Perusing my newest Southern Living, I am reminded of the fact that I am truly no fashion icon. Not saying that SL is a homebody’s version of Vogue – but it’s kinda my homebody’s version of Vogue.
I don’t subscribe to fashion magazines. I don’t follow fashion blogs or Insta-celebrities. Occasionally I overhear fashion advice from my students.
Yesterday, they were talking about slouchy separates. I was all in. Slouchy is my second language – spoken every single weekend till Monday at sunrise.
At least, I was all in until I heard someone say — “Just pair ‘em with a scarf and block heels” – and then I was all out.
My version of slouchy separates includes an old pair of sweats and an oversized tee. Block heels? More like bare feet. And the only scarf I’ll do is of the verb-variety — over a huge plate of pancakes and bacon. My twins are my only accessories and I wear them everywhere. That’s why weekends are my days to decompress – not impress.
I come from a long line of well-dressed women. They are immaculate. All day. Every day. My baby sis does black tie as a career choice; my second-born sister wears heels for a quick trip to the refrigerator; and my mom only recently purchased her first pair of sneakers. Kid you not.
I love them. I admire them. I could never be them.
They are fashion goddesses. Me? If I were a goddess, I would be Antipodes. As in, the exact opposite of them.
Now, I do know how to put myself together when occasion calls for it. I’ve rented the runway once or twice. And I’m all about the messy bun. And I even do my brows and toes, although not at a salon. I do them the old-fashioned way – which I guess is far from fashion-forward. But it’s frugal.
And living on two teachers’ salaries, I need to be frugal, not on fleek. All my extra cash goes toward clothing our 4-yr-old twin boys. They need new digs every coupla months — and even with Kohl’s cash, that’s a whole lotta pennies. So waxing and pedis are pretty much outa my fashion budget.
But what started me on this whole rant is my Southern Living magazine. It arrived in the mail yesterday. SL has been modernizing itself as of late and now includes a page or two on fashion bloggers from the South and their glamour go-to’s. The one this time around is a petite little blonde with dangly blue earrings from Georgia. She’s a teacher and blogger, so naturally I took notice.
But those dangly-blue earrings make me immediately suspect she’s nothing like me. There’s no way in dangly-blue-earring hell she’s a mother. If she is, she’s into body mutilation because those earrings are an invitation to pull. I would end up with ear lobes like serpents’ tongues.
And then there’s the white eyelet dress and wedged platform espadrilles she’s sporting. What mom in her right mind wears white eyelet and platform wedges? That’s just disaster at the design stage. There’s nothing but grape juice stains and high ankle sprains in her future. And she has compiled this ensemble for rambling ‘round the big city of Atlanta.
Me? I do weekend rambles around my ranch house looking for lost laundry, not little holes-in-the-wall (although we have those too). Or, if I’m really feeling frisky, we head out to the local Target. That’s our family’s version of a big city jaunt. Nope. No way she’s a mother.
But the finishing-touch is the crossbody fringed yellow bag worn like a Miss Universe pageant sash. The actual bag is barely the size of her left ass cheek. And I’m not talking a three-pregnancy-with-one-being-twins sized ass cheek — the kind that can clutch that lemon yellow crossbody bag in its Dunlap and hide it like a marshmallow Easter egg — I’m talking an unnaturally small, could-probably-still-buy-her-panties-in-a-Carter’s-toddler-girl-3-pack sized ass cheek.
That bag – and her behind – are way too little to be worried about fitting a travel bag of wet wipes and supplies of goldfish and gummy fruit chews and drink boxes and bribe-toys for her kids, plus a mama-size bottle a Motrin for herself in that bag. No way, no how.
That bag is my undoing. And not simply for its size, which is infinitesimal, but for the cost, which is astronomical. At least on my teacher’s salary.
$98??? For a handbag?
And I know that’s nothing in the grand scheme of handbag economics. Turn a couple of Southern Living pages and there’s a slew of Dooney & Bourke satchels for nigh-on $400. What the rucksack? I have NEVER understood paying a massive chunk of your hard-earned living wage on a pocketbook.
But this teacher and blogger, she’s game. But then, she obviously doesn’t have to spend her salary on a new set of toddler trappings (times two) every change of seasons. Or maybe she does… Maybe she is a mama. And maybe that mama manages to pay for her kids’ seasonal closet overhaul with something other than teacher pay.
Maybe her blog helps her live and dress this way. Maybe her blog is her cash cow. Maybe she’s making so much moolah off sponsors she can afford to replace eyelet dresses and ankle bones after a single showing. Or maybe she’s even got a nanny. So high ankle sprains and grape stains aren’t even on her radar because her kids aren’t either.
Maybe I’m doing it all wrong.
Maybe I should start a fashion blog. I’m sure there’s a market out there for moms who love slouchy separates and handbags from Goodwill. Surely people out there want to know how to pair leggings with a messy bun and vintage bathrobe. (And by vintage, I mean threadbare from the era of twin toddlers — still underway — where distressed and aged is all the rage.)
So if you’re into utilitarian style… and “chunky” describes your midrift, not your cableknit… and you have toddlers instead of handbags hanging crosswise off your chest… and your earrings have been retired to the dark recesses of your closet and memory, I’m your gal.
Now pardon me… while I take a weekend ramble ‘round the Target toy aisle in my twin accessories.