In honor of fall and a new clothing season, I am pausing the Always Orange at Home series this week to re-blog a piece I wrote four years ago. Little did I know that I would be living on Long Island someday! Enjoy.
This afternoon I undertook one of my favorite bi-annual activities—switching out my summer clothes for my fall and winter clothes. I love the changing of the seasons, and I especially love this activity in Central Texas since it signals for me the end of the really hot weather. This doesn’t mean I still won’t wear my shorts and tee shirts, but it does mean that cooler weather is on the horizon.
This led me to think about some of the fashion disasters that unfortunately are a part of my history. For instance, the teased, permed hair that comprised the late 1980s and early 1990s for me. Then there was the phase in my early twenties where I dressed ten years older, thinking I looked “professional.” The cringing continues when I look at pictures and notice that the waistline of my pants extended well past my belly button, nary a low rise waistband to be seen. Not a flattering look!
I wish I could report that I don’t make fashion mistakes these days thanks to Stacy and Clinton of What not to Wear, and because of my eleven year old daughter who gives the look which says, “Mom, are really going to wear that?” Alas, it still happens. I recently saw a picture of myself from a year ago wearing a blazer that did absolutely nothing for my shape. I looked frumpy and well past my true age. Ugh!
Fortunately, I feel like the worst of my fashion disasters are behind me. The beauty of turning forty and being a “real adult” is that I know what colors, styles, and fits look best on me. I have my favorite stores and brands that I can consistently count on to work for me. I am not a slave to the latest trends, although, I certainly like to be aware of them and enjoy indulging in some of them. I am not ashamed to say that I like following fashion, and enjoy sitting in the waiting room at the dentist’s office where I can peruse the latest issue of In Style magazine and see what the celebrities are wearing.
There have been times when I have felt guilty admitting I like fashion. I found myself wanting to give qualifiers to explain why I liked clothes and looking put-together. I am realizing, though, that I don’t need to apologize for this interest.
In the movie, The Devil Wears Prada, there is a poignant moment when Meryl Streep’s character is challenging Anne Hathaway’s character’s notion about fashion. Hathaway’s character scoffs at the idea that fashion is somehow worth all this time, effort, and money. Streep’s character responds with something like, “You think you just walked into your closet and picked this sweater to wear. Well, this sweater came from a designer who liked this color and style, and then a store picked up the idea and decided to make more of these sweaters…” She basically describes the process by which a product comes to land in my dresser, and says, “you can’t avoid the fashion industry.”
My appreciation for fashion resonates with the part of me that loves beauty and beautiful things. I was made in the image of God who is the master creator and lover of beauty. From the colors I see every day in creation to the varied landscapes around the world, all of creation speaks of beauty, care, and attention. Can this appreciation of fashion go too far? Yes, just like any other good thing in life. But, these days I am keeping my eyes open at the checkout line eyeing the fall trends and wondering which ones will work in my wardrobe this season.