I’m not a follower unless we are talking about clothes.
In my daily life, I’m a my-own-drummer kind of gal. So much so that it is not entirely outside the realm of possibility that you might find me rapidly waddling through a field after a panicked sheep, all while brandishing a small cleaver and weeping because I am a coward) to the end of making my own damn to beat upon.
All it takes is one Fez-wearing sage like Andre Leon Talley and I’m standing in a department store trying to convince all of my friends that no, leather pasties ARE TOTALLY OF THE MOMENT AND APPROPRIATE FOR WORK. I guess if I have to be a follower in any aspect of my life, it’s more acceptable to be kowtowing to weirdoes, right? So I’ve got that going for me.
I don’t believe in dressing for my body. I believe in dressing for the moment.
Currently, the moment is telling me that overalls are back, and I’d best get to donning them. As my sole pair -- purchased as part of a Mario Brothers group Halloween costume -- airs out on my bed, I try to be rational about this trend, but reason is not trumping my secret desire to be stopped by a street fashion blogger.
Do overalls look good on me? No. They manage to both give me the fiercest camel toe in all the land, while simultaneously making me appear to be packing a semi-erect dong. Verily, my body is indeed a wonderland.
“They also make you look pregnant,” my sister might helpfully point out. I don’t care about stuff emphasizing my perfect pottish belly. I have a soft spot for my soft spots. I look at celebrities who highlight their pregnant bellies and tend to be all, “Baller, now let’s do that with our non-baby bellies.”
That said, I do recognize when the harem pants I saw looking elegant and chic make me look vaguely like I’m promoting cringe-worthy Orientalism, or better yet, like I’m advocating the use of adult diapers for the continent and lazy.
It’s not my body that’s not pulling off the trends -- it’s my personality. A model photographed in a pair of, say, parchment colored, wide-leg, linen pants, mysteriously looking over one shoulder as she walks down a Parisian side street -- she conveys, with an assist from a photographer and a creative director, a sense of mystery, she makes you think of secret rendezvous, of double-lives, of sex and scandal.
I put on the same pants, and it’s not my short stature that turns an elegant look comic, it’s who I am: The pants are rumpled and creased immediately. There is probably coffee on them. I trip over the hem, because I am too lazy for the parenthetically mentioned tailoring.
I am many things, I am absolutely beautiful in my own right, but I am not a woman whose personality will best be captured in a candid shot sneaking off to meet a lover. Instead, get a photo of me walking down a suburban street on a quest for two-for-one Nutella while bantering with a friend. Those pants? Aren’t made for that. They aren’t made for me.
That doesn’t mean I stop trying. I try to think of it as not following a trend, but being daring in my own, control-freak way. Sure, I tend to do exactly as is expected of me -- but sometimes I might wear a halter-top made of suspenders while I do it.
Has this made for some embarrassing fashion memories? Totally. I once wore a leotard and only a leotard out of my home well before the era of Gaga made this all too au fait. I have tripped over pants, and fallen out of tops, I have known the exquisite agony of dressing to match one’s skin tone and the slow realization that people think you are naked.
But I’ve also had the thrill that comes when an outfit -- trendy or otherwise -- suits not just your body, but your mood, and I’ve known that moment when you are like “That’s right - everything’s comin’ up ME!” And it’s awesome. And I wouldn’t change any of it.
Do you attempt the trends? Have you ever accidentally bared your naked ass to a throng of your friends while attempting to do so?