Posts Tagged: fashion

Big News

Today at Panera, I saw a guy wearing this shirt:

So I guess this is just my way of inviting you guys to our wedding next Spring! Expect your hilarious and classy oral sex/Harley Davidson themed save-the-dates in the mail soon!

Lady Style: Scarves

I like to say that I have my own sense of style. Usually I’m saying this defensively, which should tell you something about the way I dress. So I’m definitely not recommending you take any fashion advice from me, but I want to tell you that I’m really loving scarves for fall.

For starters, scarves will make you feel like Stevie Nicks (always a good thing). Stevie Nicks is a confident, badass woman, and we should all aspire to be more like her. Scarves are also a really easy way to add some color and interest to what you’re wearing. My “uniform” lately has been sweater/cardigan, dangly earrings, and a scarf. You can put basically no thought into what you’re wearing, throw on a scarf, and look like you planned an outfit. You simultaneously look put-together and bohemian, like Drew Barrymore in any given paparazzi shot.

Most importantly, scarves are insanely cheap. I got my favorite scarf at Gabriel Brothers (if you aren’t familiar/they aren’t in your area, they’re a discount chain, kind of like T.J. Maxx but weirder) for $2. The scarf pictured above was my mom’s in the 80’s. I really treasure it, because Mama W. is the least sentimental person in the world and keeps nothing from her past. She’s the polar opposite of a hoarder, and so she has almost none of her amazing old clothes. This scarf has some pretty sweet gold streaks on it, which makes me feel kind of glamorous.

Drape on a few scarves today! Even (especially) the guys!

About A Dress

I have this dress that I bought in high school, meaning I’ve been wearing it for about 10 years. Not 10 years straight–I’ve worn other things in between. It still fits me exactly the same, is remarkably resistant to fading and stretching, and fetches an alarming amount of attention from strange men.

I want to clarify that, although I often write about odd things strangers have said to me, I do not think I’m any great shakes. My self-esteem usually resides somewhere around the 4th subterranean level of the office building that is my spiritual being. When I first greet myself each morning in my toothpaste-flecked bathroom mirror, I’m like, “You again,” and not in a sexy, winking way. No matter how many real-life Stuart Smalley audiobooks I listen to, I’m never going to strut around town like I’m the star of my own video for The Pretenders’ “Brass in Pocket.” That’s why it’s all the more remarkable that this dress garners so much attention.

It is, as the copy for a catalog aimed at middle aged women would say, figure flattering. It highlights my waist while hiding my XXL birthin’ hips (side note: I’m confused as to why In Style and the like are always giving me instructions to downplay my hips, when biology/evolution have taught me that men are instinctively attracted to such signifiers of fertility. So fertile, guys!). But other than that, there’s nothing that stands out about it. It’s black, it doesn’t show an untoward amount of skin, and it’s the opposite of flashy.

And yet! On one occasion at Miami, that haven of frat-boy-bro-douche culture, a guy yelled out of his truck window, “Hey, I like your dress!” That marks the only time a man has ever yelled something from a truck that wasn’t a sexual come-on.

A couple of months ago as we got ready to go out for coffee, I warned H, “When I wear this dress, strangers tend to talk to me.” He didn’t seem to believe me.

We ate coffee and breakfast pastries uneventfully. No one said anything weird to me. “Have I lost it?” I asked myself. Then, frightened: “Did I ever even have it?” Maybe I was wrong. Maybe the dress lost its magic. Maybe I can’t keep wearing things I bought when I was 16. Maybe I need to go shopping more often.

As we walked home, a man shuffled past us, wearing the uniform of crazy street people: an oversized t-shirt.

“That reminds me of that itsy-bitsy teeny-weeny yellow polka dot bikini,” he muttered.

This was yet another time I’ve been rendered speechless. I resorted to nervous laughter, a really terrible defense mechanism I’ve been using ever since I was a kid. But it didn’t matter–he’d already barrelled past us and was halfway through the church parking lot.

To recap, what I wore was not:

1. Itsy-bitsy
2. Teeny-weeny
3. Yellow polka dot OR
4. A bikini

I turned to H and hissed, “Now do you believe me?” Getting weird comments since 2001: that’s my dress!

My Life in Denim Skirts

Denim skirts play a big role in my life. This isn’t something I planned or hoped for, but in my advanced age I’ve learned that fate has its own plan for us. Apparently, my plan involves a lot of denim.

High School:
In high school, I had many denim skirts. I was particularly fond of one I purchased at Wet Seal, a new addition to our mall. It was a little longer than knee length and flared out slightly at the bottom. My mom said I looked like a “church girl,” by which she meant I looked like a woman that would go to my grandma’s church, where women don’t wear pants and all dress like the Duggar family. In retrospect, she was right. It didn’t matter that I bought that skirt at a kind-of-skanky Wet Seal; I was pure church girl in it.

But that wasn’t my only denim skirt in high school! I also had a shorter one that I used to wear with brown argyle tights and t-shirt from my massive Hot Topic-Goodwill-Delia’s collection. Where I purchased brown argyle tights, I don’t know, but I wore them often. When an elderly man at Wal-Mart approached me and said, “I’ve never seen anyone’s legs look like that!” I took it as a compliment. I probably should not have.

In college, I wore that same denim skirt on my first date. That is, my first non-high-school-dance date. As if the denim skirt itself wasn’t going to take his breath away, I added a hot pink t-shirt and my Chuck Taylors, which I was still in the habit of wearing everywhere, with everything. This was seriously what passed as an acceptable date outfit for me. Back then I was like, “Why are losers always attracted to me??” If only I could go back in time and say to myself, “Girl, look in the mirror!” and give myself a slap in the face. While it might be an embarrassment now, it got the job done (finger snap) and I dated that guy for two ridiculous months. I look back on that period of my life fondly, because I was living away from home for the first time and it was the most exciting thing I’d ever experienced. I thought I knew everything, when in reality, I had a hell of a lot to learn (about denim skirts, mostly).

You might think that one denim skirt would be enough to carry me through my undergraduate education, but you know me. I’m never content to rest on my denim laurels, so I bought a denim mini skirt with a frayed hem. I wore this one on a date, as well, but with a different guy. I’m pretty sure there’s an old proverb about how a lady needs a new denim skirt for each man in her life, lest she bring the baggage from her old relationship to her new one.

Even though I always think I’ve rid myself of these skirts, every time I go through my closet to do a purge, I find another one. Just this month I got rid of that frayed hem skirt, because whenever I came across it I thought, “I don’t know, maybe someday!” Eventually, I had to be honest with myself and realize that the skirt and I were at the end of the road. I donated it, so hopefully some other young woman will experience the transformative power of a denim skirt.

At the moment, I have only one denim skirt in my closet, and that’s a dark pencil-ish skirt I wear to work. I tell myself it’s different because of the wash and the cut, but this might just be another skirt I look back on in a few years with confusion and disgust.

I think my denim skirt addiction may be cured, but yesterday at a thrift store I did buy a denim shirt because it reminded me of one I saw at Urban Outfitters. That’s kind of like taking up heroin to get over cigarette smoking. This will be me someday: