Borrowing a term from the economic sector, I’m what’s known in the fashion industry as a "lagging indicator.” It’s not that I don’t care about current trends – it’s just that it takes me a while to incorporate them into my wardrobe, which wouldn’t big a deal except for the fact that that by the time I get around to actually wearing a particular style, it’s no longer in style. Designers have long since moved on to something else, and once again (according to Vogue) I’m completely out of vogue.
The question I keep asking myself is why do I bother trying to follow fashion trends at all? I mean, some of those styles don’t even look good on me! Take hip-huggers, for instance. There was a time when I had hips worth hugging – back when I was maybe ten or twelve – but these days anything that hits me below the navel just serves to call attention to my worst asset (accent on the first syllable!) And yet oddly enough, a few years ago when everybody started wearing hip-huggers again, fool that I am I went out and purchased a pair, despite the fact that I couldn’t sit down in them without exposing a large expanse of my big white granny panties (another little fashion item I’ve been remarkably slow to give up.)
And then there were those broom skirts from the 90’s. Remember them? Talk about unflattering. Come on. Voluminous crinkly, gauzy fabrics? Elastic waistbands? Ankle-length mismatched ruffles? Horizontal tiers? Who designed these things? A bunch of malicious cross-eyed, dim-witted gypsies? No wonder it took me so long to give in to this one. Nevertheless, give in I did, and just as I built my whole wardrobe around them, out they went.
Of course to be fair I have to confess that there have been a few fads that actually worked in my favor. Like shoulder pads. Now I won’t go so far as to say they had the same "slimming effect” on me as they did on the stars of Dynasty, but at least when I wore them I didn’t look quite so much like a Weeble, so you can understand why I was sad to see those little fellers go out of style (which they did, of course, right after I bought several dozen new outfits that had them.)
But shoulder pads aside, I can’t think of a single other fashion trend that has been the least bit flattering on me, and yet I still keep trying, despite some pretty incredible missteps. In fact, some of the fads I’ve fallen for over the years are a little embarrassing to mention, even now. My "coyote howling at the moon t-shirt phase” comes to mind here, as does my "Princess Diana hat phase”. Despite doing my dead level best to eradicate evidence of either one, alas photos still occasionally surface showing me looking a bit untidy and disheveled in the t-shirts, and like a complete idiot in the hats.
But that’s just the way it is with me and fashion. Something new comes down the runway and I wait around until everybody’s been wearing it a good long forever, then I go out and buy one for myself, regardless of how it looks on me, or whether or not I even like it. Case in point: my most recent purchase – a smock. That’s right, I said a smock. I cannot believe I paid good money for this thing! The mere sight of it makes me edgy. Every time I put it on I get a weird déjà-vu case of morning sickness and start waddling when I walk. And I’ll bet I’m not alone on this one. Breathes there a woman in America who didn’t burn every last one of her maternity smocks on the day her last child was born, and vow that there would be lemons growing on Mars before she’d ever don one of those stinkin’ tops again? Well get your telescopes and juicers ready ladies, because smocks are back and we’re all wearing them.
The good news is the very fact that I’ve gone out and bought one for myself should mark the end of this particularly awful fashion phase. The bad news is that I’ll be compelled to buy whatever’s next. You wait. Just my luck it’ll be Spandex.