I need a “whoa-buddy.” Describing questionable clothing off the rack, I say, “Hey, this is fun!” In turn, my daughter Star replies, “Whoa, buddy, you don’t need to buy that.”
Later a spring-cleaning of my closet proves how often I’ve ignored her advice. Will I listen this season?
After months of drab winter wear and sensible shoes, I’m ready for something fun and flirty. However, my Mature Self and My Inner Teen bicker all the time. I want classic. She wants low-slung jeans.
I tell my Inner Teen, “You’re circa 1973. I am not buying a peek-a-boo sweater in granny squares. Get over yourself.”
She pouts. “Boring! At least get a kicky color.”
Colorful clothes sound harmless. Or are they? The last time I listened to her, I wore neon watermelon sweatpants through the streets of Boston.
When my daughter relocated from San Francisco to live nearby, I finally had someone to nix beaded pants hemmed in rickrack. She’s the voice of reason (or is it ridicule?).
“What made you buy THAT?”
“It seemed fun at the time.”
Confession: sometimes the bad fashion choices of others make me feel better. “Schaudenfraude” means taking delight in the misfortune of others, but I’m not talking about illness or financial ruin – just the petty pleasure of knowing Jill’s toile pants turned her into walking wallpaper; or the time young Lisa returned plaid Capris because an assisted living resident wore the same pair. Annie was aiming for her lost youth when she told me, “In the ‘60’s, I wore a peasant blouse which looked beautiful with my long hair and slender body. It doesn’t work thirty years later. Now I look like a peasant all right, the kind pulling a plough with six kids behind me.”
Really, who am I to talk? I’m in fashion rehab and I check in regularly with my sponsor. “This is fun” has become a red alert to move slowly away from the Mad Max leather pants. Yet fashion failings have a purpose. Providing schaudenfraude to others is a public service.
What was your worst fashion buy?