When Joshilyn first suggested we gear up for a fashion challenge, I have to admit—I felt rather smug. “This will be easy for me,” I thought. “I like to shop. I like clothes. I’m relatively happy with my body, and I’ve seen nearly every episode of What Not To Wear, so I’m totally going to rock this.”
Ah, hubris. My old pal!
In preparation for our upcoming challenge I’ve been thinking a lot about clothes and my closet. It’s true that I do rock a number of positives in this realm, including:
1) I tend to go for classic cuts that never go out of style
2) I love and wear a variety of colors
3) I’m ruthless about tossing items that have outlived their natural lifespan
4) I am obsessive about cut (to the point of neurosis), so my clothes always fit me very well, which I happen to think is about 2/3 of the battle when it comes to looking good in your clothes.
So I’m going to sail through this one with my eyes closed, right?
… ummmmm. Maybe not.
Here’s the thing about my wardrobe: It’s nice. It’s fine. When I go to conferences or fancy events or even when I’m running out to PTA meetings or whatever, I don’t think anyone looking at me would have anything negative to say about my clothes. They’re nice clothes; they fit me well. But… they’re boring.
Most of my clothing is solid-colored. Most of my clothing is very safe. Every now and then I buy something in a pretty pattern (thinking to myself, “I should go for something a little different!”), and then half the time I end up never wearing that item because I’m not sure what to wear it with. Or I buy a nice patterned top and wear it with jeans. Which is… fine.
Every time I watch What Not To Wear and see them explaining yet again to a fashion moron that yes, really, you can mix patterns and textures and it gives an outfit interest and depth, I think to myself, “Wow, that looks fantastic.” And then my next thought is invariably, “And if I tried to put that outfit together with that floral print and a glen plaid I would end up looking like a hobo. Or possibly a blind hobo.”
I’m almost 40. It’s time to step outside of my “this is a very lovely gray dress” or “these jeans fit very well and also I guess that shirt is okay too” box.
My mission: Spice it up. Patterns. Textures. Unexpected pairings. Something that is more than “fine.” I’m kind of excited. And also a little frightened. That’s good, right?