Thursday, April 30, 2015

A note on fashion

I wonder if others feel like they've "aged out" of normal women's clothes?  At some point, I realized there were lots of good movies that, in all likelihood, I would never see again.  I'm starting to think that about garments now.  (I'm looking at you, pencil skirt.)  It's just not going to happen.

The other day, I "owned" the fact that I would only wear one pair of pants.  No matter how many pants tumbled out of the clown car of my closet, I inevitably chose the same (comfortable, dark linen) pair, five days a week.  That brought my Real Pants number to 1.  Probably it was time to buy another, if only so this much-abused pair did not walk off the job in disgust.  For then where would I be?

Like life itself, my work wardrobe is constantly in flux.  Last summer, after sober reflection, I retired the black maternity dress from Target that had been a standby for years.  (No, I was not pregnant when I bought it.)  Paired with a simple cardigan, this flowing, floor-length number made me feel like the priestess of an ancient mystery cult instead of someone sitting in an office researching the statute of limitations.  (Why did I stop wearing that dress, again?) 

Growing up in rural New Mexico, I thought I would one day dress well.  Like living in an overpriced coastal city with a husband who'd gone to prep school, this was a key element of my childish vision of "making it."  Fast forward twenty years, when I rode BART into San Francisco's Financial District every day, surrounded by beautifully-attired people whose shoes alone appeared to cost a fortune.  I could not help but notice that no one paid them, or their clothes, any attention.  As a onetime yokel, I was probably the most impressed -- and even I didn't care. 

These days, I try to strike a balance between comfort and . . . uh . . . trofmoc, which is comfort spelled backwards.  It means "style"!  No, seriously: Just comfort.

With this in mind, I quickly found a wonderful new pair of pants: Made of crinkly black cotton with a drawstring waist, they gave a billowy, vaguely foreign impression, like I had been magically conjured from an old lamp.  Real Pants: 2.

Yet, after ten more minutes in the women's department, my mood began to sour: Why would anyone wear this?  Who would make that?  Is this supposed to be some kind of joke?

Anyway, it was time to go.  As a last-minute impulse buy, I grabbed a summer nightdress --  to replace my gunmetal-grey shift, which calls to mind an escapee from a 1930s women's prison camp. 

Real Pajamas: 1. 

(Image: High-waisted dancing dress with a slit overskirt, by Unknown 1809 artist (Public Domain) via Wikimedia Commons)

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