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


"Spring" is 81F?! Around here, that's summer!

I do like the idea of doing things right..."and with grace". Made my day, Bess!


By Blogger Margaret, at 8:45 AM  

How could you call our high school uniform UNfashionable??? I'm shocked!!! You mean, you didn't save your kilt after high school and wear it during college to impress all your friends? Hmmmmmm... Maybe that's why I didn't have any friends to impress! ;-)

By Blogger Mary, at 8:00 PM  

You got to wear the kilt - I was stuck in that ugly box pleated thing - and no knee socks - and Sister Anita still made you kneel and if your skirt didn't touch the floor you had to rip the hem out of your skirt and wear it that way.

I think, though, it was the uniform aspect, not the style of the uniform, that got to me. The same old same old wearied this little fashionista's heart.

By Blogger Bess, at 7:48 AM  

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Thursday, March 09, 2006  

Ho! It’s supposed to be 81 degrees on Monday. Oh I am ready for spring! Alas, all the promised (and needed) rain is now just going to hang about up in the clouds. Margaret? Best hurry on down here. But warm weather, when the light begins to brighten and the days grow longer, is just what I am ready for.

Each year around March and then again come September, I become completely weary of my clothes. I’ve grown to hate all of them except a very few sure fire hits, which I still hate but can just tolerate wearing. There are never 5 outfits in this limp group so I must resort to wearing something twice in a week. This may not be an issue if you are a man in a navy blue suit but for a woman who cares about fashion - even if she is not always fashionable - this is painful. Everyone ought to own 5 outfits that she can swap out often enough to feel stylish. She, if she is me, probably ought not own more than 8 ensembles and they should all be made of separate pieces that can migrate from skirt to blouse to trousers, like some sartorial deck of cards, dealing out seemingly endless variations.

Geoffrey Beane, one of my favorite American fashion designers, once said that Of Course he went into fashion - he’s a Virgo and they care the most about fashion, even when they profess not to. That is because they care so much about doing it right, doing it efficiently, doing it with grace. You can’t do that with unfashionable clothing. It just ... doesn’t look right! (insert smiley)

Although - that’s not entirely a joke. If you don’t look right you (I) will worry all day about how you look or be shy or embarrassed or hide because you know you don’t look right. If you are well and fashionably dressed, you can just forget about how you look and concentrate on Other Things. You won’t worry that a sudden demand, an unexpected client, some shift in the schedule will leave you looking like Cinderella, after midnight. You won’t get caught. Fashionable clothing is like oil in a thirsty spinning wheel. It makes all the other things smoother and easier to do.

When I was in high school my parents sent me to a Catholic girls school that had the world’s most unfashionable uniform. Of course, fashion is a cyclical morphing thing, shifting from image to image as the years roll past. This is so that fashion producers can earn a living, because if clothing didn’t go out of style, people would replace them like they do cars or tooth paste tubes - when they wear out. Thus, somewhere in the cycle, those uniforms were stylish - perhaps 1957 would have smiled upon those box stitched pleated skirts, green cardigan sweaters and little white blouses with SGHS embroidered on the pocket. Saddle shoes with bobby socks, though, were definitely vintage ‘50’s. Alas. I went there between 1966 and 1969 and if any of you have your mother’s old school yearbooks, you know that Papagalo flats were The Footwear and fashion swung between Mama’s&Papa’s MooMoos and teensyweensy mini-skirts with striped Poor Boy Sweaters.

That was the era of the jeans movement which changed a farm work garment called dungarees into the uniform of the Pepsi Generation; for those who think young. How I hated to wear that school uniform. How absurd it was for those teachers, caught in their own fashion time warp, to tell us to "be proud of our uniforms." Proud of something that made you look like you were dressing up in castoffs from some charity shop? Ee Gad. It was dreadful. But wouldn’t you know it - that uniform has come back into style twice since I slunk down Broad Street to window shop at Miller & Rhoads.

I pride myself on having a rather well functioning wardrobe, but each March, with the sweaters and wools, and each September, with the cottons and linens, I grow weary of everything in it. Everything looks brown. (well, everything is brown). Everything looks tired, limp, itchy, sweaty, rumpled and boring. I grow dissatisfied with my clothing, my body and my image. I feel like it’s chrysalis shedding time. I think about changing my hairstyle. (dangerous ground, there) I berate myself for letting wonderful diet opportunities slip past my lips smothered in cheese or sugar. March and September are difficult months for one so aware of what could be - what ought to be.

March and September don’t care how I feel about clothing. They think I should be living in a tree, naked, in some equatorial latitude. If humans are stupid enough to migrate to what the ironic insist upon calling a "temperate zone" then they can just solve their own wardrobe problems. Alas. I must try to solve mine too. What in the dickens will I wear today that won’t make me gag as I zip it up or pull it over my head. I can’t take the chance of pulling my spring clothes out of the attic because I am sure the temperature will plummet should I do so. Alas, I must sweat, in brown, in order to keep this sweet spring weather around, caressing the daffodils and coaxing the Burkwood viburnum into bloom.

Yikes! Whatever I decide - I had better hurry - it’s after 8 and the outside world beckons. Be glad I haven’t a camera, now. You might have to gaze at MarchBrownBess.

posted by Bess | 7:41 AM