Thursday, August 20, 2009

Dressing to kill

I used to think about my clothes a lot. You will be surprised to know that I still do. That’s enough surprise – now you’re just judging. Now I think about whether it’s time to throw away the Provincetown t-shirt I got during Women’s Weekend seven years ago and have worn twice a week ever since. Or, I wonder if I should make it a dusting rag, but who am I kidding.

When I was 20, I made myself a dress designed by someone named McClintock. The dress was pink and had many layers of lacy frills and satin ribbon. It had an unforgiving set-in waist panel so that I looked lovely but felt miserable. So I wore punishing high-heeled white sandals with it, the ones I wore in my sister-in-law’s wedding. That’s a bonus triple misery score.

I must have looked fabulous, though, because Nancy made one just like it in white. Hers was two sizes smaller, looked just as good and caused her the same pain.

I got these pants at K-Mart for $5. I never buy new clothes (it’s my way of interrupting the flow of consumption), but they were $5. I think someone wore them and brought them back – a workman’s prom with tags tucked inside – so they don’t really count as new.

I bought a beautiful dress from a catalog when I was 24. I loved it so much on that willowy model. Pale Sahara-brown flowers on a creamy background, and when I put it on I was a mortified pig in a blanket. The Pillsbury dough boy in a wraparound. I didn’t send it back because it wasn’t the dress’s fault and another ten pounds would certainly solve the whole problem.

I always buy my underwear new. I know what I said before, but there are limits. Panties’ demise aren’t easy to predict, either. Not like socks. You see it coming with socks. My favorite ragg wool socks strove to live up to their description, until I could feel the floor through the threadbare parts. Come on. Just be a hole so I can move on with my life, but the socks just got thinner until I had to make the hard choice.

But, underwear is stealthy and hides its infirmity until you are on a job interview and they begin a southward migration. Oh job interview panties! How you have betrayed me!

I used to own body smoothers. I wore them so my real body could not be seen beneath my fitted ivory dress. They worked, of course, until I actually needed my liver or a lung. Those were the days I wore high-heels because a look that hot should never be marred by comfort. I was a body-smoothed, mincing size 10, but fashion doesn’t follow the Geneva Convention. We drove past Laser & Brewer last Sunday, where a sign shouts WE HAVE SPANX! DO YOU? I muttered to Annie, “Fuck Spanx.”

True Fact: If you wear pantyhose tight enough to “slim and support” you, your inner thighs will actually extrude out through the knit and rub together anyway.

I still think about my clothes, but now I think “is this shirt clean?” and “can I trust the elastic in these underwear?” Today I’m thinking, “Did that workman get lucky in these pants?”

1 comment:

dirtyduck said...

“Fuck Spanx.”