Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Coup...

Ooooh weee. I was very, very naughty. While I was looking for a present for Santa, I saw these!!! I've seen them before, but this time I saw them in a different light.

Sigh, ever so often I have a twinge, a pang of discomfort when I realize that --gasp-- I am getting older. My winter clothes from last year don't fit very well. So I have been re-evaluating my wardrobe on many levels. As much as I enjoy fashion and beauty products and hair stuff, I have to admit I go to work looking pretty schleppy most days. Unless I have a meeting planned, I'm pretty likely to throw on jeans, flat boots, and a sweater or pullover for work. If it weren't so cold, I'd wear a skirt and tights. But it is cold.

Anyhow. A few shopping excursions ago I found myself making some last minute, quick purchases and during the bus ride home it occurred to me that a woman over thirty-five maybe shouldn't be buying clothes at a store called Forever 21. That Amanda Bynes cords from Steve and Barry weren't exactly the desired fashion statement I should be making--though I wear those pants twice a week! And then I watched my Tim Gunn episode...It was the last of the season. A woman of 43 who wore very slutty, junior-sized clothes because she thought it made her look young and sexy. Ugh. She looked tired and played out and-- as Veronica Webb so poetically described-- like a desperate old cougar heehee. Now I definitely don't have a slutty problem. But maybe I am dressing too young. And maybe even though I do spend most of my day in my office, I really should dress like a grown-up at work for sure and even retire my t-shirts for the weekend. As Meg Ryan said, I'm going to be forty...one day. I don't want it to catch me with my slip hanging... I want to be fly. And I need to start now so I can build up momentum.

So I've been editing my closet. Taking out things I don't like, don't wear and don't need. Wrong size? Easy to get rid of--divide into worth altering and donate. Haven't worn? Also not too painful, usually I look at the item in question and think "what was I thinking when I bought that?" Or I ask myself, "does that look like something you're going to wear in the near future?" The hard category are semi-formal dresses. Note to self: no more 'one event' dresses. That was for my twenties. If it isn't fabulous enough that I want to wear it again and feel more fabulous rather than like I'm re-treading. Don't need...Now that's emotional. These are things that maybe I AM wearing, but need to let go of... I've been trying to get my friend J over for some tough talk about my wardrobe--you need someone who loves you enough to tell you "you look a fool in that." But I haven't been able to pin her down. So I'm trying to do it myself.

But what not to wear is cake compared to trying to figure out I want to wear and how I want to look. The only way to figure out what I do want to wear is to look around. Look at myself critically. Look at the clothes I'm attracted to and at the clothes I've been overlooking.

Staple, core items have been a hole in my new wardrobe. The foundation pieces that hold everything together have just been hard to find. Classic, tailored styles are great. I'm a sucker for weekender suits--jacket, pants AND a skirt. So I'm always on the look-out for those. A couple of great pairs of jeans. Black pants, skirt. Brown pants, skirt. Gray pants, skirt. I'm on the hunt for navy pants and skirt. Tops are traumatic...I'm not ready to talk about that yet. It's really bad. Really bad. And I am entirely devoid of good belts and handbags.

But shoes have triggered an identity crisis too. Many of the shoes I bought in Virginia are just all wrong for the way I live in New York. I'm not one to tote a second pair of shoes around. So I have all but abandoned stiletto styles. My beautiful shoes are packed away unworn. Unless I am driving, I just can't wear three inch heels. I could very well end up walking uphill or a few flights of stairs. I am not the kind of woman who is willing to have sore feet to look cute so... I need comfortable shoes. At first, I was getting an unhealthy preoccupation with Aerosoles. They are great for flat boots. In fact, I alternate between my black leather and brown suede flats most work days. Very practical. And I am very practical. But I'm also very against-the-grain. I like things that embody both sides...

I been realizing way too frequently that I don't have a good pair of fall-winter shoes that can go dressy or office or weekend effortlessly. I have some suede booties--Aerosoles--that are great. But not shoes. I love Mary Janes. They are practical and against-the-grain. I wanted some ponyhair, open-toed Manolo Blahnik Mary Janes-- those are the business! But I am not detached from reality. I cannot afford these....yet! Just wait till I pay off these damn credit cards and student loans. I am going to put hurt on the shoe departments at Nordstrom's and Neiman Marcus. But I digress... I do need a pair of Mary Janes that are so fly that they can look grown-up and funky. And lo, the Fara Pump from Coach! Whoo hoo. I take very good care of my shoes, so I hope to enjoy these for many years to come. Yes, the black ones are nearly sold out-- Coach always does these maddening short runs on shoes, but that also means everyone isn't rocking your shoes-- but I snagged a pair on the low. Yes, indeed. These will do till I get my Manolo paper straight...

6 comments:

MochaSiren said...

Hi Renea,

Just wanted to let you know I sent you an email over the weekend at the Yahoo address you have listed. I had a question about a Sisterlock consultant you've visited. I'm mentioning it here because I didn't know if you received it. Thanks.

Renea said...

Hi Mochasiren--
I didn't see the email and I couldn't find it. Please post your question here or send the email again. Sorry.

mochasiren said...

Hey Renea,
No problem. I live in Northern VA and noticed in a previous post that you had visited a consultant in Fredericksburg who's not too far from me. She doesn't have a page link on the Sisterlocks site so I wanted to get some feedback from you. I have been contemplating Sisterlocks for several months. As you have stressed in many of your posts, it's important that they be installed correctly and professionally. I agree 100%. If you prefer not to post your response publically, I can be reached at tnredx@yahoo.com. Thanks, Tiffany aka "Mochasiren"

Meikmeika said...

I don't think there's anything wrong with you shopping at Forever 21, I do. There are alot of pieces that can be used to accentuate certain styles. They usually have nice fitted blazers or jackets and their slacks are affordable and look nice. I can't even think of going through my closet right now, some fit well and look decent, most don't fit and I'm hoping that maybe one day they will fit again...., the others are "what was I thinking when I bought this?" clothes.

I need to get a new pair of boots soon...

Ms Stella said...

Love the shoes! I have been reevaluating my wardrobe also thanks to Tim Gunn's show. I think if he and Veronica looked in my closet, I'd be told to start over.

Miss Twists said...

Hey Renea,

What a great post!

I am a HUGE mary jane fan. For some reason I have not been able to find any lately. Too bad the Fara is sold out!

Regarding wardrobe, it's hard finding stylish, low maintenance clothes that flatter my "curves", which are the result of age, motherhood and let's just say life :-)

I am a big fan of Chico's but I find it that I have to search really hard for pieces that are sexy and not frompy.

One of my goals this year is to find the stylish, chic designer that offers "curve" friendly fabrics!