“It hurts to be beautiful”, I’ll never forget my mother saying this as I looked up at her through the ammonia haze of my first perm when I was five years old. I believe that’s when I started to really question her ability to parent.
Alas, this is not a blog about parenting, it’s about what women wear. What we covet in dress shops and shoe stores, and the sisterhood that this desire for beauty creates.
First of all, let me start with disclosing my muse for this piece; marie claire‘s September fashion edition. Despite the all too common ribbing given to Sarah Jessica Parker‘s equine features, I adore her. Her fashion sense that is – I don’t personally know her. Sarah Jessica Parker is on the cover of the magazine in a fabulous little dress that makes you want to take her home, and make a shopping list! Her Sex in the City character Carrie ,gives voice to the inner chick in all of us, and the clothes! Ah, the clothes – wouldn’t it be nice to go through all of our girl moments in fabulous clothes?!
But then, if you’re like me, conservative, a little bubbly here and there where you shouldn’t be, you think, “Oh, I couldn’t wear that!”.
So, last night, hopped up on Lindt truffles and tea, I snuggled in with my copy of marie claire, and began ogling what’s what in fall fashion. I’m a great reader of the fine print; where to buy,how much it costs, what some more reasonable or easier to find substitutions might be.
One simple, yet beautiful outfit in a section dedicated to Michael Kors cost a mere $2860.00, and that’s without bra, panties or, most importantly, shoes! In my case, add a few extra bucks or some Spanx. The model wore a simple black bodysuit, skirt, clutch and earrings.
The Anglo Files, filled with pages of stripes, checks, (p)leather and random other 80’s poo-ha made me thankful I pulled through the decade without severe emotional trauma related to my neon-pink, floral stirrup pants.
Ironically, following the “Big Girl in a Skinny World” column, and a few buffer cosmetic pages, there is the “What I Love About Me” section. Features like, “my superlong legs”, “my eyes”, my “dainty hands”, dripped from the lips of the 19-26 year old sample. Hell, when I was 19-26 I loved all of the above about myself. Now I’m just happy my super long legs carry me around, my eyes are healthy, and I haven’t lost a finger somewhere along the way.
Fat chicks must also be broke chicks, because it was in the “Big Girl in a Skinny World” column that I found the one and only dress I could afford, and will likely buy. It’s the $98 Studio M dress at Macy’s. It’s black lace over what looks like some nude material. Perfect for a nice lunch out with the girls, or that elusive date that must be hiding out with the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus somewhere.
I indulged in my fashion fantasies as I turned each page, laughing at the memory of some of my great, and not so great buys. I looked at the super-thin models, the memory of myself, two lesbians and the mother of the bride sitting on a hotel room bed with our dresses up and our Spanx showing in an effort to cool off after an afternoon on Parliament Hill getting photos taken popped into my head. Wait – one of us was wearing pants. Anyway….What we don’t do to look and feel like pretty women.
Often we ask, “Who wears this stuff anyways?”. We may not wear it, but designers and fashion magazine editors are selling dreams. We all need dreams, even if it’s a $98 dress from Macy’s. (I’m keeping my fingers crossed that boots feature in the next month’s edition! Who doesn’t love a pair of sexy boots?)
I read it all, even the perfume reviews. I love perfume. Vera Wang , Prada and Givenchy tempt this season with yummy scents, but my must have is Elie Saab’s new fragrance that, “…leaves the room like the train of a dress”. I’m sure that will fit.
Keep dreaming, and keep smiling ladies, because regardless of what we wear, our attitude does leave the room like the train of a dress, and we all have a little bit of fabulous in us, regardless of what we’re wearing.