Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Slipping off the stylish scale

I've read the reason French women are so stylish is because when they go shopping, they shop for an entire outfit in one go. It makes sense - seeing all the elements work together before you leave the store - you're guaranteed an outfit you'll wear over and over. I don't know about you but I don't have planned outfits. I have a bunch of separates - a collection of shirts, camisoles, sweaters, pants, skirts, dresses, shoes, bags, scarves and accessories - none of which really go together, and most of which I don't even remember exist most of the time.

I have this recurring daydream, where I go through my wardrobe with a polaroid camera and create "outfits" out of my lost and forgotten clothes. Then I catalog pictures of each outfit in an elegant Martha-Stewart-like binder, which I'll leaf through in the future, depending on the occasion. It has outfits labeled for things like "Sunday lunch with the in-laws" or "casual dinner with friends" or "cocktails". And yes I'm laughing as I think of the very idea of having the time to execute this. Nice thought though.

On the subject of style, what happens to it when you become a mum? Did yours stay with you? I've seen women who naturally manage to retain theirs - it's as if their stylishness has effortlessly crossed the line with them from single young female to havoc-ridden mother with barely any evidence of the transition. Me - not so much. There was a time when I loved fashion and spent time actually thinking about it and lots of my hard-earned cash buying it. But oh, nice things, nice things make me happy.

I was never fashionable though, occasionally stylish, maybe - but I was never in fashion. I don't like trends and even make a point of steering clear of them. I like classic pieces that stay with you for 5 or 10 years and then one day leap out from the back of the wardrobe with renewed promise. I'd be the Chanel before the Stella McCartney any day. Audrey Hepburn before Kate Moss. Audrey Hepburn is, well - I love her. If I had one of those beautiful coffee table books all about her style, I'd probably never put it away.

But for now I'm lost in a wash of random wardrobe members whose identities are unknown. Getting dressed in the morning means grabbing the first thing that is warm and will cover my balloon belly without making me frumpy mommy, and will endure a day of spills, tears and diapers. Maybe one day my lost and forgotten clothes will come together in a Martha Stewart binder and everything will be okay again...
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1 comment:

..... Carmen said...

This will make you laugh, but my Dad made us take photos of the ties that match his shirts so that when he gets up in the morning to go to work, he will always look put together. It is a brilliant idea, one I should execute, but alas, also don't have the time for. Style? Nope. Out the window. Finding clothes for work three days a week is a trial in itself. I have never been fashionable I would say, but I do like to look put together. Most days, that is quite challenging.