Looking in my closet this morning, I pulled out a green sweater, one of my favorites. When I put it on the bed next to the pair of pants I had chosen, I wondered why I hadn't worn the sweater in a a while. Then it came to mind, I cannot wear that. It went out of style years ago. What was I thinking. Then I pulled out a blue sweater, one I just purchased a month or so ago. It wasn't as comfortable as my old green one but quite more stylist.
This all brought to mind the question - what is "style" after all? Last week I watched a documentary on the Duchess of Windsor. In Britain, she was viled as the woman who caused a king to give up his throne and almost threw the empire into a constitutional crisis.While in America and on the continent, the Duchess was seen as one of the most stylish women of her time. Her clothes were cotoure - created for her by the greatest designers of the time -Saint Laurent, de Gichency, and de la Renta to name a few. She was a fashion plate, never seen in public unless dressed in the latest styles, with her jewelry, hair, and makeup perfect. Each season the fashion magazines waited with bated breath to see what she would be wearing.
At a more pedestrian level, each year I try to "be in style". After all, no one wants to look frumpy, outdated, unfashionable. Even with a limited budget I had been able to "freshen" my wardrobe each season. Don't get me wrong, I am not a fashion plate, but not an embarrassment either.
Back to the issue at hand - what to wear today. The more I looked at the blue sweater, the more I questioned my choice. I love the green sweater. It has served me well for many years. Why can I not wear that sweater? Will the world end? Will friends and acquaintances stop, aghast that I was wearing a piece of clothing that went "out of style" years ago, perhaps a decade or so?
In reality, why do I care? As long as I am wearing clothes that fit, and am neat, tidy, and clean, what difference does it make? Isn't my being comfortable and happy in my choice just that - my choice. After all I have found that clothes I chose years ago have gone "out" of style and back "in" style over the years. Take the classic sweater set. It was stylist in the 1950's. It went out, was seen as dated, all the while to return as the "newest" fashion years later. Then "out" again, and then back on the pages of fashion magazines several years later.
Truth be told, women do not wear clothes. We wear costumes. Who do we dress for? After all it is each of us who need to feel comfortable and confident in our clothes. Does it really matter that I am not wearing the latest fashions found in this season's Vogue? Who am I trying to please after all?
I recall as a young mother, asking my daughters how the "new" outfit I was wearing looked. (I should have known better.) It was not unusual to a get a reply such as - "it looks like you". The kiss of death coming from a teenager. But, in retrospect shouldn't what I wear "look like me"? After all, I am the one who wearing the outfit.
In reality, if I wait long enough my wardrobe will be back in style. So rather than passe doesn't this make me ahead of my time, back to the future.