My fashion sense, or lack thereof, was developed when I was very young. There is a picture of me walking across the street when I was about four years old. I’m wearing white Sunday shoes, thick, wool burgundy tights, and topped off with a Rainbow Brite swimming suit. What else was I supposed to wear on a beautiful wintry afternoon?
Well, the years went by and though I grew, my fashion sense stayed right at that four-year-old level. I was in seventh grade and having a really hard time. My skin was terrible, my best friend decided to go to the Philippines for a month to visit family and I was all alone. The year had just started and I was wearing one of my sister’s old outfits from the year before that she had grown out of. I LOVED it! The shirt and elastic-waist shorts were made of the same white-swirled-with-turquoise cotton and the shirt had a glittery, puffy paint design on the front side. I had white and turquoise socks and felt so, I don’t know, coordinated. Like, totally coordinated. Some old friends from sixth grade passed by me and said, “Um, didn’t you wear that last year?”
No, I didn’t. But thank you for asking.
A few days passed and I still had the same skin and my friend was still gone. I was so lonely and self-conscious that my sweet mom would come and pick me up at lunch to eat with me in the parking lot and then I would go back to school. (Thanks, Mom!) I walked as bravely as I could back to class and was waiting for the teacher to let us in when one of my newish friendsish looked at me and said, “You are SO brave.”
I felt lighter than I had in weeks. I was so grateful that someone could see that even though things were hard for me, I was still coming to school and doing my best. I held my head a little higher and smiled. But then she kept talking.
“Yeah. So brave. I could NEVER wear pink pants to school.”
Junior High sucks.
But, don’t worry. This is not a sad post filled with sad, pathetic stories. Ok, one last story. I was a Junior and I sat next to a male model in math class. No joke. A male model. It was a Friday and I was wearing a sweater that I had worn on Tuesday. It was clean and there was no law against it that I knew of, so I wore it.
Mike the male model looked over at me with an almost pained expression. I didn’t know if he had eaten something bad at lunch or if his dog had just died or something. He said, “You know, I try really hard not to wear the same outfit in a two-week period.” He finished it off with a pleading duck face, before duck faces were even cool.
What he was trying to tell me in the gentlest, if not melodramatic/Zoolanderish way possible was that I was committing a fashion no-no. It hurt him. There were tears in his eyes. He probably said an extra prayer for me that night.
He had a point though, folks. It was bad. Reeaaalll bad. I just could never be on the front lines of fashion, no matter how hard I tried. And it would make people feel extra sorry for me if they knew how hard I was actually trying! If I had started wearing an outfit every two weeks (if I ever had that many outfits in the first place) I can guarantee that it would start becoming cool to wear the same outfit five days in a row. (Which would work out great for me these days, let me tell you.)
When people started wearing overalls, it took me a while, but I finally gathered up my babysitting money and bought some. By the time I got them, people were only buckling one side. By the time I was able to embrace the one buckle look, everyone started wearing theirs backwards. I never could embrace that, so I was a dorky, one-buckled overall-wearer, while all the backward-overall-wearers pretended they didn’t know me. Then there was the backpack thing. If you wore them on two shoulders, you were a total nerd. But by the time I started wearing mine on one shoulder, everyone was back to two.
Now, this leads me to the skinny jean movement. This may make some people mad at me, but just remember that I have NO fashion sense, so you really shouldn’t be offended. This movement has been going on for a few years now, that I have noticed. Ok, maybe like 10. I have rebelled against skinny jeans because I hate to say it, but a very slim percentage of the population looks good in them. And boys are NEVER included in that percentage. NEVER. But as people have embraced the look and more and more people wear them, “good” becomes more and more relative. Stubbornly, I have stuck with my early 2000’s boot-cuts for years, until they became almost impossible to find.
After years of fighting and being completely frustrated that I could only find the jeans I liked in the grandma section at Walmart, I broke down and bought some skinny jeans. They looked just as hideous on me as I imagined. The beauty of it was that they looked like that on almost everybody, so no one knew! I preferred to wear them rolled up on the bottom because the tapering down to my ankles only amplified what they looked like…higher up. There’s just no balance!
But, here we are. Skinny jeans have given way to leggings, and we all know the controversy swirling around that. Are leggings pants? Are they not pants? Obviously, I have absolutely no credibility on such matters. I will only say that as long as your bum is covered and I don’t have to walk behind you at the store and be forced to watch each side alternate with each step, I really don’t care.
So, I bought my skinny jeans and even some denim leggings and dang it, they’re the most comfortable things in the world. I’m wearing them now, actually. But, I am also wearing a shirt that hangs half-way down my thighs. Bum=covered.
Alas, I knew what would happen as soon as I bought my skinny jeans and leggings, and I will admit I bought them knowing this would happen, hoping I could make it happen. I opened up my Old Navy mailer and saw that they were selling culottes. That’s right. Culottes. They even called them culottes. Much like the ones my mom used to sew me when I was 7. Hallelujah!
So, for all of you you have been struggling to embrace the skinny jean movement and have been wondering when it would be acceptable to wear boot cuts, or even culottes, the wait is over. All it took was for me to buy whatever was in style to have it go out of style. But, we all know what’s going to happen as soon as I start wearing what is in style. So, enjoy your culottes while you can, ladies…or men…or whoever else wears girl clothes, because I am embracing this one.
Now, I’m not kidding myself. I know that skinny jeans and leggings will most likely be here to stay, but I can’t help jumping for joy that we stubby legged women can stop pretending we look good in the only pants that we can find–at least not in the grandma section at Walmart.