Carry (EDC) became like a really huge thing on fashion forums? I think part of it was this sudden resurgence in interest in craftsmanship and detailing, and so people got really into the idea that all the minutiae was not only important, but should be given the same amount of thought and care as the major pieces in our wardrobes.
The discussion has died down quite a bit and I don't really personally subscribe to the theory that everything in life needs to be ~curated~; but at the same time, I am extremely interested by the minutiae. The term EDC carries in itself the weight of the essential - that which we cannot function without, the necessary tools for daily life. And in some ways, I think that's got to be at least a little bit defining of ourselves. Because for every wallet and cell phone, there's that one other thing that no one else has - and what does that say about us? What kind of objects, what kind of talismans do we carry with us to guard us against the dangers of living? This is something that's fascinated with me since I was a little kid, and I carried a backpack with me everywhere with everything a three-year-old might possibly need in a three-year-old's emergency.
And it's funny because while I'm suggesting that these intimate details of our lives say the most about us, I think it's really a very post-modern wish to have - that somehow we can set ourselves apart, and define ourselves, by having a signature whatever. "These are my things, and they are mine, etc. etc." Would I be myself without my stuff? Yeah, obviously. But I think we're pushed to see material objects less as a formative mold ("I am a BMW owner.") and more like individual pieces of a mosaic ("I am the sort of person who carries a black Moleskine notebook.").
We're a generation that strives so hard to create this very specific brand for ourselves - primarily, because we're the first to have the social tools to do so and be asked to use them. Millennials get a lot of shit for how we've been raised to believe that we're all ~special snowflakes~ and I wonder if deep down, this interest in personal branding isn't an expression of the belief that it's true, it's a struggle against the fact that, deep down, we know that it's not.
So, whatever. Let's talk about my EDC. We all know I carry my wallet and my phone, so let's get to the interesting shit I always, always, always have on me.
1) Ray-Ban Aviators. I've known since the first time I "borrowed" my older sister's Ray-Bans - "borrowed" herself from an ex-boyfriend - that I'd found something that was going to be a signature for a long time. There are certain pieces that you put on and immediately, you feel like some sort of better version of yourself. For me, these are those. I don't even think they look particularly good on me - they have a way of emphasizing a somewhat heavy brow-bone - and honestly, I don't give a fuck. No matter what happened the night before, these are the sunglasses I put on the next morning and step into the sun and suddenly and bitch, please, I got this. Post-LASIK, I have a built in excuse to never take them off.
2) "L'eau d'Hiver" by Frederic Malle. Perfume counts as EDC, right? Because I never go anywhere without it. I have literally gone to the library in sweatpants and a stained t-shirt and put on a splash of perfume. I don't really know how to express why I do this without revealing how easily swayed I am by perfume advertising copy, but come on, there's something very intimate and personal about a signature scent, and I've never smelled anything quite like this one. It's actually unisex - there's something very sexy to me about the suggestion of a man's scent on a woman, but I'm such a tomboy already that men's cologne is way too much on me. This is feminine without being saccharine, and I'm kind of obsessed with it.
3) Black Purse. I've always carried a bag. I mean, since I was like three, I've always had a bag on me. I love the idea of being prepared to steal away at a moment's notice; to have everything I might need for an adventure on hand. In case, you know? It has to be just large enough to fit the essentials but also small enough that you're not burdened - it's a bag, not baggage. Typically, the bag du jour is simple, black, and goes with everything - I love idea of versatility in singularity.
4) Moleskine Planner. I try to be organized. I really do. And every year for the past three years, I've gotten a (generally monogrammed) 3X5 Moleskine planner for Christmas. It's the one constant gift. Mostly because I am kind of a sucker for minimalist stationary, and there's something that says "I kind, sort of of have my life together" like recording an appointment in a little black book. I mean, you could put it in your phone, but there would't be quite the same air of mystery. The Moleskine is not quite the Pumpkin Spice Latte of stationary but it is kind of the Cappuccino That You Posted a Picture of on Tumblr of stationary, so there's that.
5) "Kiss Necklace." I feel like it's kiiiiiind of overly-personal and ridiculous and dumb to admit that I carry this around, but I do, and so I guess it's worth sharing. Short version of the story: parents divorced when I was a toddler and still at that obsessed-with-mommy stage. Baby Ari didn't like separation. My mom bought me a necklace in my favorite color so I could always have a kiss when I needed it. Now it lives in my wallet. Are you crying? I'm crying.
6) Matches. You know, to be honest, I don't know why I carry matches. But I do. I don't even really smoke, and if I did, I think the idea of lighting a cigarette with a match is one of those things that sounds so sexy, and then you completely negate that when have to burn through 15 of them to actually get a light because it's New York and it's fucking windy, man. And yet for some reason I always have a small collection of matches and there's always a small book in my bag. DUNNO MAN. I'm not a real blogger, so I didn't make shit up to talk about, so I don't really have a good reason.
7) Euros. Always a lucky 1 euro coin on me, since I was 15. Because I am very, very committed to the idea that you should be prepared for unexpected adventures.
(But not that prepared, because I carry my passport card as my ID, and passport cards only get you into Canada and Mexico. I mean, I guess if I wanted to run away, Mexico would be sufficient. Really I think one should just be prepared to go to Toronto at any second.)