It Is No Secret That People Feel Certain Ways About Different Items Of Clothing.
Strut your stuff
I remember when I first made the connection between what I wore and how I felt. It was middle school, seventh grade. Boys had taken on a more intriguing quality, and although I was not "advanced" in the maturity stakes, I did understand the need to appear beguiling in order to turn a head. Looking back at pictures detailing some of my fashion choices, I think I turned more heads in a "What-the-hell-is-she-wearing" way, than a "Whoa-babe-alert" way. But I also look at those pictures and remember feeling especially chic on days when I wore certain things.
Back to school always held the promise of feeling that way. The clothes I had chosen earlier in the summer had been freed from their layaway status at Kmart and were ready to be applied to my body and psyche. I clearly remember donning my first Izod shirt -- it was pink with a green alligator -- pairing it with brand new Gloria Vanderbilt jeans and slipping into my Nike tennis shoes with the burgundy swoosh. Strapping on a matching Swatch watch, I practically floated into the school, so assured in my coolness and confident behind my designer labels.
Many years hence, and now a stay-at-home mom of three, I don't actually remember the last time I donned an outfit guaranteed to increase my strut through WalMart. Not that I don't have clothes in my closet that make me feel like a million bucks, I do. It's just that the opportunity to play dress up comes along about as often as Halloween. And that sequined backless number just isn't quite right for the PTA.
So I get up each day and wear something respectable, practical, stainable. I worship not at the altar of Versace, but at the clearance racks of Jacque Penney'. And I live vicariously through my eldest daughter.
Yes, that's right. Culley has finally found her fashion gene. After 11 years of beseeching this gorgeous creature to give a damn about what she wears, she too has hit middle school, and in turn has been hit with the knowledge that a great outfit can make a great day.
Living in Texas, which is second only to Hell in summer's length, all the new back to school clothes have been languishing in their closets and my daughters have all been staring longingly at them as they greet each day with shorts and tank tops. Those great long pants and new sweaters just don't cut it when it is 110 degrees in the shade.
But the fashion gods have interceded on their behalf, bringing the temperatures down into the 80s (that is cold for Texas) for a few days. Watching my oldest strut to the breakfast table in her favorite new fall outfit, complete with boots and beaded triangle tie at the waist of her pants, I saw the "look" that signaled a confidence and air that her jeans shorts and T-shirts could never convey.
Dropping her off, I watched her walk in to the school. She looked taller, her shoulders were squared and she did strut. She is going to feel great all day long and probably won't change out of those clothes till bedtime.
That's okay, because as I saw her disappear behind the doors, I too was immediately back in middle school, wearing my Bicentennial choker, Holly Hobby scarf on my head, a new yellow top with butterfly sleeves and strutting in my purple cords.
I hear you saying "What-the-hell-is-she-wearing." Shut up.