Oh my I’ve never claimed to be fashion forward. In fact, sometimes I admit that I’ve been rather fashion backward. I wore rolled bangs too long and never fully embraced chevron. There was an unfortunate year of my life in which I proudly sported a short hair cut slicked over and then back every day. Granted I was in the 6th grade, but still. I was rocking the “Saturday Night Fever” look while tight rolling my jeans. It wasn’t pretty and thankfully, there is no evidence…that will ever be posted. Once my friend Krista and I went for a girls’ trip to NYC. While there we walked down a sidewalk that was being used for the show “What Not to Wear.” were filming the “man on the street” clips of fashion misfits. Krista always looks adorable but I’m certain my body was included in their footage. I don’t recall exactly what I wore that day but it was probably a sailor dress with moccasins and giant purple star earrings. (all things that have actually been in my closet within the last 15 years!?)
As I’ve gotten older, and (*ahem) larger, I’ve found dressing stylishly even more challenging. Clothes that look perfectly natural on a size 8, look crazy on my body. My chest (Oh, Lord! This is my second official entry and I’m already talking about boobs!?)turns seemingly appropriate shirts into cleavage country. “I lead with my heart, well actually, I lead with my chest but my heart follows soon after.” (paraphrased from an early Mike and Molly episode – also example #1 of my rebellious lack of regard for proper citations. Woo Hoo, WILD WOMAN!)
There have been times in our relationship that Trey has sweetly suggested I not dress like a nun. I don’t wear a habit!? What’s wrong with a sweater, turtleneck, and jeans that are too large? On a sassy day, Big Boy, you can imagine me wearing a dicky underneath that sweater! (*note, I do not call Trey “Big Boy.” That was my version of creative license.)
I’ve established a new focus on self-care for 2015. This has included trying to dress slightly more stylishly. (*trying – those that see me on a daily basis, please note this is a process…I request you save the tongue clicking and eye rolling for after I’ve passed.) Let’s talk about leggings. They are everywhere! I’ve resisted for a long time. My legs are shapely but perhaps not the shape that needs to be displayed in tight horizontal stripes. (*another note, why are leggings with reindeer and snowflakes perfectly adorable but sweaters with the same pattern only perfect for ugly sweater parties?) I recently bought a couple tunic/dresses that I decided to pair with leggings. No stripes on my thighs, just a solid color underneath a dress. Basically, tights. I can wear leggings and tell myself I’m “in” but I’m still reside within a comfort zone. Perfect! I bought fleece-lined leggings, because this is what “the cool kids do.” They sat folded on my dresser for a couple of weeks because I didn’t know where to store them. Are they pants to be hung on a hanger with my other pants, or tights that should be folded (or shoved) into my sock drawer? I tried them on with several tops and didn’t feel like anything look too horrific. Granted, I didn’t think tying my t-shirt at my hip looked horrific either. I simply didn’t have the nerve to wear them out just yet so I implemented a stall tactic and threw them into the hamper. We typically do laundry on the weekends so this was a great way to give me extra time to muster up the courage to try something new. Is this not evidence of how hopeless I am in this arena? I have to muster up courage to wear clothing that “everyone else” has been wearing for several years…probably so long that it isn’t even in style anymore. Oh Goodness…what have I done!?
Several days later, as we were folding laundry Trey exclaimed in a frustrated voice “I hate doing your laundry. I never know where to put things! What are these, panty hose or pants? I yelled back , equally frustrated, “I don’t know Trey! I just don’t know!” I then snatched the leggings of despair from his clutches and ran away to our room. Seriously, this is real. Real life problems, yo.
Yesterday, I work up resolved , determined, motivated to be the new me. I put on my mustard tunic/dress and tied my scarf tight. I grabbed those fleece lined leggings and put them on. I looked in the mirror and felt acceptable and appropriate. On the way into Jack’s daycare something happened. I felt slippage. No, no…please no. By the time I made it from the car to the daycare entrance, my leggings were half way down to inappropriate. Surely, surely this was due to my carrying my super adorable giant baby. I readjusted and continued on my way. On the way into my work building, I felt slippage. No, no…please no. Surely, surely this was due to me carrying supplies for an art therapy project, my coat, and my purse. I squeezed my thighs together so the leggings wouldn’t fall any further and waddled on into my office, readjusted, and gave myself a pep talk. “Lauren, don’t be stupid! People wear leggings every day! You can do this!” With every client I walked from the lobby to my office, the leggings would begin at my belly buttons and slip on down to my midbutt. (*midbutt is an anatomical word. trust me, I’m a professional…in another field) After some self-reflection, and a little googling, I determined that the problem was not my body and not the leggings but my underwear. Darn! I’d worn silky material. Of course! The fleece was no match for satin-type material! I counted down the minutes until lunch and ran (waddled, with my thighs tightly holding the damn pants…no, leggings are not pants…leggings in place) to my car. I sped home and before I knew it realized I was digging through my underwear drawer searching for my “roughest” pair of underwear. I actually googled “flannel panties.” For real!? This, my friends, is when I had to stop the madness. I was literally (*cue groans from “literally” haters) a thumb swipe away from googling “suspenders for leggings.” Folks, I’ll keep my next steps personal. C’mon, I’ve already talked about my chest, underwear, and waddling…is nothing sacred!? BUT, this is the takeaway, if you find yourself contemplating wool underwear in order to be in fashion, you just don’t have what it takes. I’m going to accept this and move on.
Oh, my goodness. As I write this last line (lunch break, no work time spent on this…) a coworker is standing in my office wearing burgundy leather pants. Burgundy.leather.pants. I would dance like Prince all day long if I had those….Here we go again.
The struggle is real.