Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Beware of All Endeavors Requiring New Clothes

It finally hit me that I've spent the last several years buying boring clothes. As a librarian, of course, it's expected that we're not going to dress like we just stepped off a runway, and certainly, as a woman of size, it's harder for me than someone who wears, say, a size 12 to find anything that doesn't look dowdy or matronly. Sleeves, for example, are the bane of my existence- while I like sleeves, I don't like elbow-length sleeves because they aren't flattering to me. Most wrist-length sleeves are  a hair too long. Sleeveless? Oh, now there's a whole new set of challenges- anybody who sews can tell you that patterns, even plus size ones, are typically drafted for a B cup breast. Guess what? I haven't been a B cup since the seventh grade.

The other thing is that while I like patterns, a lot of what I've been seeing the last little while reminds me of a Rorschach test. How is that flattering? It's distracting, I suppose, if that happens to be what you're shooting for, but when you have hyper-intelligent friends, what invariably happens is that they'll spend your time together interpreting the design. "That looks like two rhinosceri sparring." "No, I think it looks like two ducks attempting to rip a junebug in half." "Well, personally, I think it looks like the Crab Nebula." You get the general idea.

Last summer, I went against type and bought a bright yellow gauze skirt. I figured that with the color that far from my face, I could get away with it- sunny yellow makes me look embalmed otherwise- and it's been sort of fun. I'm just wondering if there's anything, I don't know, maybe "peppier" that I could add to the mix that might be more cheerful. I don't want to look twee, but I do need a little pick-me-up of some sort. I might be middle-aged but I'm not dead, either.

I'm also considering some changes to hair and makeup. Professionally, I wear an almost bare makeup palette, and lately I've noticed that I look tired and washed-out. My hair is so long and fine that I have no choice but to pull it back in the stereotypical librarian bun. I feel old. I look old. I have to do something. As much as I'd like to get a makeover at the Bobbi Brown counter, I'm still a loyal MAC girl- but I need something doable, not something that will take three hours every morning. I'm just too impatient to fool with that anymore.

When I was in high school, I was on TV twice with the quick recall team. What we were told was: "Don't wear white or black, and girls, don't wear dark lipstick. This won't photograph well. Blue or pink shows up nicely on-camera." Being that guy at the D&D game who has boobs, and, well, the ONLY girl on camera both times, I wore the button-down Oxford sported by the two boys on my team, and the first time, mine was pink (it was blue for the second taping). When they took the PR still for the local paper, I gave it my best smile,'s the best picture ever taken of me. I've lost my copy of it, but I still remember.

That's what I need to get back- a look where I can be happy and not hate what I look like, especially if somebody decides to haul out a camera. I guess I'm sick and tired of looking sick and tired...

1 comment:

A. R. Campbell said...

I wish I lived closer to you. I have a gift for telling people what colors look good on them. Maybe next time I'm in KY...which will probably be Christmas....