Saturday, November 28, 2015

What Not To Wear

I know it was the 60s, but what the heck was I wearing?
Rose and Julie are home for Thanksgiving, which can mean only one thing: a marathon viewing of TLC’s epic “What Not to Wear.” For the uninitiated, WNTW style mavens Stacy and Clinton stage interventions involving hopelessly frumpy/sloppy/trashy-looking women. Their sad wardrobes are examined as S and C hold their collective nose, and, mostly, thrown away. Then the unfortunately attired subjects are handed $5000 and coached through a shopping spree. At the end of the show, after being more suitably clad, plus having hair and makeup transformations, the Lucky Ladies parade in front of their applauding friends.

 My favorite episode from yesterday starred Denise, a flight attendant given to wearing a big blonde bouffant hairdo, eensy-weensy skirts, most with sequins or frills, and enough makeup to stock a branch of Sephora. Denise thought she looked “super cute,” and wondered why she wasn’t attracting the right kind of attention. Denise almost burst into tears as her glitzy costumes were flung in the trash can, her hair extensions were discarded, and her huge globs of foundation and eye shadow were wiped off.  When she appeared as the “new” Denise, you could just tell that she would revert to spike heels and big bows in her hair within the week.

Which got me thinking. What kind of attention am I attracting with my appearance? My wardrobe is chock-full of items from LOFT, a relatively stylish store. My hair is regularly colored and cut. I am already a makeup minimalist (lipstick is reserved for special occasions). So why do I feel certain I would not pass muster with Stacy and Clinton?

I think it’s my laziness at play, for the most part. My hair only really looks good during the 24 hours immediately following my appointment, because flat ironing my tresses makes my arm hurt. My clothes only attract the attention of spots and stains, which leap onto me as soon as I exit my bedroom (a situation only made worse since the arrival of baby Aiden, who regularly baptizes me with smushed banana and goldfish cracker crumbs), and it’s too much bother to change. And speaking of change, I haven’t replaced my mascara since 2013 (I think you are supposed to pitch it every couple of months).  I like to think I exude insouciance and a certain bohemian flair, but I fear I most resemble someone who does not own a mirror.

It’s so easy to laugh at the hapless Denise and the other misfits on “What Not to Wear.” It’s harder to think of myself as one of their ilk. The odds of my snagging a reality TV show and five grand in mad money are slim to none, so I’m going to need to go DIY and stage my own intervention. Starting tonight. Out go the ancient blush and ink-spotted jeans.  I pledge to fuss with the hair again and wear lipstick on a more regular basis. No one may recognize me, but I will be proud of myself for a change.

Some of the more stylish Seyfrieds!

1 comment:

  1. Elise, I'm a minimalist, too, about clothes and make-up. Hmmm. Now, the moral dilemma: do I make myself a fashion/make-up crime scene and campaign for the makeover, or get brave and siphon off the old suff I (should) never wear in favor of an existing wardrobe that feels new again? You've inspired me with your funny piece, and - for the record - I've always thought you look terrific!