Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Marriage 401, Lecture 610: Fashion forward
I want to talk about something very important today and that is fashion and color.
What is it with the obsession with drab as the proper clothes for dining in a nice restaurant?
OK, maybe not an obsession but it is what I saw Saturday night when SH and I went out for our anniversary dinner.
We had a style challenge: we were going to be spending the afternoon traipsing around town for Doors Open Milwaukee, which was an event where the public could go inside a lot of historical buildings.
Then we were going to a 4 p.m. play. Then dinner at a nice restaurant (the kind with white tablecloths and a sommelier).
Additional challenge: It was rainy and cool and certain to be cooler downtown, as it is almost always cooler by the lake.
How does one dress for rainy, cool weather where one walks a lot because downtown parking is not easy to find (free downtown parking - on principle, SH is not going to pay to park if there is a free space somewhere and for the most part, I support him on this, although it does depend on which shoes I am wearing) and for an afternoon at the theater followed by an evening at a nice restaurant?
I will tell you what one does not wear.
As much as one wants to wear and seeks opportunities to wear one's teal leopard-print heels with the tangerine ribbon, one does not wear them.
1. They are made with a suede-type material and
2. They have high heels. The longest distance I walk in heels these days is about ten yards. I used to spend all day in heels. I don't know what's happened to me. My feet don't put up with as much as they used to. I have read that as we age, we lose fat in our feet. Great. The one place (or one of two places) where I actually want and need fat and that's where it disappears from.
One also does not wear the sleeveless silk dress that one was originally planning to wear to dinner because sleeveless silk + cold + rain = Very Bad Idea. Even with a coat.
One wears a nice dress that is not too dressy for day but not too casual for evening. Or so I thought. One wears flat boots because one can walk in boots. One wears a tangerine pashmina shawl.
One's husband wears khakis, a white shirt with light orange stripes, and a light tangerine sweater with a diamond pattern knitted into the front.
This works for the historical buildings. It works for the play, where there are folks in jeans and sweatshirts.
Yes the obvious question becomes why am I concerned about style in Milwaukee, a city not exactly known for fashion (there are still people who have mullets here, just in time for the mullet's comeback), where a Packers sweatshirt is considered appropriate for the theater. Or a Brewers sweatshirt. In comparison, SH and I are practically Vogue ready.
But at the restaurant, we stood out. SH in his tangerine sweater, me in my tangerine shawl because of course it was freezing inside the restaurant. I will never be warm again as long as I live here.
Everyone else was in black or gray or brown or cream. Muted. Toned done. No color. The restaurant was decorated with black and steel and gray. No color.
It didn't help that there was a table full of Greek orthodox priests sitting behind SH, making the contrast even more stark.
We were the one bright spot in the restaurant. The only peacocks. Were we wrong? Or are we trendsetters?