Back in the Dark Ages of my distant childhood, I always paid close attention to music lyrics. Still do. Nothing exposes cultural trends and norms like a period's music. I seem to remember a lot of songs from the 1960s (I was precocious child, of course : ) proclaiming the virtues of a woman looking good for her man. Think Streisand, Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Mel Torme, Julie London, etc. Classics, all.
For most of my life, I thought it was pretty much my marital duty not to hang about or even work in sweats, etc. (Post-babies doesn't count!) I didn't even let P see me in a shower cap until about five years ago, and I rarely spent the day in jammies, even when I was sick. I found out through therapy that this wasn't necessarily a good thing--It's actually kind of considered a dreaded issue. P can attest that I eventually became much more relaxed about such things. But it was tough to find a balance between obsession, vanity and common sense.
One of my homemaking heroes, Flylady, is adamant about the need to get up and moving and dressed "to the shoes" everyday. She doesn't encourage a girl to get all dolled up, but just to put on something attractive and comfortable and to fix one's makeup and hair. That way, a woman is ready for anything life might throw at her. It makes a huge amount of sense for me, given that I'm likely to have to face any number of delivery people if I'm home all day. And I don't want to be too schlubby when I pick up Bengal at school, have lunch with P or a friend, or shop at the mothership.
I must say that one of the things I've enjoyed about this project is learning that it's fun to accessorize on a daily basis and be able to look in the mirror at random times to see that I have my game face on. For whatever reason, I associate being "dressed to the shoes" with being a grown up. I can't ever remember seeing my mother in pajamas after 8:30 in the morning. Now, I see so many women (and not just on reality television) who seem to be at odds with their age, dressing in clothes from the juniors department, or showing waaaaay too much sagging skin. A part of me wants to applaud their bravado. Another part of me wants to take them aside and have a heart-to-heart about dignity.
It is a question of balance, I think. Being a dignified member of a community as well as being an individual who's secure enough in her persona to say, "really, it's a wear-a-yellow-tube-top kind of day, and I don't care who knows it!"
Day 131. Not such a great picture day. Spent the whole day writing in cozy writing clothes. (Ironic, huh?) And no makeup.
This is now one of my favorite pictures because my own Bengal took it. (My mother once said that ten year-old boys are among the sweetest things on earth. She's absolutely right.) We're in the parking lot of Sam's Club, after church. Bless his heart, he lets me drag him everywhere and he's even gotten quite vocal about what he thinks looks good, and what he doesn't care for.
The black Norma Kamali sweater is baggy for a size medium. It looks adorable with leggings on the website model, but no one wants to see me in a mini-length sweater and leggings. Not even my DH, and he loves me a lot. Pants are also Norma K. I bought both a size ten and a size eight in the career pants. It's been such a puffy winter that I've been wearing the tens most frequently. But these pants have a stretch to them, and after I've been wearing them without a belt for a few hours they sag most unpleasantly.
Then there's the fading. These two pieces haven't faded horribly, but they aren't perfect, either. I felt okay while wearing this ensemble indoors. Sunlight wasn't kind to it, though. Everything just felt too baggy and bleh.
Norma Kamali v-neck sweater: $20; Norma Kamali Career Pants: $15; George shirt: $12; Earth Spirit shoes: $30; Necklace: $7; Earrings: $7; Allison Scott handbag: $99 (Sam's Club) Total: $190
Oh, I do like this sweater. Norma Kamali does the batwing/kimono thing so well, but it's nice to see other folks get in on the style. I confess that the first thing that drew me was that it's made of 100% cotton. Hallelujah! Plus it's thick, not flimsy. Bought it in black, too. (Hm. Is there anything I haven't bought at least 2 of in the past few months?)
Funny thing about the Nine West jeans...One can't try on clothes at Sam's Club, so one just has to guess about sizing. I was so uncomfortable all day in these jeans and couldn't figure out why. When I took them off, I realized I was wearing the sixes instead of the eights. Whew.
Grace Elements sweater: $20 (Sam's); Chaus turtleneck: $8 (Sam's); Nine West Jeans: $17 (Sam's); Earth Spirit shoes: $30; White Stag necklace: $7; Earrings: $35 Total $117
Hope you have a fabulous week!
P.S. See all those boxes on the floor by my feet? They're filled with tons of new books released in the past year. I'm desperate to give many of them away. So, with every five new followers, I'm going to have a drawing to give five away! Did I mention I have many, many fabulous mystery/thrillers just waiting to be mailed? Oh, and just because Carrie thinks chocolate is an excellent idea, I'll randomly give some of that away, too.