Maybe it's my late-summer addiction to Project Runway, or maybe it's the free subscription I got to Marie Claire courtesy of expiring airline miles, or maybe it's a mild version of mid-life crisis. But whatever it is, I find myself suddenly longing to purchase Fashionable Items that can only be described as wildly inappropriate for my lifestyle, my body, my job, and my geographic region...not to mention my wallet. (See? I nearly wrote "my pocketbook" there -- and, seriously, who under the age of 65 carries a "pocketbook" anymore?)
Even more worrisome, I not only want to purchase them. I want to wear them.
I remember when I was a young teenager, pouring over the pages of Seventeen magazine, and thinking how mortified the girl in the "Don't" pictures must be -- you know, the one with the little black rectangle covering her eyes for purposes of protecting her identity, who had been photographed wearing some nightmare of an outfit that was physically unflattering in the extreme or contained a horrifying mix of colors, patterns, fabrics, styles.
And now, I am afraid I might become her.
Case in point: I nearly went out to the school bus stop this morning in my yoga pants. They are very cute pants in charcoal grey, with that perfectly cut flare at the ankle and a scrolly design in ivory adorning the lower portion of one leg. They are sporty and casual and oh-so-comfortable. In my deluded state of Fashionableness, however, I nearly made the fatal error of imagining that just because I had purchased pants that look great on toned, 20-something models, I had suddenly morphed into a mother with a toned, 20-something rear view.
Sadly, I have not.
Fortunately, the hallway mirror reminded me of that fact before I walked out the door, and I quickly pulled on jeans, thereby thankfully avoiding parading all my yoga jiggle in front of the neighborhood moms.
It is a simple truth that precious few 40-year-old women should wear yoga pants for any reason whatsoever that does not involve driving to, participating in, or driving home from a yoga class. And I am not one of those few.
Yet through all my immersion in the leggings-and-layers looks that are everywhere right now, I have apparently become so completely deluded that I think I can wear these things.
I similarly find myself wanting a cozy, thickly furry vest, despite the fact that I am neither
|a snow bunny,|
|a beguilingly angled fashion model,|
|a super-spy prepared to retrieve stolen state secrets from an undisclosed arctic location while totally kicking bad-guy ass,|
|nor gamine-thin and adorable.|
Half of me thinks these are all the right answer.
The other half of me can't believe that I actually think anyone in Michigan ought to believe the Fashion Hype that says "you, too, can pull off this look in your daily life."
Ever since leg warmers and slouchy belts were all the rage (the FIRST time), I have been entranced by fashion. Entranced, of course, does not necessarily translate to the ability to pull off these looks. (Though, if I do say so myself, I rocked the multiple pairs of socks in different colors and rolled up, baggy, pegged pants look in 1985.)
And now, suddenly, I am faced with the irrefutable fact that I am no longer in the age range of the models running around in these clothes in the pictures. I'm not old, exactly. Not a fuddy-duddy, I hope. But I'm still a bit unmoored.
It is a major milestone to note that I have passed the stage of being restricted to a wardrobe of things on which I don't care if I get spit-up. But I don't have the will to dry-clean, and I still have to show up to the playground prepared to hoist small folk up to the monkey-bars and help them make it across--small, dusty shoes kicking at me all the way.
I'm bored of t-shirts, not toned enough for leggings unless they are covered by a dress, and somewhat self-conscious of the fact that nothing looks more ridiculous than a woman who refuses to dress her age in some misguided sense that if she dresses younger she will somehow appear younger.
On the other hand, I'm not quite this either.
There has to be some magic bullet. Something that is both appropriate and more flattering that the slouchy, comfy corduroys and turtlenecks that are my winter uniform.
But until I figure out what that is, I will daydream about furry vests...black leggings...layers of sparkly silver jewelry.
And the hips I had back in 1985.