Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – May 14, 2004
Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – May 14, 2004 – Isn’t it incredible how our fashion sense changes (or should change) as we grow older? As teenagers, all that matters is that we’re cool. In grade nine, I once went to a high school dance in a dress my mother thought was cool. That should have stopped me right there!
She made it for me as a surprise. It was a little white number with a long pink bow stuck on the front and a frill around the bottom. I smiled at her, and said it was lovely, all the while knowing I looked like a dweeb. It was not cool to be a dweeb and I suffered through that entire evening. I never wore it again. My fashion sense in high school was pretty much in sync with my peers.
I earned a lot of my own money, so I could top up the clothing budget my parents could afford for me. We weren’t allowed to wear pants to school, so kilts, dresses, jumpers and sweaters sets were fairly standard. I made a blue jumper in home economics class that I wore for a couple of years and my mother made me some dresses and skirts for me that were quite nice.
In off hours and at the beach, jeans, shorts, tees and sweat shirts were the norm. Things didn’t change much in university, although the quotient of jeans went way up. Levis and Cream jeans had a big place in my closet, along with leather jackets and things like “elephant” pants with matching vests. I had a green linen set, that almost everyone on my dorm floor who was my size, wore at some point during the year. Corduroy jeans were also a big thing in the sixties and I had them in four or five colours.
After I finished school, I had to get a bit more serious about “dressing up”. Business suits and a trench coat appeared in my closet, along with black pumps, leather purses and a brief case. Were these grown up clothes? Was I really an adult? My corporate business days were fairly predictable- I was a “suit”. The I flew the coop and became a real estate agent. Fashion freedom!
Not to say that I dress inappropriately, because I don’t, but I’m not tied to a dress code of business suits. I can’t wait for spring when I can shed my boots and shoes in favour of open toed sandals and slip on shoes. Casual dresses, Capri pants, vee-neck tops, informal blazers and slacks hang in my closet these days. Comfort is more important than fashion, although I still like to be well-turned out and appropriately dressed for the occasion.
When I think back on some of my favourite fashion picks, I’d wear then again in a heartbeat, (if I was still a size 8).
A red leather suit – jacket and pants that I loved. I felt like a powerhouse woman, no I was a powerhouse woman, whenever I wore it.
A denim jacket with leather fringe. I still have it and am just waiting for that particular fashion cycle to come full turn. (Perhaps not).
A pair of grey silk pants that were awesome. I wore them until they fell apart.
A black pencil skirt with side slits to mid-thigh and a matching top. I felt really, really sexy in that outfit. Yes, Virginia – there was a time when I was sexy – a veritable diva.
A raw silk business suit. I wore it constantly.
A v-neck silk sweater that I wore with pants. I had it for years.
Any white linen or silk man-style shirt that I’ve ever owned.
Black leather pants with cuffs and deep, slit pockets. They were expensive and awesome. I also wore them until the shape disappeared.
A navy-blue, thick wool sweater with three red diamonds on the front.
A cream London Fog trench coat that was so classic and beautiful that it made me weep. That was in my beret days. Very “French” and quite sexy!
A button front wool skirt that was great with casual blazers, especially when the cuffs were turned back. Very cool.
A slim-line black velour dress with a turned up collar. Remember that old ad – “What to wear on Sunday when you won’t be home ‘til Monday”. Well that black dress really nailed it! I also wore it until it begged me to give it a rest!
One of these days when the menopausal pounds have been slain, I’m going to reassess my fashion image, clean out my wardrobe and start over again. Perhaps it’s time for a new pair of leather jeans and a killer jacket. I’m going to have fewer things hanging in my closet and I’m going to love every one of them. But for now, I’ll just mosey along in this mid-life poor spell and remember a time when I turned heads for all the right reasons. But soon – “an elastic waist” will be a thing of the past – a babe’s heart still beats in this chest!