I have always had a somewhat experimental fashion sense. This is definitely not to say that I have GOOD fashion sense, but I am always more than willing to take risks, which has on more than one occasion caused me some ridicule – or at least a few side eyes. Like that time in junior high when I decided to spice up my jean jacket by sewing dime store silk flowers ALL OVER IT. Needless to say, I was not the most popular girl in my 8th grade class.
Well, I clearly haven’t learned anything, because despite working in a somewhat conservative office environment, I am constantly pushing the limits of office casual. My officemates are exceptionally good natured about it for the most part, which is probably not a great thing, in the sense that every time nobody says something about how I really shouldn’t be wearing jeans and legwarmers to the staff meeting, I take the liberty of taking things to the next level.
Now, being avante garde tends to not be cheap- just ask IsseyMiyake or JohnGalliano. And to make matters worse, a fashion forward choice that seems appealing on the rack, may end up being ultimately disastrous in person. I have a rule that if I’m going to go down in over the top fashion flames, I make it a rule to always go second hand. This can be surprisingly easy, as many many failed fashion experiments find themselves to the racks of your neighborhood Goodwill, and what is awful on one body, could be magic on another. Plus, who can’t afford to make a $3 mistake?
Today’s case study: An exaggerated puffy tulip skirt.
I was first attracted to the subtle grey tone on tone houndstooth print on the rack, and threw it into my “try on” pile just in case there was a chance it didn’t turn out to be a complete tragedy. The result was decidedly uncertain in the dressing room- good from some angles, weird from others… but it was half off for $2.50, and I thought it would be fun to do a little fashion beta testing.
High waisted and extremely poofy in the region that I would generally describe as my “problem area”, there was definitely a little hesitation (even for me) heading out of the house, but I decided that for the good of the experiment, I would bite the bullet. It was comfortable, and covered all things necessary not to get me arrested for indecent exposure, which is on many days is more than I can ask of any outfit I choose to wear out into the wild.
Somewhat surprisingly, the day went without comment. Nobody said that they liked what I was wearing, but nobody finger waggled and told me how weird it was. I think the fact that it was a subdued color was working in my favor… but looking at theouttakesofthephotoshoot, I think the final word is “maybe next time.” I had sincerely hoped that the high waist would draw attention to my smallest part, while the puffiness of the hip region would create the illusion that my clearly slim and narrow hips were rattling around inside- rather then filling it up to max capacity. Not quite!
I still have hope that perhaps in the spring with a white tank, some big necklaces and tall shoes, this could still potentially be a winner. But if not, I’m pretty sure I got my $2.50 worth, and I can always send it back into the Goodwill pool for another style Mr. Wizard to experiment with.