Monday, September 15, 2008

I Need A Style Bailout

I’ll spare you a post about the impending collapse of the American financial system (how does Four More Years sound to you now?), and instead talk about my ongoing efforts to stop being a fashion victim. Maybe I’m just trying to comfort myself as I watch my retirement savings be vaporized; who knows? But in any case, my ongoing appearance upgrade after 18 months of wearing sweats and being sick (albeit taking into account the new financial realities) has been revitalized. Why the sudden effort? Because this morning Bambina told me, as I dressed to take her to preschool and then go walk around the indoor track, “Mama, don’t wear that! You look like Sandra T.” * [name changed]

You don’t know Sandra T, Bambina’s unpleasant summer preschool teacher. But just know this: if someone tells you that you are dressing like her, you need to open your closet and throw in a match. Now. It was so bad that she asked, while in kiddie laughter hysterics, if she could have the pants and shirt to play Sandra T dress-up. Now, ordinarily I don’t allow my preschooler to offer her opinions on what I wear, but Bambina has steered me right in the past on matters sartorial. One evening, I was wearing the BBDD’s famous flannel shirt (now ripped and sad-looking) from college to bed and she said, “Mama, please don’t wear that; it not a good style for you.” I was momentarily caught off-guard and realized that I looked ridiculous, like a Kurt Cobain reject at the age of 36. She also insisted that I wear the qipao yesterday to dim sum. I felt a little weird at first being all gussied up, but she LOVED it, loved the attention we got from the Chinese ladies, and loved telling people that she picked it for me. In the end, I realized that we looked damn good together. So I think my 4 year-old knows from fashion. And on second look, the Sandra T look was indeed rather unfortunate, if functional. So I cut her some slack on the unsolicited Tim Gunn action for one day.

So, with our Dana Farber marathon walk coming up next week, we’re now off to buy me a sports bra, a non-Sandra workout shirt and pants, and some decent sneakers so I don’t channel her mean and dumpy teacher for five miles. She has also inspired me to re-read my Tim Gunn book about clothes not being designed for the purpose of humiliating you every time you look at them. So I’m pulling out all the things that don’t fit me anymore (the transplant and the prednisone have “shifted” my weight floorward, alas) and giving them to the good people at the Vietnam Veterans of America. It’s time to purge the closet of anything stem cell-related (except for my famous turquoise hoodie; that is staying with me forever because it reminds me of coming home to Bambina after not seeing her for 3 weeks), of anything pre-2005, of anything that “might fit” someday when I’m off the meds. Screw that. When I’m off the meds (whenever the hell that might be), I’ll buy some new clothes then. In the meantime those clothes just serve to taunt rather than inspire me. So out they go. And with them, I hope, any shadow of Sandra T!


Anonymous said...

Girl, I'm so with ya! Check out the trench coats at Bebe. Tim Gunn made me buy one last month! Missing you and your sweat pants!! JSW

Utah Savage said...

I just went through exactly this dilemma. Mine is also health related and the weight gain, is also drug caused. Well that and the inactivity. My solution was to rid my closet of anything that doesn't fit me. And then I took a hundred dollar bill to my favorite thrift shop where two our later I had three very nice, gently if ever worn, skirts, three pairs of gorgeous slacks, some warm weather, walk the dog or slouch about cloths, a new cashmere sweater from Neiman Marcus with the original tags on ($130) for six bucks. Also got a nice dress up outer wear jacket and three v neck tops in lovely colors. And I came home with $25. One of my best days in ages.