Hat on Top, Coat Below


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August 8, 2002

It’s shining fashion moments day, in which I dig through my photo albums and share the very best looks from four decades of getting dressed. Looking at them now, they might seem like faux pas, but at the time, I was stylin’. Here’s the evidence (the pictures are links today, so you can choose to look or not, depending on your connection speed and passion for fashion):

Exhibit A, the 1960’s: the bunny suit. I can’t take credit for choosing this one, since I was only nine months old. Note the perky ears on the hood and the matching fuzzy shoe covers. I look a little uncertain about this ensemble, you notice.

Exhibit B, the 1970’s: the shorts and knee socks. Sadly, I could not find a color picture of this outfit, so you’ll have to imagine: the halter top (I made it myself) was a pink and blue floral, the shorts were navy, as were the tennis shoes, and those happenin’ knee socks were bright pink.

Exhibit C, the 1980’s: the ivory jumpsuit. I wore this to my wedding rehearsal, and I thought it fit the occasion perfectly. It was the same color as the dress I’d be wearing the next day, for one thing. It was a little bit flashy, being made of a shiny, drapey polyester fabric. At my own rehearsal, I did not need to worry about upstaging anyone, so why not wear almost white head to toe, the fact that it was mid-October be damned. Wearing pants to this event was a little edgy, too. Overall, the look said, “I’m not your sweet, submissive bride; I’m a shoulder-pad wearing hellion”. I never wore this again, though it stayed in my closet for years afterward. I guess I kept thinking I’d be invited to a Dynasty party, despite not knowing anyone who watched the show.

Exhibit D, the 1980’s (it was a good decade for fashion, so it gets two exhibits): the bubble skirt. As if the skirt were not enough, it also had an enormous matching bow at one hip. At least this time, I got more than one wearing out of my trendy purchase. I first wore it to my sister-in-law’s wedding. She could have asked me to be in the wedding party, and then I would have worn whatever she wanted, but she didn’t. (And honestly, I owed her, as in a fit of bridal insanity, I’d picked a bridesmaid’s dress that she’d had to wear the year before that looked suspiciously like a Scarlett O’Hara costume). One person mistook me for a model– that’s what my mom told me she overheard, and I’m choosing to believe her—who else would wear such a cutting-edge style in our sleepy little city? I wore it again to my office Christmas party that same year, and got lots of compliments from my fellow CPA’s (and CPA’s, of course, know fashion).

Exhibit E, the 1990’s: the white hat from my “I Am Princess Diana” period. I wore this to my other sister-in-law’s wedding, as well as to that of a friend of mine. In both cases, I think I was the only guest with a hat, since I don’t exactly move in royal circles. The really special thing about this hat is that the ruffle in back, under the brim, comes down in a loop that I could pull my hair through, so it was a combination head covering and hair accessory.

I takes a certain kind of daring to spend good money on clothes that have almost nothing to do with one’s lifestyle, and I’m just that brave.


This entry is part of Kismet and Jette’s current collab event, the August Journal PantsDown. I didn’t think I’d participate, not sure I had the interest or energy to write on all the topics, which I’d have to do if I wanted to match the standard I set during their June Journal SMACKdown. But then I decided I could just do this month’s challenge badly, since I really wanted to write on the ICan’tBelieveYouWoreThosePants topic. I also decided to do a collabs page, so if you only want to read what I have to say on topics other people are writing about, that can be your new bookmark.

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