Disclaimer: this has turned out to be a long-winded ramble about my wardrobe so please feel free to skip over it if you don't give two hoots in a hollow log on the subject. You're welcome.
I've been reading Karen Templer's blog, Fringe Association, for about a year and she's all about fashion, style, and either making your own clothes or buying them from non-sweatshop retailers so I've been giving my "style" some thought for quite a while now. I like to sew, I like to knit so I should be able to create a mix & match wardrobe in my signature style, right? After months of contemplation and analysis of my current wardrobe I have come to the conclusion that my style is "day laborer" with a side of "dressed in the dark." All of the shoes I wear on a daily basis are Avia Avi-motion, rocker bottomed shoes I scrounge off the internet (they don't make them anymore because the shoe makers advertised that they were fitness shoes and would tone and lift your butt; it was a lie) because wearing them really help my legs muscles and lower back not ache at the end of the day, but I suspect they say "fitness walking" or "I have absolutely no style."
Same with my bottoms... I have four decent pairs of jeans, one raggedy pair, a couple pairs of chino-type pants that I seldom, if ever, wear, and one pair of black linen cropped pants that I really like but never wear. Last fall I bought 3, no, 4 pairs of "jeggings" on sale at Walmart that I tend to wear on weekends because they don't have pockets and I like pants with pockets for my hankie and lip balm at work. I have four or five skirts that I made a few years ago that I like and mean to wear in the spring and summer but usually don't manage to--mostly because of my shoe situation, I think.
...and tops. Some of my tops are so old that I bought them in the last century. No, really. I have a few remaining Eddie Bauer solid color tees (short- and long-sleeved) that are great to wear under things, like my equally ancient flotilla of Eddie Bauer cotton, sweatshirt sweaters in various colors. These I accessorize with hand-knitted shawls and shawlettes that I have made. Sometimes I wear a long-sleeved tee with a cardigan sweater (some I have made, others I've purchased) or under a "big" shirt. I'm a big fan of the "big" shirt over a tee and jeggings or jeans. I don't think that's a "style" but it's what I've got and, honestly, what makes me feel like I look good and put together.
This being the time of year when clothes seasons change and stuff is on clearance I browsed the racks in Walmart on Friday night and found three things--a black and white striped knit "swing" jacket (that I"m crazy about), a black and khaki paisley knitted "swing" sweater, and a mens button up shirt in khaki--all for $40. I still had boots on my mind so when I went back to Walmart today I looked in the shoe department and didn't find anything, but a woman ahead of me in the (endless) checkout lane said she got some cute boots at Payless so I cruised over there after I checked out. At ShopKo (which has Payless shoes) I found a gray and white big plaid flannel shirt for $10 and some boots I liked on sale. Naturally they didn't have my size there but the clerk called around, found some, and had the mall store (the mall store, ugh) put some aside for me. Then she gave me the slip of paper she'd printed off in her search and told me to give it to the clerk if I bought the boots. I did and got $4 off the already sale price, so the black "suede" boots were $16. Since I was in the neighborhood I swung into DSW and found the brown boots on the clearance rack for $21 or 50% off the sale price.
Part of me feels bad because I am absolutely certain that the nearly $100 worth of attire I bought this weekend was made in sweatshops and everything but the last pair of boots was bought in a big box, discount department store, but then I feel like I've made a baby step toward looking less like a "day laborer" and more like "an active woman of a certain age comfortable with herself." That's what I'm striving for. I want to look like me--happy with myself and my life, and more interested in learning new things and having experiences than agonizing over what to wear. But I can't wait to wear some of my new boots to work tomorrow.
January 24--Larry Bercow, Smiling Bow Tie & Suspenders. Greg was an anachronism-a nice guy in round glasses, a hand-tied bow tie, and suspenders. At a time when successful men all dressed alike in dark, Italian cut suits, rep ties, and handmade shoes he looked like a guppy swimming in a tank of sharks. Those sharp young men with their slicked back hair and darting eyes couldn't figure out how Greg aced them out of contracts and deals all the while looking like Barney Fife's city cousin.
Sorry I went on (and on) about my clothing style or lack thereof but thanks for listening. Now I'm going to go make some baked apples. Doesn't that sound good on a winter Sunday? I think so too.