Friday, April 15, 2011

Fairy Wings & Concert Tees

My neighborhood is full of three things:  restaurants, Boston Terriers and children.  The best place to observe the latter is at the former during weekend brunch.  These kids have great wardrobes from local boutiques instead of The Gap and their parents clearly allow them to dress themselves every Saturday morning.  This results in breakfast joints packed full of children wearing amazing get-ups.  A purple tutu with a vintage child-sized Metallica concert shirt worn with pink glittery cowboy boots might be discussing Spongebob with a red and white checkered dress worn over jeans with fairy wings and purple jelly shoes.  It's awesome.  A couple of weekends ago, the husband and I couldn't stop laughing at a little dude who decided to don a spacesuit, complete with helmet, to go eat pancakes.  These kids are fashion fearless.  I've been known to high-five them. They are my heroes.

I was not a go-to-brunch in a princess dress child. Not that we really did brunch in West Texas.  (We did do after-church chicken fried steak, which I think counts.) While my fun free-spirited little sister would throw on a fancy taffeta dress with snow boots and want to wear it to first grade, I was in my room trying to decide if my red shirt clashed with my white pants.  My mother enjoys telling the story of how I would only wear the color blue with jeans because they were blue too and I needed everything to match.  I planned my outfits days ahead of time.  I wanted to make sure I wore all of the items in my closet the same amount.  I took notes.  I rotated.  When my mom took my sister and I school clothes shopping, I would meticulously purchase jeans, pants and tops that all worked together while Pistol would leave with eight types of rubber bracelets and a pair of turquoise parachute pants.  I was Garanimals without the adorable tags.  I was serious about my clothes to the point of crazy.

At some point I gave up.  I focused that energy on memorizing lines for plays or finding the right shade of maroon lipstick. I spent all of high school and college in baggy jeans and concert t-shirts. Ugh, or show shirts.  I have a photo of myself with some friends in the greenroom of our theatre building taken my Freshman year of college.  There I am in the middle wearing a Les Miserables shirt tucked into boy jeans with my hair ponytailed through the hole in the back of my boyfriend's Saints hat.  Way more Freaks & Geeks than Sex In The City.  I never had a Carrie moment.

My only claim to a sparkly boots or fairy wings stage was my early twenties.  I'm a late bloomer.  Unfortunately, when I finally decided to have some fun with fashion, my tastes leaned toward Hello Kitty babydoll shirts and pleather pants.  I spent my hard earned cash on anything pink or fuzzy or ruffly.  My closet looked like Forever 21 and Wet Seal had a spazzy love child.  In my defense, my style would have been adorable on a three-year old.  Well, except the pleather pants.  Also, I was always ready for a rave.  Immature and practical!

Nowadays I don't think much about clothes or getting dressed.  I mean, I delight in a trip to Anthropologie as much as the next girl and I have been known to get giddy over shoes but I neither reject nor live for fashion.  I still have no idea what matches.  I still throw on jeans and a concert/show shirt when I want to. (There's currently a Les Mis shirt in the depths of my closet.)  I don't take notes and I don't rotate my wardrobe.  But, I think there's a part of me that's jealous of the careless abandon a typical five-year old enjoys when getting dressed.  Maybe someday I'll be able to throw random items on for comfort or whimsy and not care.  Who knows when it will surface?  Maybe I'll be the only old lady in the nursing home wearing orange rain boots and a purple bouffant wig to play shuffleboard.  Which we all know is total bullshit.   I'm way more of a spacesuit type of gal.

*photo by Rakka.