Thursday, September 9, 2010

What to Wear

“Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only.
Fashion is in the sky, in the street,
fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live,
what is happening.”
CoCo Chanel

Even though there are a lot of people in the blog world already talking about the onset of autumn, I'm sitting here sweating. One would think that as the temperatures start to drop, the hot flashes would also begin to diminish. If not in heat at least in frequency. Estrogen, or lack of, is a funny thing.

The weatherman said that mornings would begin to be a little cooler but noontime temps would still hit 90+ which is down from 100+. What's weird is that 90 something actually feels less hot which is ridiculous because, as we all know, anything over 90 falls in to the red zone. Still, I think that there are changes in the air. Oh so small, but still there. In Florida there is not a lot of color change like there is when you get even a little further North. And for some reason the oak trees shed in the Spring, not the fall.

So how do I know the seasons are about to change? Easy, the catalogues have switched from summer clothes that show a lot of skin, to winter woolies that cover everything. Oh, and don't forget they are already pitching Christmas stuff.

As Dad finished his coffee last night, I took a stroll through the LL Bean catalog. For reasons I don't really understand looking at the catalog makes me feel like I'm going home. I get lost in the olive greens, red plaids, and aubergines of the season. I yearn to comfort myself by pulling on an Irish made Aran sweater (loose and well-worn, of course), flannel shirt, and socks. I know that sleeping under flannel sheets would be like sleeping in Hell, but the idea of turning the A/C down to about 68 degrees and being tucked up under warm sheets and a hand made quilt is like Heaven to me. Could it be my New England roots?

Truth be told I doubt seriously if I'd enjoy living anywhere I'd be comfortable wearing LL Bean clothes. Been there. Done that. I remember snow storms that covered the car - literally, nothing but the top showed. I've skidded in circles after hitting a patch of ice. I know, you're not supposed to slam on the breaks, you're supposed to have enough wits about you to turn into the skid. Well let me just say this for the record, when flying across an icy road heading for a tree lined ditch my gut instinct screams STOP! which sends the message to my feet to hit the breaks. Regardless, at this time of year I picture myself somewhere north of the Mason Dixon line enjoying the sight of colored leaves and the first pristine snowfall; the smell of a wood fire and a flavorful stew; and the comfort of cozying up with a good book, dressed from head to toe in LL Bean garb.

My friend Dani recently posted a picture of herself on her blog. Dani has her own personal panache when it comes to fashion. She can wear scarves casually draped around her neck and not look like she's ready for a hanging. She can wear big chunky necklaces and look stylish, not costumey. She can wear fancy shoes, Birkenstock sandals or go barefoot and still look well dressed. Much as I like that look, I can't just throw things on and look casual. When I try to dress up I look as cramped as I feel. It could have to do with the clothes, but I think, perhaps, it has to do with a my fashion identity. Or more accurately the lack of that identity. I don't have one style that says ME. It's more like I have a multiple personality fashion crisis. Who shall I be today? Fancy Nancy, Annie Oakley, Audrey Hepburn (with a few extra pounds), a Flower child, or Paul Bunyan's gal pal? For this reason, and the fact that I rarely get out of the house other than to run to WalMart and when I do that I am often better dressed than most, I stick with my mom jeans, faded tank tops and trusted Birky slides. In reality, the one fashion thing that I says, "ah" to me, is my collection of double strapped (Arizona) hippie sandals. This is not a problem in Florida where almost all year round one can go sockless. I'm just not sure about how to blend this fashion icon with my LL Bean Barn coat.

Here's the good news. Even with the minute drop in temperatures, it won't be snowing in Florida anytime soon. I can dream and drool over the catalogues all day long, but my checkbook can rest secure in the knowledge that I won't be buying anything made of flannel, wool, fleece or cashmere.

Wishing for you something you feel comfortable in,
Merry ME


Pamela Jones said...

Sounds like you're hankering for a visit from Clinton and Stacy...
I, too, wish I had the sense of style of our Queenly friend -- if I wore that scarf, my every move would scream, "SCARF!!! SCARF!!!" Have to buy a cool-weather jacket, and it has me in a dither!

Fire Byrd said...

I so love clothes, always have. So today I allowed myself to buy a winter dress, cotton and cashmere blend, brown and grey stripes four inches above my knees, to wear with bright coloured tights, purple I think and knee high boots.Can't wait to wear the outfit with of course my lilac cashmere scarf around my neck and carrying my bright purple purse. And if I'm cold then I'll add my purple leather jacket. That'll work.