Sunday, January 15, 2012

Style Confessional, or Why I Will Never Work in Fashion, + A Mystery For the Ages

Upon reading the latest Fashion Confessional at Already Pretty, I was moved to come clean with a few confessions of my own.

1) Maybe this isn't strictly style-related, but I don't know how to apply make-up. At all. I even mess up lipstick, which even small children can do on at least their second try. I've long since given up trying, so I wear nothing on my face but sunblock. 

Dress from Modcloth
2) I've totally bought so-so clothes because they had pretty prints. The funny thing is, my favorite clothes tend to be simple, well-made solids, but something in me is a sucker for a pretty print. Last year, I fell in love with a watercolor floral print at H&M, but the T-shirt dress that featured it made me look like a pregnant linebacker. I couldn't bear to leave the print behind, so I bought a skirt in the print, even though I needed another summer skirt like a hole in the head, and the gathered waist on this particular one does nothing for my hips. At least that mistake helped me break this habit.

The appeal of these? Wasted on me.
3) I am possibly the only woman in the western hemisphere that doesn't like the look of pointy-toed shoes.

4) When I was young, I got in the habit of buying shoes a little too big, so I could grow into them. This is seriously embarrassing, but I wore my shoes too big up until...oh geez...last year. I swear, I didn't delude myself into thinking I was still growing! It was more that I got used to shoes fitting loosely and thought anything that fit snugly was too small, because "there's no wiggle room!". Shoes would be slipping off my feet as I walked, and I just trotted along and thought THIS WAS NORMAL. I'm not this dumb in all respects. Promise.

5) On that note, I wore a lot of my clothes too big for years, too. I just donated two of my suits to Goodwill because I was drowning in them. Jacket sleeves went to my knuckles, the shoulder seams fell halfway to my elbows, there was room for two of me in the waists, my legs swam in the pants. I figured, hey, it's the smallest one on the rack, so it must be ok, right? I hope to find one well-fitting suit this year.

6) I don't own an iron. I just hang everything up, and let the weight of gravity do its thing. In one desperate moment, I used my hardcover copy of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell ($1 at Book-Off! BEST DEAL ON A BOOK EVER, especially if you calculate by the word). I will say that I wouldn't mind owning one, after I saw what the steam function on one did for my sadly wrinkled silk dress in a hotel room the night before a wedding.

7) I don't own a hair dryer either. Every night, I just let my  hair air-dry, telling myself it's healthier that way, anyway (though I do feel a twinge or two of guilt that the man sometimes has to share a bed with someone whose hair is still dripping). But my hair is very non-complaining. For trips, I pack just a wide-tooth comb to save luggage space, and that's all it needs.

8) I have an unreasonable prejudice against shoulder pads in my clothing. I'll poke at the innocent, well-meaning, non-80's ones that come in my blazers and wish I had the nerve to cut them out, even though everyone tells me that will ruin the shapes.

9) Sometimes, I see beautiful clothing on women on the street and covet it to the point of googling things like "pink chiffon dress gold buckle black belt" to try to track it down. I have actually succeeded on two or three occasions, though I feel like a creepy stalker if I actually buy it. Maybe the geek in me just likes practicing Google skillz.

10) I have only two pairs of jeans. One is an old pair I got from Express, and they fit perfectly and are perfect in every way and I may cry hot salty tears if anything ever happens to them. The other is a pair that I got from the clearance rack at Loft because I was growing increasingly terrified that my Perfect Pair would wear out, and then I would have no jeans. And this is where things get mysterious, or at least as mysterious as any story revolving around jeans can be.

I don't even know how to explain this. I can only say, that I could have sworn that the petite curvy-fit boot-cuts looked fine in the fitting-room. Perhaps I was temporarily insane? Or the mirror was rigged? Or they magically stretched out on the way home? Or the cashier accidentally swapped them out for another pair? Because a week later, I proudly tried them on again, and my friend took one look and was all, "Umm, what's with the mom jeans that are five sizes too big for you?"

I had no explanation. None. Even I could see, then, that the waist was six inches too big, and they were too loose and baggy even at the hips. To this day, I have no idea WHAT I saw in the fitting-room mirror. It is a mystery for the ages. People could speculate over this Mysterious Story of the Loft Jeans the way they wonder over the Loch Ness monster or who killed Lady Amy Dudley.

Anticlimactic ending: I have to wash and dry them on high heat (after each wearing, because they stretch out) to make them even passable, and then wear loose, long tops over them.

I save the Express jeans for special occasions, because they are just that precious.

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