I love The Wall Street Journal on fashion. For example, they say that pastels and beige are the coming thing for spring. Then they helpfully explain that this is because the sales of clothes are so poor that the fashionistas were afraid people would keep wearing their old stuff rather than shopping. So they went to beige, which hasn’t been in style since the 1990’s. Now you can’t wear last year’s hot pink and lime green, and will have to buy new clothes. Muah hah hah!
One of my goals last year was to become well-groomed. Or at least to look as though I owned a mirror. I was partially successful.
For example, #2 daughter accompanied me to the mall as part of my Overcoming Agoraphobia last spring, and assisted me with the buying of clothes. She also told me the other things I should go back and buy later, but of course I did not do that. Instead, I continue to wear mostly clothing which does not fit me, and which has frayed bits and holes. I wear these loathsome garments with my lovely sweaters. Um, the sweaters also mostly do not fit me any more, of course, and some have frayed bits and holes, too.
Obviously, I am not the sort of person who will give up wearing last year’s clothes because the fashion industry is pushing beige.
However, I am trying to make more suitable choices when I get dressed in the morning. Last year, I got to where I actually got dressed in the morning, rather than covering myself loosely with stray bits of textiles. I now put on sunscreen, and make-up, and brush my hair. I often wear socks. There are occasions, even when it is not snowing, when I remember to put on a coat, though I admit that I still do not make that whole weather-clothing connection on a regular basis.
So I am ready to continue this amazing transformation. I am trying to notice when my clothing does not fit and has holes in it, and throw it away. I intend to explore the concept of accessories.
At some point, I will I suppose have to buy something, because the six things my daughter had me buy last year — though that came to about twice my normal annual clothing purchases — do not, I suspect, constitute a wardrobe.
Anyway, I figured that, having read this news about fashion and thus being prepared, I would look at clothing yesterday.
Actually, the Journal was not the only influence. I also, at the insistence of my friend Cleverboots and because I was waiting for “Monk” to come on, watched part of this program called “What Not to Wear,” in which two New Yorkers say sharp things to people about their clothing. On Friday night they featured a woman who spent $1,000 a year on her clothes, shopping only at one thrift shop. They were pretty harsh with her, I’ll tell you.
I have not spent $1,000 on clothing in this entire century. (You can say things like that at the beginning of a century. It is good to take advantage of the opportunity.)
So I went to my closet and tried to imagine what these New Yorkers would say to me. I suppose they would take the six items I bought last year and say that they were last year’s styles. Then the rest of the clothes — well, the remaining twelve things. They would probably ask whose clothes they were. Or ask why I have cleaning rags hanging in my closet. Or perhaps whose cleaning rags those were in my closet. Except for my Mother-of-the-Bride jacket and dress ensemble, which is now a few years old but which I still pull out on any occasion when I need to look as though I have made an effort. Probably my friends say, “Oh, it must be an occasion, she has put on her real dress.”
I also noticed, in the charming movie “Must Love Dogs,” that the unhappy divorced people at the beginning of the movie are schlepping around in oversized rags with their hair a mess and no make-up. As they improve, their grooming improves. When they backslide, they get back to looking frumpy (one is a man, but the principle holds).
It is not that I think this is true, but that it is so much part of our notion of reality that the viewer is not supposed to notice the details, but merely to see the characters becoming happier and better as they fall in love. By the end of the movie, the heroine is wearing accessories.
So it seems that the people from New York are right, and that when I schlep around in an unkempt state, I am giving a false impression of pathos, rather than an accurate impression of my mind being on higher things.
I am therefore trying to continue this year on the goal of being well-groomed. Or more nearly so. I incorporated this into my errands yesterday. I had to fill a prescription, which I do at Target because they donate a percentage of all prescription sales to St. Jude’s.
The pharmacist told me rather mournfully that he was a creature of habit. I allowed as how that was probably a good thing. “Creativity and spontaneity,” I said, “are not what you look for in a pharmacist.” I hope he was comforted.
Anyway, I glanced around at clothing there, because they do sell it. Then I went to T.J. Maxx and glanced at clothing there. I did not find anything beige and likely-looking at either spot, but I was rewarded by two boxes of Yorkshire Tea, which I found in the Christmas clearance section, where I ended up in some confusion. I took this to mean that I had done enough looking at clothing for one day, and was being rewarded by God. Unless it was the Tea Fairy. I bought the tea and left.
I think it very likely that, by the time one of my daughters comes to visit me, I will have gotten mentally prepared to go to the mall, which is where clothes are sold hereabouts, and possibly to buy things. They will assist me in this task, I feel sure.
Note how well the hand-rolled hem coordinates with my Fuzzy Feet.
You cannot tell in this picture, but I have also used a moisturizing mask and am toying with the idea of brushing my hair before I go to bed, even though I brushed it once already today. Any day now I will begin filing my nails. People will hardly recognize me.
By the way, those of you who are more fashionable than I will be interested to know that one of the biggest looks for women this spring is a long slim pair of pastel walking shorts worn with high heels and a blazer. The Wall Street Journal said so. Do you think this will look like the Olympic team from Bermuda in drag? If you take up this look, I expect you to post a picture.