Wednesday, January 8, 2014
I've considered myself somewhat of a fashion diva...on a low budget. I also have the illusion when I look in a mirror that I'm still a size 4. Those who know me just peed themself. Bitches. I really was a size 4 when I married Forever Guy. Then I gave birth to twins, turned 50, hit menopause, and became a writer. I can't even push my arm through the leg of a size 4 pant now. But "magic mirror" lets me live the fantasy.
The fashion crave [or disaster] of 2013 has been leggings, or as my generation calls them "tights." Long tubes of opaque nylon material in various colors you wear under skirts and dresses (or ski pants - made great thermals back in the day) - not with a belly shirt.
The first "legging" sighting I experienced was at the mall in the early fall. A lady, older than moi, walked by sporting gray and black striped "tights" with a short, waist-rimming leather jacket and black ankle boots. I picked my jaw off the floor and thought about running after her to tell her she needed to cover up. Everything was visible from her panty line to the mole on her left derriere cheek, yet she strutted like a proud peacock. And no one reacted.
Here I'm thinking the poor old doll has wandered away from a nearby lockdown facility, her mind half gone along with her wardrobe. She waltzed into Dillards, the swankiest department store in my little town, conversing with the sales clerk at the jewelry counter and heading straightway to the expensive makeup counter. It was beneath the Lancome sign that I was introduced to the latest fashion statement. Three sales girls gushed over how chic "Dolly" looked and questioned where she found such darling "leggings." Leggings? As in acceptable leg coverings? Alone and not under something?
In unison, the three near-starved-to-death-dressed-to-kill clerks let their false, spidery lashes brush down their noses when they took in what I wore, glaring as if I was radioactive. Dress pants. What was I thinking?! I almost stripped down to my panty hose to feel more stylish (they were "tan") until I remembered they were reinforced with steel girders from the knee up. More like a vision of industrial strength bermuda shorts instead of a uniform thickness from top to bottom, fitting a "legging" appearance.
Now had my nylons been "sheer-to-the-waist" and I wore some silky "Secret" beneath instead of practical 100% cotton covered in tiny daisies and washed like a thousand times," I might have passed the judgment trio and maybe even given Dolly some stiff competition. Granted, I would have had to dump the prison-issued loafers and strapped some Jessica Simpson death traps on my swollen feet, not to mention "lift" a leather blazer and try to move gracefully with a two-ton metal detector ring dangling from the wrist, but there's a chance [like snow in Hell] that I could have pulled it off.
[No matter how much alcohol you pour in your eyes, you will never be able to erase the mental picture I've just seared into your brain.]
All the way home, and clear through the month of October until bravery allowed me to buy a pair, I swore I'd never be caught dead in public wearing something so vulgar. Then I tried a pair on.
Comfort - soft butter and angora type comfort. Black and white with a stark pattern to disguise the "lumps." They caressed my legs as I pulled [okay tugged] them upward, flipping the lycra over my backside like a large, tight elastic band, and settling them in an area on my torso where my waist used to exist. I turned this way and that in front of Magic Mirror, listening to the phantom"oohs and awes" whispering in my head. I didn't look half bad! [Or half good, but I didn't give a damn].
I slipped a black tunic that barely covered my cushiony backside curves, then topped it off with a long sweater that nearly hit mid thigh. I added bulky leg warmers over my boots, leaving only about six inches of my lycra-wrapped leg exposed. To distract from any exposed jiggling that might occur, I wrapped my neck in a sparkly scarf and sponged my lips ruby red. All "look here - not there" tactics. I'd transformed into a fashion diva -- a larger than lifesize version, but one nonetheless!
What surprised me more than the fact the leggings actually fit, was the new found sense of confidence I sported. I dared to break the rules and have some fun. And just like Dolly, I strutted the mall, the grocery store, restaurants, and even dared to wear them to work on casual Friday. I also bought a second pair and put them in my Christmas stocking.
Do I hope it's a fashion fad that will disappear in 2014? Oh hell yes. While they may be the latest and greatest, they look ridiculous on anyone older than six, regardless of body shape. But right now, I like looking fabulous at ridiculous. And I'll keep them until they're thread bare. The beggars really are comfortable and warm. After the craze wears off, they'll make great jammies!
How about you? What's the craziest fashion fad you've dared to wear?