Today I'd like to discuss fashion. More to the point, of late I have been thinking a lot about fashion. And how personal it is and unique to each person and fun and frustrating and, quite frankly, at times anathama.
I mean, is there nothing trickier on this earth than getting a scarf to tie just right so it hangs just so? Or how about this - you like something on someone else but not on you. Or...you'd like it to look good on you but it just will never ever happen. Have we not all been there?
So here are but a few of my thoughts on fashion. I feel compelled to say at the outset that I went to Mercy High School. Why is this so significant and worth noting? Because much of the building blocks of fashion I learned there. Yes - there. Wearing a uniform each and everyday teaches you something. It teaches you what the classics are and how important they are. A skirt that hits right above the knee still to this day looks best. Substantially shorter or longer - much harder to wear...and that goes for anyone.
What else did I learn at Mercy High School? That shoes make the outfit. They really do. While we all wore plaid skirts it was the shoes that gave you your individuality. And you can tell a lot about a person by the shoes they choose to wear. I still remember that some girls (opting to "dress up" their look) chose to wear pointy-toed kitten heels. The ones that were into pragmatics wore shoes with laces. To this very day I can tell a lot about a person by the shoes they choose to wear. Shoes are actually very telling. Me? I loved my loafers. Yes, a penny tucked inside. Classic.
It was at Mercy High School that I began my love affair with turtlenecks. Yes, turtlenecks. Love them to this day. I have met with a lot of resistance within my family when I have tried to pass on some of my turtlenecks. The chorus of, "I'd never wear that...it makes a person look like they have no neck" ensued. I finally gave them to Goodwill. My thoughts are this on the entire turtleneck issue...back to Mercy High School. There is nothing more classic-looking than a turtleneck under a crew neck sweater. Classic and timeless. And as for all the nay-sayers....let me say this: google Ann Margret sometime in Viva Las Vegas. The black turtleneck and leggings were and are an iconic look. Elvis didn't think she was dowdy and/or frumpy or a no-neck.
(A sidebar on the entire turtleneck issue - I was mentioning this to a guy once and he added, "Yes, turtlenecks are good...provided you can fill them out." Enough said.)
More lessons from Mercy High School. Accessories matter. Bigtime. You can tell a lot about a person by the bag they carry and their hair. Again, there we were - a school full of teenage girls. How you did your hair or the jewelry you wore or the bag you carried....that was you "individuating" yourself. And that is true for all women everywhere. One cannot be "put together" and be carrying around a ratty old bag. Just cannot happen.
And above all, I learned this from my time at Mercy High School: girls are lucky. We're the gender that has more clothing choices. We get to wear skirts or pants. Whatever you choose, wear it with aplomb.
Regards on this wintry afternoon,
P.S. I like to think my writing and songs I choose to go with my posts mirror my own clothing choices. One day fun, another day more serious. Today's musical selection by Cake - very fun and quite witty. Love the similes comparing such disparate items.
P.P.S. A guy once inquired of this song "Why the long jacket? The short skirt is just fine on it's own." (Another lesson from Mercy High School - the jacket provides the air of mystery. Put another way, showing everything all at once is not in anyone's best interest. Ever. Any Mercy Girl worth her salt would tell you that.)