I’m not ashamed to tell you that my four year-old dressed me today. I’m very lazy about my style. I live in the mountains and feel like I need an excuse to dress nicely. Seth, on the other hand, is big on dressing up, looking “handsome,” and finding the occasion in the everyday. Hence, he often shows up to school or some other function in full cowboy regalia, including leather vest, or a preppy look with sweater vest and khakis. When he dresses me, he does it because I just helped him get dressed, and his sense of fair play dictates that he should return the favor. He knows my basic style includes some sort of sweater—light fabrics in spring, heavier knits in winter—and jeans. And that’s when I’m “dressing up.” Much of my day-to-day look involves fleece. And yoga pants. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. (Just ask my friend, Florida Keys Girl, who once said, “I don’t do yoga, I just like the pants.”)
So this morning, he marched into my closet and announced: “I’ll get your sweater.” A moment. And then: “Mommy, how about this jeans sweater?”
Ah, yes, my very favorite denim jacket, purchased about 12 years ago, when I was shopping with my friend and colleague, Sue, after we wrapped a photo shoot. Wearing this jacket always takes me back to that day—we’d rented a convertible to tool around LA, driven up the coast to Gladstone’s On the Beach, and then, to the Santa Monica Pier for shopping. The denim jacket looks broken-in in just the right way. I smile every time I wear it. Sue, you see, is a lot of fun, and a great friend who I don’t see nearly enough. Later, I enhanced the jacket with a brooch in the shape of an apple, festooned with rhinestones in the pattern of an American Flag. I bought it in an Israeli-owned accessories store in Grand Central Terminal, on my first trip to NYC after 9/11, just weeks after we’d moved to Utah.
Ok, so what to wear with a “denim sweater”? Jeans were out. Dammit. The Old Navy black cropped-and-cuffed pants (yes, I know, I’m 5’1 and have no business in a cropped pant. I should go to Banana Republic and buy these.); a black t-shirt from eco yoga, with an abstract black and grey silk-screen that has some rhinestones scattered in the pattern, just-so. And, my trusty running-around-after-kids shoes, Dansko criss-cross sandals. I grant you, they’re not too stylish, but they’re close enough, and in my life, comfort is the name of the weekday footwear game.
So, thus suited, I plopped down on the floor to put together a big puzzle with my “stylist,” then managed the dogs, loaded us into the car for errands and day-care drop off, and headed to my mobile office at Park City Coffee Roaster. In the parking lot, I ran into my friend Joanna, who said, “Look at you, GLAM GIRL! Do you have a meeting?” Which shows you how much more frequently I cheat with jeans and a fleece, or yoga pants and a fleece, or shorts and a fleece.
I think, too, that my accessories for the day—my new every day accessories—might have added to her shock. I used to carry some amalgam of canvas totes and reusable shopping bags, plus a tiny little purse from H&M. But last week, while I was visiting Naples, FL with my husband, I splurged. Actually, it was at his express urging, plus a well-timed chime in from my high-school pal Rosana, who happened to be there, too.
So, I now carry this great LV monogram zip-top tote to take the thinking out of what bag I’ll carry. Then, I splurged again on Tom Ford sunglasses—because I’d never had a really, really nice pair of shades before, and these were really pretty. The tote, for the record, holds my laptop, an iPad, snacks for the kids (and me), miscellaneous paperwork that I always seem to need on-hand, and a pouch filled with band-aids, ibuprofen and lip gloss. After dark, I take out the electronics and it’s lightweight and still polished-looking.
I mulled this as I booted up my MacBook in the Roaster, and wandered over to my former colleague Marlein’s blog, LeCatch. Because procrastination is the writer’s first line of defense.
Still, I’m glad I went there. Marlein’s style choices reflect the closet of my dreams. That is, a mix of designer and trendy-chic-on-the-cheap. She’s likely to pair a skirt from H&M with a JCrew top and a designer bag. I wasn’t an expensive-bag kind of person until a week ago—and I bought the one I did because it meant I didn’t need a bunch of bags. And, frankly, the whole of my wardrobe is early-century outlet mall, at best. Every few years I buy something a little more upscale—a piece here or there—and pair it with basics from TJ Maxx. But reading LeCatch is giving me the courage to figure out which items in my closet should be swapped out for better-grade items, and which I can wear with impunity. Granted, I’m still recovering from investing in an expensive bag and shades—so you’ll find me trawling TJ’s for deals as a way to “cancel out” the splurge. But maybe I need to get used to the idea that investing in a few great things is better than a closet full of also-rans. And maybe, just maybe, LeCatch will help get me there.
Now, your turn: What was YOUR latest splurge?