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Life of Colleen: Wardrobe meanderings part 2

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Wardrobe meanderings part 2
posted by Colleen Shirazi on Sunday, October 5, 2008 at 12:01 AM (Pacific)


In our capitalist society, we tend to get two diametrically opposed dictates about style and fashion. One is that we are to be individuals, and know ourselves intimately, and choose only items which flatter. Sounds great, but everything we're bombarded with in our media is based purely on sales, and has little if anything to do with the individual. In fact we are pushed to conform, by the majority of what we see.

It occurred to me at one point, whilst drooling over some fashion magazine image--that outfit looks great...on the model. If you picked it apart--the actual items of clothing--and imagined yourself within them, it wouldn't work.

Further, the thought occurred the majority of fashion doesn't work anyway. Individual items and styles, colors and fabrics, can work brilliantly and inexpensively, but it's not simple, it's a synergy.

So it's like, what do you put on in the morning? You need to own enough pieces to assemble a different puzzle each day, yet the puzzles should be consistent, comprised of the finite set of components which meld with, ah, you. Your hair, your eyes, your figure, height, profession, lifestyle, budget, time allowance for shopping and clothing care, yadda yadda...

Here are some questions I've asked myself, because the object has always been to narrow...not reduce necessarily, but to be able to get up every morning and look good for that day.

Pants or skirts?

Pants are more fashionable now, or else the ubiquitous pencil skirt. I don't wear either.

Mind you I can dig either, on someone else. I work in a heavily male-dominated field, so it's like everyone wears pants. Pencil skirts are cute, but for those you need the entire look--the right kind of shoes and blouse--and that look is too formal for my job. So for me, both are out.

I went for a longer skirt, below the knee, and I have a couple longer ones too. This is a looser, flared fit. I'm enough of a sucker to have bought patterned 'em, and they're easier to find...but they're much harder to match to blouses. A good, solid-colored skirt is worth a lot more than a good patterned one imo.

So, it's pants or skirt, length of either, material of either, fit of either, and what it goes with.

If you went with the skirts--tights, stockings or bare legs?

Stockings are supposed to be totally out of fashion. Why? Who cares? Again it's about making decisions for yourself.

I've worn stockings since I was a teenager, and they've been in style since there were stockings, except in the late 1960's - early 1970's, when the "hippie" look reigned, and jeans or tights were "in." So I need not worry about stockings...I like them, history has favored them, and in a few years they'll be back in fashion anyway.

I do have my eye on these tights:

sundance smartwool tights

They're $42, not an impulse buy--but again I don't wear tights often. If I bought these, they would remain pretty pristine for a long time. What intrigues me is the "SmartWool" they're fashioned from. Like Supima cotton, it's a specialized fiber, and I'll be interested in "non itchy" wool. These are machine washable too, which makes them even more tempting, but I'm happy to wait for a sale.

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