We twirl a lot

I’ve been thinking about crinolines lately. This would be an unusual topic if it came up in a random way, but since I square dance it’s not as random as you might think. Most modern western square dancers no longer follow a dress code, so we are not required to wear the short pouffy skirts. Since no one is forcing us, several of us are thinking about getting one and trying it out at a dance to see if it’s a fun outfit to dance in.

My main concern is that I pick the right skirt length. I was talking this over with another woman in the group. We’ve both got ample hips and chubby legs, and I told her that I was afraid of looking like the tutu-wearing hippo in the movie Fantasia. “So what if we do?” she said. “I still want one.” I think she may just have a point. I think I’ll start looking for an inexpensive skirt.

See you tomorrow!

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The muse on Metro

I met a most unusual lady on the number 10. She as wearing zebra-striped glasses and a swooped zebra print hat. I’d never seen anything like it. She said she’d made it herself, and I think she probably gets a lot of hat orders by showcasing her wares as she travels around town.

She was also wearing the most delightful turquoise arm warmers. When I complimented those she demonstrated how she’d fashioned them from knee-hi socks. We had the nicest conversation, and I applaud her for flaunting her own personal style. Too many people try to blend in when they’d rather be sporting something more exotic.

It’s hard to count years on a woman with such a vibrant personality, but her hair was gray and her skin showed some signs of aging. She told me that she was finally becoming her own person after years of feeling like she had to fit in. I’m glad she gave up on that losing game.

I’d tell you her name and advertise her business, but that might violate her privacy. You’ll have to meet her in your own travels. Even her business cards were non-standard.

Her confessions about gaining sartorial confidence as she aged reminded me of the famous poem that begins When I am old I shall wear purple, with a red hat that doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.” I disagree with that poem, and the Red Hat Society which celebrates it. Why? I don’t believe in waiting until I get older to wear what I want, and I don’t want to join a group with a regimented dress code in order to express my individuality. It makes no sense to me. When I feel like it I shall wear purple, and a red hat and perhaps a pair of sparkly shoes and shoulder-length gloves. It will depend on my mood, and that changes. Today I’m feeling black and white, with a black fedora. Life is good.

Your assignment, should you choose to accept it:

178. What do you feel like wearing today? Wear it, whatever your age is. It doesn’t have to be a bright color, either. If you revel in earth tones, flaunt your browns and greens. Dress to please yourself, because you’ll be keeping you company all day.

Tangled up in blue

Happy Friday, everyone! I celebrate it with you even as I regret the mindset that sanctifies certain days over others—holy Friday versus cursed Monday. All days are special, and all have great things about them. Today I appreciate a workplace institution, casual Fridays.

This hallowed tradition comes with its own sacred raiment, and I’m wearing mine right now—blue jeans. I work in a skyscraper, and almost to a person we’re wearing the same pants. Denim surrounds me. What’s not to love about jeans? This is the first time all week I’ve had pockets, an innovation that men take for granted and women pine for. Sure, it’s hard to put a pocket in a skirt, and my pants have a slimmer line without them, but I miss having a place to put my spare change and cell phone.

I also appreciate the texture of denim. It’s soft yet strong, both admirable qualities. It’s not that my usual garments are made of sandpaper—nor, I hope, are yours—but jeans are comfy in a way nothing else is. This is part of our national costume, and I treasure it. As surely as a kimono once represented Japan, jeans represent America. I hope to be wearing them throughout my lifetime.

It is no wonder that I venerate this paragon of pants—the perfect pair is so hard to track down. The fabric never disappoints, but I cannot say the same of the cut. Too many jeans are wide at the waist when they fit my hips. I’m picky about the other end, too. My best friend loves bell bottoms while I prefer a boot cut or a straight leg. I loved the pegged jeans of the Eighties. Once I find the perfect pair I buy at least two, because when I fall in love I want it to last forever.

Do I sound too effusive? After all, these are just pants. True, but the everyday things that surround me affect my personal energy. I’ve had slacks with annoying zippers, skirts that keep riding up. Each is a tiny annoyance that adds up to a big fat pain. I need my clothes to support me. After all, we’re going to spend the whole day together. Is that too much to ask?

Your assignment, should you choose to accept it:

52. Put on some jeans, and take a moment to really appreciate how much comfort they give you. How can you find a way to bring a little bit of that into your daily life?