Friday, August 28, 2009

What Not to Wear

“Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes.” -Henry David Thoreau

It’s Back to School shopping time. Okay, for most people that was a month or so ago but I’m fashionably late. For the little boys, my shopping mostly involves walking out to the garage and finding the bins labeled with their size but that method doesn’t work so well for the oldest two. Sierra’s pretty much taken care of and I’m left to find a few things for Michael Jr. tonight. So much easier than shopping for myself.

When I shop for myself I think about how few nice dresses I see with short sleeves. About why it’s a near impossibility to locate knee-length shorts (they all seem to be crotch-length or capris). About how I can’t find pants I’m not ashamed to wear without waists so low I’m hiking them up every few feet (get a belt, right?).

I’m a mom. I don’t think I’ve made a secret about that. Still though, I don’t think it’s affected how I dress a whole lot. Actually that’s not completely true; I’ve been pregnant or nursing for—quick, let me grab a calculator and an accountant--9 of my 15 married years. Wardrobe adjustments have been necessary. I never was much of a snappy dresser (though I’m not sure what that would amount to anyway) so I guess there’s that. And yes, around the house I may wear pajamas till noon if I’ve got a lot of cleaning to do or laundry to fold but that’s beside the point, right? What is the point anyway? Time to face facts: I am a total Frump.

I’m not a big shopper. There’s just so much I don’t like and what I do like is usually on the spendy side. Add to that the dilemma that I’m built weird. Oddly proportioned. At least according to those who design clothes. I have a short torso and I’ve got nothing in the waist and hip department. In the olden days (the 70’s, 80’s, and even some of the 90’s), it made shopping for jeans such a drag. If something fit around the waist, it was way too long. The perfect length meant my circulation would be cut off if I dare button them. You may remember those awful jeans with 20-inch zippers (I’m making that number up. I just know they were l-o-n-g). They’d cut me off at my ribcage. But they were soooo cool! Everyone had to have them.

Guess jeans, James Jeans, jeans with zippers at the ankle, Lawman Jeans (Hot! Hot on your tail!), acid wash, Jordache, Calvin Klein. Even a brand (Gelato?) with an ice cream cone on the label. I remember shopping for jeans at N & N in Olympia. Nightmare. They looked good on everyone else. In retrospect they looked awful on everyone but it’s always like that. Happy Day when I finally discovered Levi 501’s. Built like a boy, I finally gave up and wore boy jeans.

Sometime around the turn of the century I discovered BoyFit jeans from The Gap. They fit a lot like 501s but had plain pockets and also came in capris and khakis. Yay me, right? They were the best! I had two pairs but eventually wore them out. I tried to replace them but sadly, they were discontinued. I spent the next few years buying them on eBay until I had at least 15 pairs. I may not have had my year supply of wheat and legumes, but by golly I had the jeans.

I haven’t worn them in awhile; they were put away with the fourth pregnancy. I discovered them yesterday and tried on a pair. Ugh. They look like Mom Jeans.
P.S. I mentioned rating the blog the other day but I think it was confusing. This is where you rate it:
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