Tuesday, April 1, 2008

So You Think You Can Dress?

As you all know and are probably tired of hearing, I went to England. This blog will extole not the food or the history or the weather or the public transportation. No, it goes much deeper than those silly superficial things.

This blog is dedicated to the laissez-faire style that greeted mine eyes on every London Underground stop, every tea shop and street corner.

This blog is about fashion.

I usually feel kind of thrown together. Not necessarily ugly or out of style, though those days do occur. But I can’t honestly say that I spend much time getting ready in the morning. I’m more concerned with getting ten more minutes of cuddle time with my pillow or trying to find any pair of socks besides that ghastly jingle-bell red pair for Moira to wear with her petal pink skirt.

By the time I make it to my destination I have usually woken up enough to look incredulously at my outfit and wonder why I chose those shoes and that shirt. Still, it doesn’t bother me enough to actually become proactive about the conundrum. I would still rather have quality time with my pillow or spend clothing-crisis minutes on my kids, because we all know that kids get made fun of more than parents for their fashion choices.

Usually, so as to avoid fashion faux pas, I wear some jazzed up version of ’jeans and a t-shirt’. Please do not picture me in high-waisted stone-washed Jordache jeans and an oversized bleach-stained T that proclaims ’I’m with Stupid!’.

I like nicely fitted jeans and nicely fitted tops in exciting colors like khaki, taupe, earth, etc. I’m not exactly fashion forward, so I try to stick to the basics that are almost idiot-proof. Enter the Little Black Dress in every shape, size and form. Now you have an idea what my closet looks like.

So I’m strolling the lovely gloomy little streets of London and I’m just staring, staring, staring. People look WEIRD. And I like it.

Not weird like the stupid goth group at high school where the boys wore nail polish and the girls wore black lipstick and white face powder.

Oh no. Weird in the eclectic, warm, fun, free-spirited way that makes you think:
"Hmm. She is wearing brown and purple stripey tights, a short denim miniskirt, a yellow hoodie and raspberry patent leather peep-toe ballet flats. She is SO COOL! I wonder if Target has yellow hoodies right now?"

The "London Look" just didn’t really exist. Perhaps there would be more uniformity if I visited the posh parts of the city. But in the regular joe places, it was all about YOU! What do YOU like? What looks good on YOU?

I found it refreshing and liberating and fun. All of a sudden, fingerless gloves and colorful shoes and four scarves and messy hair seemed to fit my personality. Strange....but true.

So I’ve tried to bring back this ’aha!’ to the states. Not to start a yellow hoodie revolution, but to remind myself that I’m NOT in high school anymore (Thank God in HEAVEN ABOVE!!!!) and who cares what I wear? The answer is: me.

I like the cheeky British attitude. You can almost hear them saying, "Who the bloody hell are you to tell me what to wear? I love the combo of pink skirts and red socks. It looks capital. I feel hapy all the way down to my knickers!"

I know that we tend to dress for other people (don’t lie, we all do it) and their reactions. I wouldn’t care as much about having just the right thing if nobody was going to see me but myself. Hullo?

I’m not planning on coming to work naked or bedraggled. Don’t worry. But I have enjoyed the renewed confidence in putting something on that makes me feel good/sassy/classy/fun/sexy/young/etc. and then just forgetting about it! It makes my day much nicer to just be happy with what I look like and proud that I’m different.

I might not ’get’ the thing about pink skirts and red socks, but that’s ok. I’m rockin the flip-flop revolution. Because that’s more me. And that is ok.

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