Thoughts from a Noble Woman: On Clothing and Fashion Mishaps

We have an interesting development in our mysterious M.A.’s diary (first discussed here): it looks like she gave considerable thought into how she presented herself, clothing-wise.

How many philosophers can you name spent time thinking of such things?

Yeah, same here.

And yet, it can be argued, it is hardly a trivial pursuit. How you dress makes a difference in how people see you, and perhaps in how you perform.

But as M.A. points out, there is a dark side to taking such matters seriously, that being, feeling yourself superior as a result.

And personally? I love how she struggles with it!

Just see for yourself:

MA 2

Do not think that because you choose your attire with care that you are somehow better than she who does not.
Such as the woman you saw at the store this morning.
What was she thinking? For goodness sake, what would her mother say?
What would my mother say?
No! Stop it!
All women are your sisters – remember this. No matter how they are dressed, they are your equals.
Do not judge them because their slip is showing; you’ve been there too.
Never laugh at their fashion choices; you’ve taken questionable paths as well.
However scandalous the hemlines – oh dear, they are scandalous…
No! Don’t think it! Instead, repeat to yourself:

Clothing is not Morality
Clothing is not Intelligence
Clothing is not Kindness

And if in finding a woman who thinks as you do, who shares your fashion sense, if together you show contempt for a younger woman’s clothing, what does that accomplish except cause division among your sex? Will it cause the younger woman to change her attire? Of course not! She will see you and your friend as obnoxious prudes. For that is what you are.
So stop it!
Nay, keep your thoughts to yourself. Instead, let your own mode of dress speak for you and be kind.
In all things, be kind.

From M.A.’s Recipe Drawer

All Dressed Up with No Place to Go Egg Salad

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy breezy
  • Print

An egg salad elegant enough for company, whether elegantly attired or not.

Egg salad with smoked salmon

Ingredients

  • 6 hard boiled eggs, chopped
  • 4 ounces smoked salmon, finely chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 Tablespoon finely snipped, fresh dill
  • 1 Tablespoon finely chopped chives
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Mayonnaise

Directions

Mix first ingredients together in a medium sized bowl, add enough mayonnaise to bind together.

Use as a sandwich filling or to serve with crackers.
Another option: Make deviled eggs! Slice hardboiled eggs in half and remove yolks, chop and mix with other ingredients. Spoon a generous mound of salmon-yolk filling into each egg half. Place a bit of dill or chives on each for serving.

She’s Come Undone: Crisis Looms in Women’s Office Wear

I’ve been on a mission to clean out my closet and change up the old wardrobe. My goal is to eliminate morning angst.

I want to be able to pop into the closet, grab a shirt, pants & blazer — and by that I mean any shirt, pants & blazer – and boom, I’m out of there. Classy, chic, and completely office appropriate.

My mission is nearly complete.

But in pursuit of my dream, I have stumbled upon a most alarming situation. Something I believe will undermine women’s role in society if we don’t take action immediately.

What it is, you ask, that has me in such a dither?

It happened while I was doing the whole Google thing. My search terms being ‘classy’, ‘chic’, and ‘office appropriate’. I couldn’t help noticing that some women – and by some women, I mean nearly every woman wearing a button up shirt – seemed to have extraordinary difficulty buttoning up

These are just a few of the poor dears I came across:

 

What bothers me the most (and if you’re a woman, it should concern you as well), is that no one pointed it out to them!

I mean, come on! This woman missed TWO buttons!

Pink shirt

If a man has his fly undone, doesn’t someone take him aside? Whisper in his ear? Give him a quick heads up?

Of course they do!

But these poor women had no one. NO ONE!

White shirt
Alas, I fear this gal was unable to button up. She clearly needs the next size up.

 

And just look at this next woman! She missed a good three or four buttons, and even forgot a bra!

striped suit low cut

Aw hell, she’s even in her pajamas!

Couldn’t anyone tap her on the shoulder and whisper, “Uh, dear, you might want to freshen up a bit before you walk into that meeting.”

Really? ANYONE?!

And lest you think it stops here, oh no my friends. It gets worse. It gets much worse.

There are women who didn’t just forget buttons, they forgot to wear shirts!!!

 

 

I am deeply concerned, my friends. Deeply concerned!

Were a man to walk into a meeting dressed as thus, he would likely get laughed out of the boardroom. Or else have dollar bills stuffed in his pants.

Honestly, how can we hope to be taken seriously in the workplace if we can’t even manage a button or two? From whence shall our help come?

Therefore, I call upon my fellow sisters to make a pledge to one another: If we see each other unbuttoned, unzipped or unsnapped, where we definitely need to be buttoned, zipped, and/or snapped, we will discretely let each other know.

And please, oh please, I beg of you: should I ever forget to wear a shirt, please let me know!!!

Girl Talk in the Break Room

At work last week, one of the Attendance clerks was wearing the prettiest blue top you ever did see.

But when I was in the Break room with her, before the school bell rang, she admitted something. The top was brand-new; she bought it at Ross. Brought it home, was cutting the tags off and… what do you suppose she found? A maternity tag!

Here she was so thrilled with how it fit, and come to find out, it was a maternity top!

Augh! Continue reading “Girl Talk in the Break Room”

Meltdown in the Dressing Room

Bent over, dress over my head, I question all my life choices.

AKA: The Little Black Dress From Hell

It was a simple, unassuming dress. Nothing fancy or sexy. Not even particularly Little black dress with sleevesinteresting, truth be told. But it looked useful, in that work-appropriate-and-currently-on-sale kind of way.

I decided to try it on.

This was my favorite consignment store and they were having a huge sale. All blue-tagged items 90% off! Ninety percent! All around me women were carrying heaps of clothing, all with blue tags.

“Just one? ” the dressing room attendant asks me.
“Just one,” I reply.

I go to my usual stall, last one on the left. I undress quickly and take the dress off its hanger.

Hmm. The zipper is in the side seam. I hate that. Zippers do not belong in side seams.

I look at the price tag again. With the discount, it’ll be $3.00. I put the dress on.

It’s over my head, so far so good, bust line is loose, but then I don’t have a bust, so whatever. Sleeves are a bit tight. That’s weird. Pull the dress down all the way, hip & thighs fit with room to spare. Amazing. Zip up side seam and look in mirror.

Okay, so the length is good. Not too short, not too long. Wow, these sleeves are tight. What’s up with that? Waistline is loose, could use a belt. I pull at the sleeves. Maybe I can remove them? Cut the seam and add a thin strip of ribbon?

Hell, for three bucks, I’m willing to make it work.

I unzip the side and start to pull the dress off, only the sleeves are resisting. As in, full on revolt. They aren’t budging.

I’m bent over, dress over my head. I hear women on the other side of the curtain:

“Grandma, that looks great!”
“The color is a bit much.”
“It looks good on you though!”
“People would stare, wouldn’t they?”
“We don’t care what people think. We’re Gypsies.”
“True.”

Silently I cheer on the Gypsy women. Inwardly I curse the idiot who designed this dress. It had to be a man. A man who hates women.

I tug harder. If anything, it feels tighter. I think my arms are swelling. Swelling in protest of the monster who made this dress.

What does one do in a situation like this? Call out for help?  Would anyone hear me from the last room, bent over with a dress over my head?

I hear more voices:

“What do you think of this?… Oh, I’m sorry! You’re the wrong Paula!
(Laughter) “That’s okay. I think it looks amazing.”
“Really? It doesn’t doesn’t too tight? I thought it looked tight.”
“Does it feel tight?”
“No, it feels comfortable.”
“It doesn’t look tight. It looks sexy.”
Really?”

emergency-cordYou know what they should put in dressing rooms? They should have one of those “pull for assistance” cords like in hospital bathrooms.

Oh gawd, what have I done? I knew the sleeves felt tight, but I put the dress on anyway. Stupid, stupid, stupid!

I tug harder… Seriously, this isn’t moving. I’m really stuck.

I bet Gypsy women never worry about getting stuck in clothes. I bet Paula, or Paula’s friend, or the woman who tells strangers they look sexy never have to worry.

Of course they don’t worry! They have shopping buddies! I’m an idiot who shops alone! Why am I a loner? And why am I so damned cheap that I struggle into three dollar dresses with sausage casing sleeves?

Bent over, dress over my head, I question all my life choices. I wonder why I’m in a dressing room when the sun is shining outside. What brought me to this low state?

But mostly I ask, why do I have a job that makes me wear anything other than jeans, a t-shirt and sneakers?!

thoreau“I say, beware of all enterprises that require new clothes, and not rather a new wearer of clothes.”
–Henry David Thoreau

Finally, I come to a decision: I will NOT be beaten by this dress!

And there is no way in hell I’m going to call for help and let anyone see me bent over with a dress over my head!

Summoning all my strength and resolve, I take a deep breath, exhale, and tug again.

Movement! I sense movement! I tug again, slower this time… yes, it’s coming off! Sweet alleluias fill my ears! All is right with the world!

When I return the dress I tell the attendant, “They should put a warning on that thing. The sleeves are super tight.”

“Oh really?” she says, not looking in the least bit concerned. Her arms are super skinny.

One day, young maiden, it will be true for you as well. A day closer than you may think, you will find yourself in a dressing room very much like this one, and you will be stuck.

And when that day arrives, if I am near, I will help you fair maiden. You have my word.

Say What?

Here’s something you may not know about me: I love thrift stores. If I see one, I gotta stop. This includes on vacations.

Which is why I now know Oregon has some mighty nice thrift stores. Even their Goodwill stores border on classy. At one, the outside sign said, “Goodwill Boutique.”

You think I’m kidding, but I’m not.

Navy blue womens sleeveless topAnyway, I just wanted to tell you about a sleeveless top I found, not in a thrift store but in a consignment shop. Yes, it was a good deal and it looks lovely on me, but what I really want to show you is its tag.

The top was made in Italy and was new, by which I mean it still had its original store tags.  Everything, including care instructions, is in Italian. But one tag included an English translation, and I’m guessing whoever wrote it relied on Google translator.

See for yourself:clothing tags from item made in Italy

“This is strands state decorated of stone crystal product to SWAROVSKI”

(Just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?)

So yeah, the little shiny things down the front are Swarovski crystals. Pretty little top for $15, don’t you think?

It brought to mind another hot deal I came upon a few years back. It was for an espresso maker, also made in Italy, also suffering slightly in translation. My favorite part from the instructions:

“Screw strongly the top of the coffeepot on the little tank but don’t prize the handle.”

Words to live by.

Idea!

I bet if we compiled our favorite mistranslations, we’d have the makings of a great book. Something worthy to be read in bathrooms everywhere.

Think about it, lovely readers. And remember — screw strongly. 😉

Shoe Shopping for the Stylish Ninja Wannabe

Does anyone else remember the days when shoe salespeople would hover over you, ask what you wanted, measure your feet, go to the back of the store to retrieve the box, and then actually put the shoes on your feet? Actually touching your feet?!

Embed from Getty Images

Wow. Sure glad those hellish days are over. Aren’t you?

No doubt the shoe salespeople are happy too. In fact, I think the Shoe Sellers Union worked tirelessly trying to prevent salespeople from ever having to touch feet again. And I, for one, love them for it.

What I don’t love, however, is how many shoe stores are completely carpeted. I mean, what’s up with that? That is just so, so wrong! How the heck can someone choose a pair of shoes — a seriously important endeavor — in a completely carpeted store? It’s impossible, I say!

I mean, oh sure, you can judge a shoe by its looks, you can check its fit, you can even jump up and down if need be, but you can’t check its sound. And it is the sound of a shoe that is of the utmost importance. Am I right?

Tell me, have you ever bought a pair of shoes only to discover they squeaked? Or squished? Or made an undefinable floopy sound?

What I want — what I dream of — are shoes that are utterly quiet … silent as the air … nary a whisper or breath of sound … as inaudible as the most inaudible thing you’ve never heard.

You know. Like, really, really quiet.

Continue reading “Shoe Shopping for the Stylish Ninja Wannabe”

Unexpected Compliments

sunshine-2Today marks the beginning of a new feature at Feeding on Folly — Saturday Smile — where I’ll share with you something that made me smile during the week, be it a site or blog I found, something I read, or an experience I had. I’ll share it with the hope of making you smile too.

And here’s the best part: You’re invited to join me in this project of spreading smiles. Did something special happen this last week? Maybe you overheard a funny conversation, discovered a great new product, or your kid said the darnedest thing. Put it in the comments! Give us all a Saturday Smile!

I thought I was only going to introduce this feature today and wait until next week to begin, but I had a little encounter at the grocery store this morning that put a smile on my face.

Continue reading “Unexpected Compliments”