Call the Fashion Police
Most of my friends and relatives will agree I’m not the most fashionable person they know. My motto could be “if I’m clean and covered it’s ok.”
I used to take business motivational and self-improvement seminars. One exhorted women to “dress for the job you want, not the job you have.” (This made me wonder if I should show up at the office dressed for cleaning a swimming pool, my fantasy job when Dateline was coming to interview the boss.)
Another bit of style advice from that seminar: count all your accessories, and if there are more than four, remove a scarf or a bracelet or a belt.
Now that I’m older and retired, I consistently ignore that. Being small and blond I can easily disappear in a crowd. I love color and have beautiful scarves of every hue. I have accumulated a ton of nice jewelry. I might go out wearing three rings (not counting wedding), a scarf, two necklaces, two pairs of earrings and maybe a couple of bracelets, along with a colorful garment.
That’s what this piece was going to be about: “nothing succeeds like excess,” variously attributed to Oscar Wilde, Mae West and Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham.
Then I witnessed excess so unsuccessful I had to rethink it. At a recent workshop, I observed a woman whom I wanted so much to ask if I could take her picture, but if I’d said “You’re really rockin’ that cape,” she may have heard my subliminal “and I’m mockin’ it.” So I sketched it as best I could from memory.
Next I saw this:
Have you noticed older women have embraced the tights and boots look? I have too, but some do not obey the rule, set down by my middle-school teacher daughter for her seventh graders: “tights are not pants. Cover your butt.” A longer jacket or shirt, a short skirt or dress will do, but please spare us the view of your ample butt cheeks.
And this, in today’s local paper:
I’ve considered dialing it back a bit, but I don’t own a forest-green wool cape and always cover my butt when I wear tights.