Like The Queen
Whatever happens to strike my fancy, but surely some sort of fiber content.


I always thought those ruffle-edged skirts made a person look unfinished somehow, like she had put on her slip but forgotten the skirt.

And you know, you're right; it's hard to find nice plain non-mini skirts any more (just as it's darn near impossible to find slacks that aren't low-rider any more). There are lots of cute dresses out there, but that's all because of this Stepford Wives thing and the idea that American women will want to dress like automatons from a camp-horror movie.

Wine-glasses on a skirt? Eeee-yah. Alison Lurie would have a field day with that.

By Blogger fillyjonk, at 3:01 PM  

You aren't cheering me up with visions of success on my mall expedition. But you nailed it - cropped pants, silly bright prints, miniskirts up to There or big full Stevie Nicks skirts down to the ankle, that's all that I see, even in normally good places like Ann Taylor. I don't mind the moderately low-rider pants but barely-clinging-to-butt is not going to work. I'm not looking forward to the trip but I have to make it. I'm really running out of clothes.

By Blogger Catherine, at 6:59 PM  

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Tuesday, June 15, 2004  

First of all, Howdy Nancy! Glad to see you dropping by! Yes, that's the same W who had the twin brothers. Cute, huh?

I see where Catherine is off to the malls soon. I would say this is a direct result of telepathic persuasion, since I went yesterday afternoon, and thought of her the whole time. But I can't, since I know she has been having the same trouble I had yesterday. Stores full of clothes, but nothing you could wear! Does everybody on earth live on vacation? Are all women, who buy clothes at department stores, school teachers with wealthy husbands or something?

I had very simple needs. I needed about 3 new knee length skirts in plain colors that I could wear with my neutral linen jacket so that I could look professional, but not suited up, when I go to work. I have 4 of them from heftier days, and while I do wear them, they are a little weird looking, blurging out on the sides in stiff linen wings that run the length of my thighs. They aren't hideous - just frumpy looking and ... it's another occupational hazard. Librarians care about style. Don't believe me? Look here.

So. What I needed were a brown skirt and a black one and a beige one, okay? Not something with flirty georgette ruffles around the hem (that make you look utterly stupid - what could make hips look wider than a 2 inch flare at the knee?) Not edge stitched voile with an asymmetrical hem that dips down to mid-calf on the outside but rises to above the knee in front and back. (Poor little match girl in silk?) No thank you to the Hawaiian print or golf print cotton either. They are cute enough to party in, or shop, or just hang out in. But they are far too casual to wear to work and still come across as if you were in charge - or even as if you knew where the bathroom is.

What I found, eventually, was one beige skirt, one white embroidery on white cotton skirt that is a little frou frou, and a black & white houndstooth check. I suppose that means I was successful, but those were 3 of the only 4 skirts I found in an entire shopping mall. Wait - I can't quite say an entire mall, since I didn't go into Sears, and that doesn't count the mini skirts, which are cute, but look tragic on a 51 year old, even if she has great legs. But in all the rest of that place I can safely say there were 4 skirts and 4,928,874,656,987,984,086,972,986 pairs of dork producing cropped pants with matching tops. And perhaps 1,987 skirts with splashy floral designs or with wine glasses or sea horses embroidered all over them.

So the whole time I was shopping I had a mental image of Catherine with me, muttering darkly "See? I told you there was nothing to buy." I would have liked more color in the skirts - maybe a red one, even lime green can work in fluorescent lighting. But dull neutrals will do and at least these don't have thigh wings.

While shopping I thought about what a ritual it has become, for me to buy new clothes after the June State Library Board meeting. I have been going to that meeting for eons. At times I've had a role to play there, other times I'm merely an observer. This time I confess, I went to gloat. Or, at least, to see the reactions to this year's legislative activity, which so pointedly swung things my way. Interesting to see who is still glad to see me and whose eyes slide away when I stand in front of them. Actually, it's very nice to see that there are still some who are glad to see me. Well, all things flow, as the Greeks like to say, including some people, who flow right on out of your life. Some stay, and that is enough.

The meeting nearly always ends around 1:30 or 2:00, which gives me an afternoon in the city to do with as I please. Over the years I have tended to hit the malls after this meeting because by then I know which pieces of my warm weather wardrobe are useless and must be replaced. The triumph of yesterday, though, was a lovely straw hat that makes me feel like Catherine Hepburn when I put it on. Every woman needs a hat like that, no?

During the boring parts of yesterday's meeting I sketched out some sweater designs, inspired by the Lily Chin Class. I'm so excited about digging up stash balls and making some interesting multi-textured sweaters for cold weather. I also picked up the pattern for the purple mohair lace - I'd left it at work last Friday. I split the front and back today and begin working the upper half of the body. I'm thinking I'll alter the pattern slightly, though, and put a little crochet edge around armholes and sleeve caps. I think it will not only sew up nicer, it'll give a little more support at the seams. Just a thought though. I'll decide when I get there.

And so - the real week begins today. Since I have to stage manage the book sale at our town's summer festival this Saturday, it's not really a short week. But I can take comp time for that later in the summer. Busy days begin for us now. Summer in vacation land. Aren't I lucky?

posted by Bess | 7:07 AM