Lately I’ve found myself, apropos of nothing much, using the phrase “loose garment.” Maybe because I have worn the world like a straitjacket for much of my life, the whole concept strikes me as carefree and expansive and new. Yesterday I found myself wondering what exactly a loose garment looks like. What image did “loose garment” conjure up in my mind? What style of loose garment might people actually don for various occasions that call for wearing the world like a loose garment?

Here, for instance, is a number you might want to slip into just before the mechanic reports that your car failed the smog test.

This might be something to throw on in the next minute or so after your computer crashes.

Suppose you inadvertently drop your cell phone in the toilet. You might want to rush to your sewing machine and whip yourself up one of these.

Or say the cops call to say your kid’s in jail (again) for shoplifting. This might be something nice for when you go down to the station to bail her out:


You’re on the tarmac when the pilot announces a mechanical glitch that will take hours to repair. Before deplaning, you’ll probably want to leap to your feet, yank open the overhead bin, and prise this item from your suitcase:

Then there are the really heavy-duty crises: the dog dies, your husband loses his job.

And finally, the devastating, ghastly, hideous day when your agent calls and says the publisher rejected your manuscript. In that case, only one loose garment will do:


What kind of loose garment(s) do YOU wear?!


  1. Anonymous says: Reply

    I wear the best loose garment of all: my jammies! I may stay in them all day now that I'm retired, or slip them on when I come in after an exhausting outing, but they always represent comfort and consolation. I even wore them to work once. No, I lie–what I wore on that horrible day was my robe, a long red fleece item finished off with slippers. But that's pretty close to wearing one's jammies, you must admit!

  2. President Obama!! I didn't know you were reading my blog!….

  3. Rain. Toronto had one of the hottest summers of the last 7 years, incredible swamp heat for three months. In late August, I was running on a shaded trail which would usually offer some relief, but that day the canopy held in the steamy heat like a Turkish bath. For reasons unknown, I started skipping on the hills, hopping, galloping, dancing a little grapevine step… the heat must have finally cooked my neurons. I lost myself in that game for about 45 minutes, until I face-planted into the limbs of a small tree. Skipping on a single-track trail with roots and rocks may not have been my finest moment. I had scrapes from my knees to my chin, mud everywhere, and a rather shocking, brilliant gash in my thigh. It didn't seem very serious then, but this would later require three stitches to close. No broken bones however, and it didn't hurt to walk or run, so I ran on.

    About 15 minutes after my fall the rain came down in sheets: fat, pelting drops. Sweet, blessed rain. I was drenched to the skin in a matter of minutes. All my muddy, bloody mess cleansed away in a cooling baptism with thunder and lightning for a soundtrack. I ran four more glorious miles, squelching mud between my toes.

    Back at the trailhead, I stripped off my wet clothes and shoes, threw them all into the trunk of my car, and washed the last of the fresh mud from my calves and ankles. Now out of the canopy, I stood in the downpour and drank in the magnificent thunder and lightning.

  4. Oh, if only the Lanz flannel nightgown were acceptable for public appearances. That would be sublime.

  5. …bestow on them a crown of beauty
    instead of ashes,
    the oil of joy
    instead of mourning,
    and a garment of praise
    instead of a spirit of despair.
    –Isaiah 61:3

  6. Anonymous says: Reply

    LOVED the muu muu.

    elodie, beautiful comment – I can just picture it all!

    – rosmerta

  7. Anonymous says: Reply

    …oh, forgot to answer your question. Summing up, every garment I wear is loose, or I won't wear it. Putting on a bra is the worst part of getting dressed.

    – rosmerta

  8. This may be a bit late if you have gone off the idea but what about the seamless garment if and when you move to those fleeting ideas that sainthood or divinity is close ?

  9. Thanks, folks, and I like this idea of the loose garment moving to the seamless garment and the whole idea of being open to the divinity in which we are wrapped…