My initial topic for this week was politics and how disgusted I am with the ugly rhetoric that has been slung around lately, but what I really want to write about is pants. Specifically, should a 43-year-old woman who’s only slightly overweight be seen in public wearing yoga pants?
Politicians have nothing to say on pants. They are happy to be noncommittal on issues like pants because whatever they say will be attacked by some special interest group and cost votes. No, politicians are NOT courageous enough to provide leadership on pants, though most, I’m sure, are in favor of them in general.
The extremes of fashion blunders are easy to identify and laugh at...just check out the People of Walmart blog. PoW showcases extreme examples of what NOT to wear.
But when does a man or woman’s attire just barely cross the thin line between tastefully comfortable and vaguely unfortunate? I need leadership because I fear I am walking the line and might, just might have crossed it.
My yoga pants cover my lower half quite nicely, and they fit well. Like Baby Bear’s bed, they are just right. But they are also yoga pants, just a tiny step up the wardrobe ladder from sweat pants. I’ve worn them in public a few times but wondered if I looked absurd with my graying hair and slightly droopy jaw-line. I want to age gracefully, and I suspect that yoga pants might be an unfortunate choice for a woman of a certain age.
Am I of a certain age?
No. Just no. Please, God. No.
I’ve rarely thought about clothing style since high school, but Susan Gardner’s blog Friday Playdate, one of my favorites, got me thinking about my wardrobe and feeling, well, inadequate. Susan is much more stylish than I and writes extensively on fashion. I admire her opinions because they are so realistic and moderate. She’s a mom of two boys and has lots of education as well as a wonderful sense of perspective and humor. In fact, I would suspect she and I were twins separated at birth except she is adorably stylish in her short-short hair, is not an ounce overweight, and confidently uses cool accessories that look frumpy on me.
In Susan’s opinion, if a woman buys high-quality yoga pants that keep their shape (no saggy knees or butt) and that fit perfectly, she should feel okay about making a quick trip to Kroger while wearing them. I was also relieved to learn that my pairing of yoga pants with a fitted casual shirt and sneakers met with Susan’s approval.
Unfortunately, my yoga pants came from Target—and thus are not the best quality—and do get a bit stretched at the knee after a while, which is why since I’ve read her article, I haven’t worn them out of my yard.
Yesterday (April 20, 2010), Susan posted a few pictures of her recent wardrobe choices. She makes it look so easy to, in her words, “make a statement.” After showing her adorable pictures, she throws out this request:
“Your turn: what’s your statement piece? And do you save it for a special occasion, or bust it out on a random Tuesday?”
What’s my statement piece? I’d never once thought of any piece in my wardrobe as a statement piece. As I reflected on this, I realized that for winter, my lavender coat certainly makes a statement that fills me with pride and joy when I step out my door wearing it any ol’ day of the week. Any day can be lavender coat day! My sister gave it to me because she never wore it. If not for her gift, I would still be wearing an extremely frumpy, dark gray fleece car coat all winter. My winter statement was made because my little sister made it first. How sad is that?
The only statement my spring/summer wardrobe makes is “this woman never sacrifices comfort for fashion and owns a scary amount of cotton knit.” Right now I have a strong desire to run right out and spend some money on new clothes so my wardrobe can make a more stylish, grown-up statement.
Unfortunately, our bank account took a huge hit on tax day (ouch, ouch, ouch) and now is a deeply unfortunate time to repair my unfortunate wardrobe. I can’t even afford a pair of high-quality yoga pants. Until the bank account recovers, I’ll have to make do with what I have and try to look as inconspicuous as possible.
Time for me to throw out my own request to you. Please share with me and the entire internet what you do to feel good about what you wear. I need all the help I can get.