Fashion comes and goes, but for most people the relationship between clothing and identity endures all trends. A collection of stories about women’s clothes reveals a wealth of personal and social issues in Love, Loss and What I Wore, which opens July 19 at the San Jose Repertory Theatre. Karen Carpenter, who directed the original New York production, helms the Rep’s production.

When writers Nora and Delia Ephron adapted Ilene Beckerman’s book, Love, Loss and What I Wore, for the stage, the sisters added some of their own tales of sartorial symbolism. The play uses a staged-reading format, with five actresses portraying different female characters in a series of vignettes about everything from prom dresses to gang sweaters. One character, Gingy, narrates the piece, tracing the trajectory of her life through various articles of clothing.

San Jose Rep’s cast includes actress and author Sandra Tsing Loh, who previously appeared in a 2010 production of Love, Loss and What I Wore at the Geffen Playhouse in her native Los Angeles.

“I’m doing a couple of different monologues that I did before. But I’m hopeful that I will still get to do ‘The Shirt,’ which is kind of a favorite of mine. It’s a monologue that if you look at it on the page, it doesn’t look like much, but then when you do it, it’s quite funny,” Tsing Loh says.

Tsing Loh is writer for The Atlantic and a commentator for This American Life and NPR’s Morning Edition, and creator of a syndicated radio science show, The Loh Down on Science. Rep audiences will also know her for her one-woman shows, Aliens in America and Sugar Plum Fairy.

Tsing Loh says she’s looking forward to seeing how castmates Dawn Wells, Zuzanna Szadkowski, Dee Hoty and Ashley Austin Morris take on the various characters of Love, Loss and What I Wore.

At the Geffen Playhouse, one of the parts Tsing Loh performed was the “Gang Sweater” monologue, adopting tough tones ‡ la actress Rosie Perez for the character.

“I’m really delighted that I think Ashley is going to do it this time. I love to hear someone else do it. There’s some fun in hearing how other people do monologues that you did.”

Tsing Loh is finishing up a book that expands upon “The Bitch Is Back,” an award-winning essay she wrote on menopause for The Atlantic. The book will be published by W.W. Norton in May 2014, and she says she’s found inspiration from Love, Loss and What I Wore to possibly bring the work to the stage in a similar format.

Love, Loss and What I Wore
Thru Jul 28.
$23 to $69.
San Jose Repertory Theatre