Awhile back, I wrote an article for grandparents.about.com, Susan Adcox’s fabulous column. Specifically, I was answering the questions that she posed about fashion. At the request of my daughter, who would love for me to get a makeover, I am posting a revised version of the article with the hope that someone volunteers to give me one.
How would you describe your fashion look?
Before I begin I just want to say that writing about this topic has been a humbling experience. The TV show, “What Not to Wear” has called to offer help, and this hasn’t even been published yet.
Basically, I have two looks: my “indoor” and/or “grocery shopping” look and my “everywhere else” look. The first consists of what I wore in college: jeans*, sweatshirts or cotton pullovers, sneakers and socks. This is what I wear as granny-nanny 3 days a week even though I have to get out of the car in front of neighbors. I have no shame. I will say that the sweatshirts have intrigued Charlie ever since he discovered letters. The problem is that he wants to “read” me all day long.
* Since this article was first written, I have taken up crawling around on the floor; thus the jeans I now wear for “granny-nanny” duty have holes in the knees and can no longer be worn to the grocery store unless I want to stand outside with a tin cup first. In addition, I now have to sneak out of my car to avoid having my daughter’s neighbors offer clothing donations.
If I’m venturing out and not shopping I wear clothes that are less than 10 years old and that I’ve received compliments on within that time frame.
How do you achieve your look?
Without much effort. First of all, it’s really not a “look” – it’s more of a “look away.” So it’s not something I consider worthy of achieving.
I tend to go shopping only when absolutely necessary (unless it’s for clothes that don’t require a dressing room) since I don’t enjoy looking at myself in the mirror these days. Those three-way mirrors are the worst, so I shop in stores that have dressing rooms with single mirrors and bad lighting only.
In terms of cuts, colors, and fabrics, I do have some preferences.
- For pants or jeans the wider the better – that’s because I’m wider and not better.
- Skirts must be long enough to hide everything.
- Tops must have really wide sleeves otherwise I’ll be able to get pullovers no further than just over my head, and front buttoned shirts will look like I’m wearing a shawl. I’ve always had a fat arm problem. Even at 22 I remember splitting the arm seams on a dress I wore to a party. I felt like the Incredible Hulk – just waiting for the rest of my outfit to burst open. Also, I never ever wear anything sleeveless in public, so in the summer I don’t go out.
Colors: Black. That’s it.
Fabrics: Anything that doesn’t wrinkle and doesn’t shrink. I always forget which fabrics those are. I do know never to buy linen. The last time I wore linen was to a wedding. After a 5-hour car ride I looked like I was wearing a large raisin.
Tips and Tricks
I don’t think my look would work for anyone else, since it barely works for me, but here are my tips and tricks anyway:
- If you can’t wear high heels do what I do: stand on tippy toes making sure your skirt or pants hides your shoes. Alternatively, you can just sit up tall.
- If you’ve bought a dress a size too small that you must wear to a reunion to show that you still look as thin as you did at 18, practice not breathing.
- If you’ve bought a body suit that is supposed to make you look thinner and the fat keeps rising upward as you put it on, wear an attractive scarf around your neck.
My Taste in Jewelry
Whatever is on sale at Lord and Taylor’s is fine with me – usually it’s sterling silver or gold plated on sterling silver. You can get 50- 60% off every day and more when they’re running a sale. I’m not getting paid for this advertisement.
My Take on Shoes and Handbags
I love shoes but I have problems. With a bunion on each foot, I can only wear orthopedic shoes; in the summer, I feel more normal since I can wear sandals with that uncomfortable strap between the first and second toes.
Handbags must be lightweight or I’ll feel like I’m toting my grandson around.
More Fun Accessories
What are fun accessories? I guess that would be my iPhone. Actually, I don’t have one – it’s my husband’s. But if I did have one, I’d dress it up in a fancy case.
What I’d Never Wear
A house dress – thank goodness they’re not in stores anymore, are they? I can’t imagine how women did housework in the 1950′s dressed up like June Cleaver. And, considering I do somersaults with my grandson, it really won’t work.