Thursday, May 29, 2008

Trends



Yesterday I tried on dresses for about an hour. I'm going to a dressy party in a couple of weeks so I thought maybe it would be good to have a dress, something I never wear because ... uh ... I don't have any dresses.

This season's styles are so unflattering to my mid-age figure that I had to laugh out loud every time I looked at myself in the changing room mirror. Does anyone look good in them? OK, probably some women do. I'm thinking the women who look good in anything would look good in the bubble dresses with the crazy patterns.

In my life I've tried "wearing" a number of personal styles that had nothing to do with clothing. Some trends were flattering, some not so much. For instance, during my 20's, I "wore" self-destructiveness. That didn't look good, not at all. Apparently, I thought it was just the thing, though I was probably too stoned to really know the difference between self destruction and happiness.

My early 30's looked pretty good on me. I was more or less stable, in psychotherapy, had good friends and lots to think about. My days as a witch as well as my short-lived lesbian "lifestyle" looked as ridiculous on me as those bubble dresses yesterday. I tried, but failed to pull off either one of those trends. Kind of embarrassing to look back on it.

Now I'm gazing into the mirror of my life at 55 and asking whether or not the current trend, the bodyworker, Reiki Master, Capitol Hillizen, still fits. Hmmm. Well. Maybe not like a glove, but it looks better than the lifestyle "outfits" I wore in decades past. Maybe my life needs some tailoring, but basically, it's working for me.

I wonder if I'll look back on this in ten years and be as horrified as when I see pics of myself during the mid 1980's. The hair! The shoulder pads! The legwarmers! Yikes. Maybe it's only possible to figure out what really worked after the fact. Is that true? Beats me.

17 comments:

IntangibleArts said...

Nope, sorry. Can't picture my fave Reiki master (mistress?) in the shoulder-pads and leg-warmers.

Heck, even back when they were happening, I remember thinking the shoulder pads turned otherwise sensible young ladies into football linebackers. Very weird.

The most this Intangible Artist can confess to is looking like the typical 20-something leftist punk in the mid 80s: shaved bald, too thin, abstaining from meat & leather. Those were the days...

Reya Mellicker said...

I loved the shoulder pads - at the time!

I bet you were so cute as a leftist punkster.

As for the upcoming party, I'm going to go look at the retro shop. Maybe styles from the 60's will work better for me than anything from the current decade.

deborah said...

Fascinating as always and a big trip down memory clothing lane in a nice convertible
wearing strappy prom heels
and a miniskirt

It seems I am always wanting to thank you for insight which
triggers so much

Wonderful photos
and much love from the humid
Midwest

An aside: Target, unbelievably, has some really nice 40's style polka dot dresses
that look great on lots of women. . .

deborah said...

Fascinating as always and a big trip down memory clothing lane in a nice convertible
wearing strappy prom heels
and a miniskirt

It seems I am always wanting to thank you for insight which
triggers so much

Wonderful photos
and much love from the humid
Midwest

An aside: Target, unbelievably, has some really nice 40's style polka dot dresses
that look great on lots of women. . .

Dan Wayne Sims said...

Dresses are nice.

lacochran said...

Once a Reiki Master, always a Reiki Master. You'll take it with you, no matter what you do.

When I think back on "awkward" phases, I think "if I hadn't been there, I wouldn't be here." I'm not sure it applies to legwarmers, though. :) Yes *blush* I wore them.

I hope you find something spectacular to wear in all respects. I truly believe the key to successful shopping is persistence.

Steve said...

It's always different to look at fashion in context. If everyone around you had leg warmers and big shoulder pads, those styles wouldn't look nearly as silly as they do. Know what I mean?

I often get the feeling that, at least in terms of clothing, stores don't market to my age group. So I know exactly where you're coming from.

As for other "trends," well, some are fond memories, and some are best forgotten. :)

Reya Mellicker said...

Some definitely are best forgotten.

Lacochran! the key to successful shopping is persistence.

YES! And that's just where I fall down on the job when shopping for clothes. After about 10 minutes I always think, "Maybe it's time for lunch," or "Maybe someone can come meet me for a drink," or "I GOTTA GET OUTTA HERE!"

The whole fashion industry is completely bewildering to me.

Deborah - "prom" heels? Is that the same as "F me" heels?

You and Hannah always look fantastic. Both of you love fashion and clothes. That gene is missing in my DNA.

Reya Mellicker said...

Deborah - I got the make-up and hair color gene, you and Hannah got the nice clothing gene.

d. chedwick said...

I so hated 80's fashion--I was hopelessly out of date with my little shoulders and simple dresses, dark jeans--I hated acid wash, crazy hats and those wide belts everyone slung on their hips.I had more than one person tell me I wasn't "with it" but I was comfortable. There was that 20 something peer pressure too, but I couldn't wear that stuff--It would look crazy on me.
Sometimes you see a fad like footballer shoulders and ties for all women and you know it won't last. It's nice now that I go out and see women wearing pretty much whatever they want to, and looking good. It's more about grooming and well cut clothes than some oddity or trendy accessories. I so disliked those "prairie length" skirts and big oversized blazers too! Wow, the 80's were such a bad decade for fashion!! I forgot how bad it was!

Ulysses said...

So, these 80's pictures, you're putting them up soon, no?
I'll go look for those skinny tie, wingtips, wool trooper jacket, pics...

Reya Mellicker said...

I forgot all about "prairie length" skirts. Man.

Ulysses, in a recent post I went into great detail about how much I hate to have my picture taken. I only a very few pics of myself after the age of 8 or 9. There is no remaining evidence of that unfortunate moment in fashion, as I interpreted it.

Thank God!

mouse (aka kimy) said...

good luck!! I hate having to 'dress up'.....I am constantly culling my closet and putting stuff in the bags for the 'goodwill' folks to pick up (they aren't really goodwill, but easter seals, purple heart, etc)....and I can now say I have successfully 'recycled' all my outfits with shoulder pads (I had a few, for some reason I did seem attached to them - but it might have been the fabrics and not the pads)

prairie length dresses, I'm afraid to say the majority of girly clothes remaining in my closet probably would qualify....

best to you on this one....love the bottom picture! great self-portrait.

Reya Mellicker said...

Thanks, Mouse!

Moonroot said...

I think you always look great!!

Pod said...

you are beautiful no matter what you wear!
(perhaps chuck the shoulder pads out though...)
x

Reya Mellicker said...

The shoulder pads are long gone. How nice to see your dashing face, Pod!