Saturday, January 24, 2009

What Not To Wear, Farmgirl Edition

I just invested in a bunch of bras and panties that match one another and are not designed for maternity or nursing purposes. Go, me. Way to get my groove back after giving birth to four children. Oh, and ew and apologies on hitting you with "giving birth" right off the get-go -- I was going to type "raising," but as the first is only 10 and the last is just 1, they're hardly raised yet.

Right after the bras and panties but with a few peanut-butter sandwiches in between (a mom can't shop all day) I further invested in three pairs of "good" pants. Not morally superior, just good is what I mean. As opposed to bad. More on the bad later.

The new good pants are black, chocolate brown and denim. This was not any old farm denim, mind you. This was deep dark blue lightweight denim (with no stretch!) and cut of the "trouser" shape. Trouser jeans. My, my, we've come up in the world when even our jeans are trousers.

The trouser jeans are so much better (and by this I mean flattering) than the mom jeans I was wearing previously that I may give up (and by this I mean pretend to still care but not) my floundering heine reduction effort. It's just too hard to work out when my hip can forecast the weather better than can channel 9's team of meteorologists and accompanying sophisticated satellite weather radar thingamajigs. Whenever they tell us it'll be dry for days, I think to myself, yeah, maybe you went to graduate school for this, but did you consult my hip?

There is an elephant in this room, and I'm about to out it. (And I'm NOT talking about the size of my rear, which has been well-documented here.)

Forecasting the weather with one's joints is supposed to be a party trick of the distinctly aged. Distinguished by decades of experience and worthy of their hand-carved canes, these gentle folks are welcome to the task as far as I'm concerned. I would rather not know what's going to happen weather-wise thanks to the creakiness and general shrieking pain factor of any of my joints. I'd happily wait another 40 years or so for the privilege of being so prescient.

Anywhat, back to my pants.

I hadn't bought clothing on purpose in four years. I mean, I hadn't set out to buy clothes in that period of time. I had picked up the odd maternity cardigan or vintage skirt in that time but I certainly didn't spend any time driving between strip malls looking for flattering pocketless pants. Shocking as that may be, that shoppingless fact didn't actually bother me until I saw a picture of my rear end in the mom jeans. And then roaring onto the scene came another picture of me at a Fourth of July picnic, in a cute blue striped A-line linen skirt (classic!) and white cap-sleeved t-shirt, the outline of my maternity bra clearly showing. Crikey. It's a wonder WNTW didn't swoop in with helicopters whirling to whisk me off to a shopping spree right at that moment.

That's what I look like, I thought to myself. No wonder I'm self-conscious. I've been buying clothes for the fabric or the nostalgia and not for how they look on me.

I am famous (in a very small circle) for saying that there ought to be a check-point at the edge of our rural community, some sort of border guard who makes sure we don't look like podunk hicks when we're off to the doctor or orthodontist or neighboring town's bookstore. No one agrees with me. They think I'm being funny.

This might have something to do with the fact that they all look fine most of the time.

So last night my husband and I went to a large home-and-garden show at a fairground near us. I wore the trouser jeans, a blue blouse WITH A COLLAR people, black medium-heeled boots (did I mention the hip is getting better enough to walk around the fairground gawking at home improvement possibilities?) and a grey wool cardigan WHICH WAS NOT MATERNITY. (I gave the maternity cardigans to St. Vincent De Paul. Even the sweet lavender cashmere one, even though I hung onto that bag a smidge too long. Just a smidge. It was hard to let go. Um. Can I get that one back?)

Then we ran into some business acquaintances. Quite a few. Contractors, architects, surveyors, civil and structural engineers were trading cards and stories like gleeful quilting women at a fabric swap. And it was when we met a landscape architect (they're well-known to be natty dressers, those architect types) who happens to be a woman and own her own firm that I knew the trouser jeans were a good choice. It was because I didn't once feel self-conscious.

I wasn't tugging at anything or holding my bag in a certain manner so as to camouflage my brand of country-come-to-town. In fact I didn't even THINK about my clothes. (Until later, when my blog radar started pinging. Maybe, just maybe, some of y'all have been a momfashion victim like me. And maybe, just a little maybe, sharing my pain would help someone else save the high-wasted stretchy jeans for gardening. Who knows. )

Yeah, I know this is shallow of me. And I may be coming to a point nevertheless.

The point is this: "Nevah again! As Scarlett is my witness, I'll never have panty lines again!"

Okay. Vague Gone With The Wind references aside, the point is this: It actually feels kind of good to treat myself at least as well in the wardrobe department as I've always treated our girls. It actually feels good to not be worried that the pediatrician might see my cleavage, or the neighbors might see my pajama pants, or I might be pictured on a billboard in a LBMD (little black maternity dress -- don't pretend you don't have one).


Katie said...

Coming to you live, from fashion check point my pajamas...

Girlfriend, way to go!

QuiltedSimple said...

Been there....done it's time for US, right? Too funny....and too true.....

Barb said...

But I don't WANNA buy clothes in size, man. When do I get my old body back, exactly? (My youngest is 8.)

HonuGirl said...

LOVE to hear about the shopping "AB" (after babies) has begun!! It was nice of you to share about the boots -- you had me with the heels!! I'm so incredibly proud right now!! Whoo Hoo!

Jules said...

"I wasn't tugging at anything or holding my bag in a certain manner so as to camouflage my brand of country-come-to-town."

LOL!! This post is hilarious! I can totally relate and I think your idea of a check-point to make sure we don't go into town looking like bumpkins is an Awesome idea! I could use me one of them! ;)

Thanks so much for stopping by my place and giving your condolences for my Grandma. It means a lot to me that people care.