I wake up sneering and growling. I am a woman on the verge of a fashion breakdown. I look in my closet and feel like I’ve exhausted every possible combination using this and that and this and that for months now. Fashion is the best part of my day, but not this day. I can’t possibly squeeze one more combo out of this lineup of summer clothes. I’ve lost my touch. I’ll never wear a cute outfit again. No, really, it’s true!
I find myself outside at the edge of the
cliff backyard staring into the abyss Koi pond, pondering my fashion fate.
A conversation starts inside my head
The fish glide around quietly, swishing through the water.
I am not the fish. I am grumbling. My inner voice gets louder and louder.
Inner voice: Yuck, yuck, yuck! I’m so sick of everything that’s in my closet. I’m done, done, done with summer. I want my fingers touching tweed. I miss my mushroom leather-knit jacket. I want my blue plaid flannel shirt. I want to layer sweaters. Whah, whah, whah!
My fashion fairy godmother appears
Fashion Fairy Godmother speaks: Darling, these last days have been so hot: 108 degrees, then 108 again, then 100. I think you’re weary from the heat. You haven’t even worn your favorite accessories because they feel too hot to wear. You’re not used to this!
Inner voice with toddler overtones: I want tweed! I want fur trim! I want a cowl neck sweater and suede boots. I.Want.Them.Now.
Fashion Fairy Godmother: Sweetheart, I get it. You’re getting close to the seasonal cusp. You’ll be putting summer clothes away in a few short weeks and pulling out new/old things to play with in the fall. We’ve just been in the middle of the hottest days of the summer. It’s scrambling your head.
Inner voice: It is! I don’t like this! I want to have fun with fashion! I want to wear an Instagram worthy outfit! I want to create something clever, smart, do something I haven’t done before and delight in it all day long. But it’s gone. The creativity is gone, dried up. I have nothing to wear. YUCK.
Fashion Fairy Godmother: Yes, well, I don’t think your creativity is dried up. You will find joy in fashion. You may even find it again within thirty minutes. Hey, I have an idea. How do you want to feel in clothes today?
Fashion Fairy Godmother suggests dressing with the end in mind
Inner voice: I want to feel pretty and feminine, soft and lovely, carefree. Not sweaty, athletic or bouncy. I want to tune the Spotify dial to Edith Piaf, not Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
Fashion Fairy Godmother: Okay. I think we can do that. Let’s go back to the closet and look for romantic pieces in fabrics that glide.
Inner voice: I don’t have pieces like that. That sounds like Stevie Nicks. I don’t have her wardrobe.
Fashion Fairy Godmother: Okay, well, we’ll improvise if we need to. Today you’ll wear jewelry that feels pretty so anytime you look at your wrist or finger or touch a necklace you’re wearing, you’re tapping into those softer qualities, qualities that live inside of you, Brenda dear. Soon you won’t be growling or sneering; you’ll be serene and pleasant. Okay, Honey?
Inner voice: Will you come with me to the closet?
Fashion Fairy Godmother: Absolutely, my love!
Fashion Fairy Godmother Makeover
My FFG sprinkles some fairy dust on me, flutters off and leaves me alone with my wardrobe. I take a deep breath. A can-do feeling starts fluttering in my stomach. I shall create an outfit that will be feminine, pretty, lovely, and carefree.
Finding my way to lovely
I am inspired by my Max Studio linen and silk, double layered skirt that I bought at Ooh La La Consignment in Santa Fe in June. It has that swishy movement when you walk. My legs love how that feels. The soft overall blush color with lavender and gray/blue flowers with beading on them is sublime.
I’m determined to stick with a light color palette and low contrast. When I wore this skirt in Santa Fe, I wore a white T-shirt with it and my soft black Eileen Fisher linen jean jacket. But that jacket won’t work today. Nope, no way.
I pull out a gray linen loosely woven cardigan sweater that’s so difficult to work with. Last week I thought of giving up and taking it to the consignment store. It’s by Crea Concept. It’s limp, has a wide neck and wants to fall off my shoulders.
I pull out my brooch/pin box. The remedy for this cardigan may be inside that box. I decide to pull the neck tighter, making it a bit asymmetrical so it won’t shift on my shoulders. Small pins will keep the sweater closed so it’ll stay put. I pull out two owls and one floral pin with a lavender colored stone in the center and secure the sweater. The pins introduce unexpected charm and whimsy. I wear one of my glitzy necklaces in neutral peachy tones. Everything is starting to twinkle.
Pulling it all together with bangles, a handbag and shoes
I go into my wire mesh bins and pull out a mix of bangles. One is a chunky-ish cuff by Alxis Bittar. I choose my Patty Crandall heart bangle, another Alexis Bittar thin sparkly bangle and a lovely bone colored bracelet my friend, Debra, gave me. The matte finish of the bone bangle is a nice contrast to the shiny bracelets.
What handbag will I wear? Every day is better if Mom is in it so I reach for the ivory vintage bag she gave me years before she passed.
I think about wearing my white tennis shoes but today I’m allergic to athletic, bouncy or spunky. I am wearing ladylike shoes instead. I don’t have a big selection to choose from but I remember my blush colored patent Prada platforms. I don’t bounce when I wear these shoes; I glide. I take my time. I smell the roses. Everything slows down to a lovely, manageable speed. Life is sweet.
Thanks to my Fairy Fashion Godmother I am purring, not snarling; flirting, not nagging. And thank you to my sweetheart Russ who took these outfit pictures this afternoon so I could show them to you. I think I’m going to press “publish” on this blog post and then go give him a kiss!
Do you have clothes that bring out the softer side of you? What are they?