Thursday, August 7, 2008

Delusions of pregnancy and grandeur

I lazily caught a crowded bus to U Village yesterday (um, very important business). A man began to stand, to offer me his seat, and I told him, "No, that's OK, I'm getting off at the next stop."

He sat and I considered whether I felt demeaned to be offered a seat. I'm younger that he is, I thought. I'm female, I'm not incapable of standing. It's not like I'm wearing heels, or pregnant.

And then, even worse, I thought, What if he did think I was pregnant?

. . .

Fall fashions at Anthropologie consoled me. I was very good and put back even the cheapest sale items (because who really needs another skirt?) until I saw a small purple jacket. Ooh, clothing! Why do you tempt me? You know autumn especially is my weakness.

I spoke with a sales girl all about the new catalogue. Even better: new Nordstrom catalogue. A gorgeous cover by R. Toledo, and pages flooded with dark, cozy, proper clothing. Long coats and big leather bags, and so much deep purple. I showed Brian a $1,395 Fendi watch with my birthdate on the face. He didn't think it was quite the sign of destiny I did. He also said it looked just like my current watch, which I intended as a sign that I quite like the style. Apparently, to some an established personal taste is redundancy.

. . .

I think the economic downturn, combined by autumn's usual influence toward more conservative, vaguely-academic/equestrian apparel, has driven fashion in a pretty classic direction. No shocking new trends. Magazines discuss purchases that will last a lifetime -- wardrobe investments. Flattering shapes, predictable autumn colors, versatile feminine styles.

I don't mind it at all. As much fun as it is to be intrigued by Balenciaga tulip-shaped skirts, or entertained by a glowing lime green MJ bag, my personal purchases have moved consistently toward things I expect to wear indefinitely. It doesn't always work out (I swear, I always think I will wear that magenta Brooks Brothers coat more often, but then it never seems quite right). But at least I can pay more realistic attention to a catalogue full of wearable pieces than some bizarre show of which designer can make us look silliest by "experimenting with form." I don't want my form experimented with, I want it flattered. It has enough trouble on it's own, apparently (see pregnancy entry above).

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