Friday, July 24, 2009

At least SOMETHING around here is skinny

I bought a pair of skinny jeans.

I admit, I may have just bought them because they had the word "skinny" in the name, and I harbor some delusions that my body will follow suit just because I'm wearing them, but there's also the fact that skinny jeans have been au courant for about three years now and I've yet to give in ('til now of course).

Trends are funny that way. I remember distinctly when capris first hit the fashion scene—must have been in the early 90's. I thought HELL NO I would never be caught dead in something that chopped off my already stumpy Norwegian legs, hoping fervently that the trend would pass. Well, fast forward about five years and damn if 75% of my pants weren't cut off at the ankle. I do believe we've moved beyond the heyday of the capri pant, but I know it will be back. Oh yes, like the flu, these things always cycle back around.

So back to the skinny jeans. Clearly the 80's are making a big comeback. I'm seeing lots of large plaid and hightops and (gasp) even neon. I remember my skin-tight, zipper-ankle Guess jeans lovingly. But that doesn't mean I'm jumping back in without some serious forethought.

First, these jeans are not skin tight (largely due to the fact that I just had a baby, not to mention the fact that I'm 36). Second, they are dark wash, hugely important in frumpoflage. Lastly, there are no zippers lower than the pubic region, which is as it should be.

I actually dig them. I really do. They make me feel like a sex kitten, or at least as much of a sex kitten as one can feel like while wearing a nursing bra. I highly recommend at least going out and trying some on. If just for the sheer pleasure of saying, "I'd like to try on some SKINNY jeans, please."

UPDATE: @Kristen: I got these ones at Banana Republic. Not the most stylish spot to pick up trends, I know, but I get the hubby's discount. Plus, I figure BR can help me be trendy without being TOO trendy, which could backfire disastrously....

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Inner Unfrumpiness

There's a great article in this month's Real Simple written by a woman named Karthryn Harrison. In response to the question, "What makes you feel beautiful?" She answers spending time with her kids. Here's an excerpt:

"The first time it happens, we're out walking: my little boy holding my left hand, his older sister on my right, and the baby, six weeks old, asleep in her Snugli. We're still at the stage when my taking a shower seems like an accomplishment. I haven't lost all the weight I gained while pregnant; its been months since I had my hair highlighted to preserve the conceit that I remain as blond as I was at 16; I look like I'm getting as little sleep as I am; and I am wearing a nursing bra—a contraption that, inexplicably, department stores categorize as lingerie. In short: not a glamorous moment.

Still, I feel—for the first time in my life—really, truly, I-don't-need-anyone-to-tell-me-so, drop-dead beautiful. It has taken three children to deliver me to this state, this symmetry of boy on my left, girl on my right, and baby on my breast. Ridiculous, but as we navigate the sidewalk I feel radiant, as if I were wearing a dress encrusted with precious stones, reflecting the sun's light."

I love this. And I think this is the essence of unfrumpiness. While I do still take umbrage with Tevas worn with socks, what's on our bodies is so much less important than what's in our hearts. If you don't feel it, how can you be it?

If you get a chance, check out the whole article. It made my heart do a little jig.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

All-American Frump?

I'm stumped. Truly. Is American Apparel a great place to find hip basics (fig. A) or a joke being played on humanity (fig B)?

Putting aside the crazy, possibly pedophiliac, certainly sex-starved CEO, American Apparel seems like a great idea. Basics, in lots of colors, made in the USA. They even have great stuff for kids (just don't take yours into the store unless you want to tape their eyeballs shut. This place makes Abercrombie's in-store displays look downright prudish). But then again, they sell Unisex Shiny Batwing Hoodies in about 8 colors.

I bought a long, baggy cardigan there the other day, and I really love it. But while I'm wearing it, I can't help but wonder if I would have thought it was as cool if I had found it on a rack at Goodwill, because honestly, I could have. In fact, I'm pretty sure I had the same exact item of clothing in 1986. Maybe that's why I like it so much. And why I want to tease my bangs while wearing it.

Help me decide. Should I, a mother of two, even be stepping foot inside a place where I can buy a Shiny Suspender Swimsuit?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Seriously now

It's summer.

Mind the pits.

That's all I'm saying.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

This one's for Katherine

A friend of mine recently asked me about the frump factor of a skort. I must say, I was initially stumped. The name alone (eerily reminiscent of spork) and the sheer lack of them in fashion magazines makes me lean towards a high frump factor. And yet, and yet... I can totally see how they could be both useful and cute in momdom. So, I hit the interwebs to do a little research. My first search turned up the following brand names: Land's End, JC Penney, Casual Living USA. This was NOT looking good. I decided to dig a little deeper and I'm mighty glad I did. Here's what I unsporked.

Check out this cute little number from Title Nine. It manages to look surfer chic but could totally pass on the mainland.


Then there's this one from Adidas. I like it best in navy. Could be really cute with a more funky/bohemian top from somewhere like Anthropologie.

Speaking of which, while Anthropologie didn't have any skorts per se, they had these mighty adorable (at least if you have no thighs or hips, which instantly takes them off my immediate radar) skirty-looking shorts. They call them culottes, which is a word I haven't heard since I was sporting barrettes complete with rainbow-colored ribbon braids.

They also had a whole section of... brace yourselves... rompers. I know, I know. It sounds like something only Chloe Sevigny would wear, and that's not a compliment. Normally I have deep reservations about wearing something that I'd put on my 6 month old (would you wear a onesie? a bubble? overalls? wait... I think I wore those in the 90's... to work, no less.) However, these (wince) rompers are cute and have some definite functional value. One piece, so you can just throw it on without thinking too hard and still look put together. Shorts, so you can avoid flashing your ratty undies to the other moms at the park. And cool, which is nice now that we're knee-deep in summer. Here's my favorite example:

So it looks like my answer is—rock your skorts, mamas! As long as you don't buy them at Land's End. (Or anything else for that matter, unless it's for your Labrador.)