I will never be mistaken for a fashionista, and most of the year this doesn't bother me at all. My middle-aged suburban Mom uniform rarely varies - the daily fashion questions I ask myself are which color sweater to wear: black, off-black or charcoal? And which pair of jeans: my oh-my-God-I've-lost-a-few-pounds jeans, my I'll-just-buy-these-until-I-lose-a-few-pounds jeans, or my I-don't-want-to-talk-about-it jeans (otherwise known as my it's-just-the-baby-weight jeans ... I'll milk that one until my youngest gets his learner's permit, thank you very much). Sometimes I'll get all crazy and crack out the eggplant sweater.
I rather enjoy the simplicity of my wardrobe. After spending years in Corporate America pouring myself into nylon stockings and high heels, now I prefer to wallow in the most comfortable clothing I can get away with wearing in public. The other day I was waiting in line at the post office and realized I was wearing my slippers. I wasn't embarrassed in the slightest; I'd rather be thought of as the town kook than have to wear uncomfortable shoes.
I can shuffle along like this for weeks, but on occasion I have to look more presentable. Thankfully, I don't run with a set of friends who like to get dressed in spangly outfits and go clubbing. When I'm invited to the odd dinner party, I exchange the jeans for a pair of black slacks, and the black sweater for one with a hint of color, and I'm good to go. I have made a sacred vow with myself that if I can live out my years without ever putting on a pair of nylon stockings again I will be a happy woman indeed.
There was one terrifying moment a couple of months ago when I realized I was going on national television. "Wear something with color!" the producer chirped into the phone the day before we were to leave to tape the show, sending me into a complete panic. She may as well have asked me speak swahili or play the mandolin. I don't DO color. But I did wear a lavender shirt with my black pantsuit. It even had a collar.
Every year, though, I decide this is going to be the year I bust out of my fashion rut and go a little crazy for the holidays. My closet stands in silent testimony to my folly - outfits purchased in a fit of mad determination. There was the year of the Shiniest Shirt on Earth , followed by the year of what I can only describe as Balloon Pants. The Christmas after Finn was born I was only one month post-partum and the jacket I purchased defies explanation entirely, but it can probably be seen from space. There is one little strappy dress better worn prowling the streets looking for a John. It is as if I'm trying to make up for my lack of flair the other eleven months of the year by wearing every color known to man during the holidays.
This year I'm going the safe route, something elegant and understated. I found the perfect thing:
It will look terrific with my Balloon Pants and Shiny Shirt.
Look out, Holidays, here I come.