Fashion dilemma

So, it’s fashion week in New York City, and here I sit, an overweight 60+ year old wondering where my fashion sensibilities fit in, and more importantly, where the hell am I going anyway, so why do I need to be “fashionable”? Fashion (or as I like to think of it as “personal expression”) has always been an important part of my life. Because we moved so often, I never quite “fit in” with the trends of the places we landed in. (Alien in an alien world at all times). So, my fashion coping mechanism would be to take a little of this (what would be trendy), and a little of that (flea market finds) throw in a little of something else (usually hand crafted), and make sure it was a bit oversized (not swallowing), and voila, I was dressed. My color palette changed over the years from “I hate green, because I have green skin” to “I love green, it makes my dull skin look pink”, and of course “black is everything”. I went from making a lot of my own clothes, to buying at flea markets and second hand stores, to buying from etsy, and now back to making my own clothes. And, don’t get me started on shoes! As an art teacher in a high school, I wanted my students to see that self expression and orginality can be telegraphed by clothing choices, and that there are many artists who are making really cool things that you can wear, or conversely YOU can make a lot of great things to wear. I became known by one sentence “only she can wear that and get away with it”. Now in the confines of my home and retirement, I am happy wearing that which is comfortable. Which is not to say what I wore wasn’t. In fact my mantra for fashion has always be “it shouldn’t hurt”. My wardrobe is fixed. I have enough clothes to last 10 lifetimes. But I am not “fixed”. I am moving on, getting older, shortening up, hunching slightly, slower in pace, squintier in eye, grayer in hair. So, I am picking up where I started, and designing and making my own clothes again, slowly. I just finished a sweater I adore, and have started another. I have found a pattern I designed over 30 years ago for a dress that I know will work for me now. I am excited to know that I can be in charge of my fashion sensibilities still, and instead of going to flea markets and second hand stores to add to my new wardrobe that I am making, I will just raid my closet.


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