Thursday, May 19, 2011

What I wore

Tonight at K's insistence I watched a short piece from CBS Sunday Morning on the Ephron sisters' Off-Broadway show, Love, Loss and What I Wore. I was inspired to blog about some of the memorable outfits in my own life. Once I started I couldn't stop!

In eleventh grade, outside the door of C-Wing, E asked me to go with him to the Winter Homecoming dance--our first date. I was wearing a worn, light grey Mickey Mouse sweatshirt from Disneyland and a pair of jeans. My frizzy hair was pulled into a ponytail and I wasn't wearing any makeup.

At my audition for Sacramento Ballet, I wore my best black v-neck Tactel leotard. Spaghetti straps and a low back highlighted shoulders and neck. Diagonal stripes sloped outward along the length of my body in an echo of the seventies. These stripes hugged my waist tight like a pair of hands. I straightened the back seams of my pale pink tights carefully so they wouldn't falsify bad alignment. The elastics of my pink canvas ballet slippers, I sewed to cross at the highest point of my arches to help them look supple.

For the interview to get into my teaching credential program, I wore a bias-cut black and magenta crepe dress with a V-neck that brushed demurely at the bottom of my knee. Its tied shoulders highlighted my tanned arms and the cut of the waist made me feel slim and confident.

My pregnancy clothes were the best-made clothes I've ever had. At my baby shower for Addie, I wore a nude camisole under a gauzy mauve maternity top with a rose colored paisley design and a denim pencil skirt with a navy blue tummy panel. I wore brown leather slip-on sandals with suede footbeds. Sadly, when E's grandmother died just a month before Addie was born, I wore a conservative taupe maternity shift dress to the funeral.

My one failed attempt at high school rebellion was the purchase of a pair of black Doc Marten-style boots to wear with jeans and sweaters. Mom said "only gang members wear black boots." Back to the store the boots went. I wore my first thong--for senior ball, under a pale pink slipdress--but I felt guilty for it all night.

The first outfit I remember loving on myself was a birthday present in the fourth grade. I have a clear memory of walking through the office at my elementary school in my coordinated sartorial resplendence. Neon geometrical designs traced the sides of both my matching black spandex tank and bike short. Pink and green neon scrunch socks (one side pink-green, the other side green-pink) brought the ensemble together. I stuffed them into my white Keds. A scrunchie topped my look like neon whipped cream. In my spandex I could take on the world. I may have been a fourth grader, but I knew what fashion was.

My first "work outfit" was a black capri pantsuit from JCPenney that had pink and green roses embroidered all over the bodice. I coupled this with sensible black "teaching" shoes, criss-crossed slides with a square, chunky heel.

Both days I gave birth I wore a pair monkey socks and a hospital gown. I remember feeling like my socks were the only thing I controlled. Hospital gowns are an impersonal thing, and the minimal assurance of modesty one gets from the strange gauze-like "underwear" they put on you after delivery is strange and awkward. Still I prefer post-partum "underwear" (yes, in quotations) to the labor-time necessity of going commando so every doctor in the place can check your progress via your hooha. I'm just not a commando girl under any circumstances. Ever.

At our engagement party I wore a pale blue sundress and tan mules. Our wedding day, I wore a size 4 (!--even though I know they underestimate bridal sizes!) white dress with a button and lace back and ballerina bodice. Oddly, my mother-in-law bought my underwear for my wedding day. The pouf of my skirt required voluminous petticoats and I wore a pair of strangling white nylons that cut into my flesh all day. At the reception, they bustled the train up behind me and I felt like Cinderella. In my wedding dress I felt beautiful but a little unlike myself.

My favorite thing I've ever worn is the long, teal sundress dotted with large rose-colored flowers that I wore when E and I renewed our vows. I bought it for less than $20 at Target. It skimmed the ground and I wore my favorite leather Reef flip flops. I wore a pair of teal Vera Wang earrings from Kohl's and my wedding ring. I felt more comfortable in my own skin and my clothing that day than any other in my life; the cut and color and feel of the dress combined with the joy I felt made the day perfect, even if it was 105 degrees. I was the most me I've ever been.

What outfit was significant in your life? Did your mom have rules too? Do you remember feeling your best in something you wore? Tell me about it.

1 comment:

  1. One of my favorite shirts was one that I bought for a "date" with my best guy friend. It was an electric blue baby doll tank top with ruffled straps and a huge bow across the bust. And I LOVED it. I still do. I wore it the day James and I got married and again once more when I was pregnant with Jordyn. I look forward to the day that I get to wear that beautiful shirt again....