In Lace Fashion
A few friends and I chronicle our days through texted photographs. Various angles of our bodies are framed with bits of material we carefully choose to get us through our working days. One, a shoulder laced in bright orange. Another, a bodice cloaked in vintage robe-like material–pretty pale plum, she was.
I love nothing more than to receive portraits of these beautiful women, to see how they have chosen to adorn their glorious parts.
Some may deem spending time and effort to carefully adorn one’s body as vain, as a waste. To me, (and I presume to my portrait-happy friends) this is simply untrue. In a recent chat with one member of this tribe, we concurred that fashion plays an immense role in our lives–even on our days where our garb appears understated or that we have possibly conformed to a certain job or task. For we dress rehearse for parts we wish to play, we wish to achieve. The way we form ensembles can immediately lift us from creative ruts, and can evoke conversations with others who also take care in how they present themselves to the world.
For example, I habitually wear my husband’s jeans–his staple when we were still heavy with heart palps. The first dates where we resembled spring chicks more than rightly groomed partners. Oh how we crooned over one another. Summer love-fest and all that fluff. His chopped off jeans remind me of those giddy times that found him enveloping me in the most meaningful embraces. I shall never forget him sprinting to my side before I could climb out of my coupe.
I like stepping into these shorts and pulling them up way too high when feeling way too low. Or when I need the strength of that young couple lost in the newness of another’s words, of another’s goose flesh.
Have you forgotten what that’s like? To love and to be loved so easily? So fully and with little condition?
When riding ’round town on my bicycle (my other love), I especially like to wear these shorts. To a passerby I appear unkempt, maybe even washed up. But the faded denim makes me man-strong. And I need this armor to counteract the men in my tiny town gawking as I ride by. These shorts sit high on my hip, concealing my hourglass shape. These shorts are longer than the typical woman’s short sold, allowing me to move freely amidst those gawks and glares.
Don’t Thread On Me
Along the thread of gawking men and their glaring wo-men, I refuse to let others’ views take away the freedom I feel atop my bicycle. I refuse to let the perceptions of wo-men and men clad in tailored garments in the grocer and in the bank and in the church and in the steeple (recall the hand game where you see all the people?) have any remote impact how often I iron my vintage blouses, how often I wear my man’s pants, how often I wash my mom jeans.
(Shout out to Retro Rhapsody, seller of this vintage gem of a romper. Visit her Etsy shop as well as her Instagram page: @retrorhapsody.)
I used to fret about others’ perceptions of me. I recall feeling quite small after a mother of a chap I dated commented on my outfit. I’d taken effort in creating my look to impress her, no doubt. She pointed her long freckled fingers at my frock, and deemed it too summery for the John Mayer concert we were attending. I remember shrinking inside its layers, willing the night to be over before it began.
In college, I used to feel swayed into terribly tight mini-skirts and pumps just because my roommates were wearing them. In high school, I used to plan a different outfit for every day to avoid repetition of any sort.
Thank the stars that was moons ago. Now I say, “Rinse, wash, repeat if you wish.” You see, I now put myself together for my self alone. For no man. For no mother of another. My choices best represent my own desires of the daytime, the nighttime–to complete tasks at hand with no thought of who may agree or disagree. It is the one part of my walk with motherhood that allows me to be selfish.
And if I wasn’t my full self with my body and the cloth I wrap ’round it, I would have missed many a good conversation with my friends, and also with folks expressing interest in something I wore and vice versa.
I’m not the first to align fashion with transportation–particularly vintage clothing that has lived several lives before meeting you. If only you open your mind to allow such transformations of body and mind.
When was the last time you wore something that complemented your mood or what you wished would happen on a given day?
If you can’t recall, then I implore you to do so now. Put on that slinky number you bought for a partner but never got ’round to wearing. Step into that dress you’re saving for a special occasion because it’s fancy and/or ironed. Wear your wedding dress again and again. Life is too short for so much planning, so much properly put together peeps.
In forgoing such plans, I have almost forgotten what it is like to seek the approval of others via my wardrobe’s contents. Rather, I focus on what makes me feel true–be it man’s trousers or a kid’s baseball tee.
And I am so fully aware that I have found a group of female comrades who embrace one another’s choices , which are as limitless as the thoughts in our minds, as the shoes we’ve muddied and washed only to muddy again. For they, we, are as confident in choices of fashion as we are in business jaunts and in making counterparts out of wo-man friends. I would name you lovedoves if this were not such a public platform. Instead, I will just initial you into this space, as you have done wonders for my creative bones as of late.
Of course your names create a lovely acronym. You, wo-men, make me the luckiest.
In true Lace fashion, so is my unassuming, overflowing creative closet(s).
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