Friday, November 12, 2010

Terrible trouble; Pop of color.

When I dress in the morning my thoughts rarely fall to the question, “How does this outfit pledge my allegiance to my local sports team?”  Sure I root for the home team.  Yes, I get excited to attend the occasional game, bathe in the sense of community, and be a member of a jovial crowd routing for a common goal.  Unfortunately the game schedule and opponent team color wheel are not committed to my memory.  
Monday night I watched my Cincinnati Bengals narrowly miss a win against rival Pittsburgh Steelers in the final minutes of the fourth quarter (ok, ok, I may have spent a good portion of the other three quarters channel surfing but I paused thoughtfully when it counted).  I too was disappointed by this loss.  However, when I woke up Tuesday morning and faced my closet I thought, “Inspire my day!  Take an average office outfit and make it wow.  Keep me comfortable, interested, and awake sitting at a desk for 10 hours.”  Mondays loss had been put behind me.
My thought process for getting dressed Tuesday started with the outfit details as it often does.  For the week I concocted a new manicure.  It is French style with purply red tips instead of white.  Just so happens this maroon/red matches the shade of my red patten leather Michael Kors platforms perfectly.  Realizing this it seemed like a logical place to start the creative dressing process.  I wanted to wear something comfortable so I went to the most comfortable and time tested black slacks in my wardrobe.  Then realizing the day was perhaps one of the last unusually warm days of the season and seeing the section of my closet housing professional button down collared shirts was not getting much love, I chose a short sleeve white with black pinstriped top with white collar.  Comfort was achieved but it was kind of boring so I threw on a pop of color in my new favorite way.  I grabbed a long fabric strip of soft jersey and gave it a knot around the neck.  In my mind this concoction was a quickly assembled win for a boring Tuesday.  
Then I got to work and realized how men’s outfits are often assembled.  “Is that a terrible towel?”  asked one of my coworkers referring to the yellow terrycloth towel that Pittsburgh Steelers fans swing above their heads at sporting events.  “What?”  I looked at my outfit and it took me a minute to realize what he was talking about. Clearly this florescent yellow is different than that mustard yellow the steelers claim? We debated the shading.  He was jovial enough through this; as were the next three coworkers that inquired about the yellow swathe.  Yellow black and red, yup, in hindsight those are steelers colors.  
My mind jumped back to a similar oversight last summer.  I was excited to be invited to a Cincinnati Reds baseball game with my cousins, aunts, and uncles; and was excited to find we also had an opportunity to arrive early and watch batting practice.  In that situation I thought about what to wear in sports reference but to be coy about my color introduction I wore mostly black with red nails and accents instead of an all out red ensemble.  This would have worked but then in a rush out the door it was cold so I threw on the functional pop of color, a yellow trench that has brought me so many good memories over the years... Fond memories were not created by the jacket that day.  I arrived to a chorus of “What? Are you rooting for the other team?”  Apparently the opponent was a black and yellow team.  I was forced to remove the jacket and shiver for a few hours.  Even having the coat on my arm, like a flag for the opponent, evoked an uncomfortable feeling of alienation. 
I don’t mind people bringing up this oversight.  In fact I like it.  The criticism and teasing gives me the opportunity to explain my error and grow through the oversight.  Truly this was not a bold statement in opposition of my cities sports leagues,  “Fellow Cincinnatian my intention was not to slap you in the face!”  
What concerns me the most are the people I don’t know that don’t ask.  I am sure my cute pop of color was lost Tuesday on that guy in the bengals jersey staring me down at the gas pump with a look of salty loss on his brow.  “Hey guy pumping gas!  I am a home town supporter!  We are rooting for the same team!  Feel the community?!?  Give me a smile!?!”  I wanted to yell.  “Hey cute new Reds player that just got brought up from the minors!  I really do want you to win!  Come hither so my cousin can get an autograph and I can admire that baby face up close!”  Last Tuesday and last summer mighty Emily’s ensemble had struck out.  

Monday, November 1, 2010

ferocious kitty back on the prowl

I read in a magazine kitten heels are back with a vengeance.  True, their presence was all over the runways this fall.   There was a time when the low heel and pointed toe seemed all I needed for an outfit.  But that was almost two years ago.  That was before I discovered the power of the platform.   I was uncertain I was ready to rediscover such a contradictory trend.

There is a certain sex appeal to a platform pump.  My legs seem to go on forever and my butt is given a little perk.  If arched just right a sky high heel can be as comfortable as a tennis shoe, allowing me to walk gracefully and with confidence.  The right platform takes an outfit to another level.  Sure I may be 6 feet tall in a 4-inch heel with a 1inch platform but the confidence that comes with this new latitude is addictive.  Feeling like a model with legs lengthened to unrealistic proportions while still stepping with comfort is a win, win. 

As most trends often end in extreme, the heights of some of the platforms had become dangerous.  Balance off put, and twisted ankles are the downside of such magical heights. And with an average male height of 5’9” and intimidation easy to find it seemed the power of the pump also had a negative impact on the dating life of the fashonista.  It wasn’t hard to see a change soon in the wind.

I was just not sure I was ready for such a drastic shrinking of the shoe this fall.   It just seemed so drastic; it just seemed so soon.  After a day of attempting to walk quickly to work on stone finished sidewalk in sky high heels not quite arched to perfection, however, I was ready to give a modest heel another try.  Reluctantly I excavated the depths of my closet for the kitten heels left there years ago. 

Oh kitten heels!  I had forgotten how comfortable you are to wear.   How easy it is to keep a long stride with you as my footwear.  The balls of my feet are not burning, even without Dr Scholl’s massaging gel insoles!  I welcome you back with open arms and relaxed toes. 

Still, the demure decoration of a few years ago seems a bit out of place with my new love of ferociousness in fashion.  After Gaga I feel there still needs to be a level of sass in my newly rediscovered little kitties.  I went first for the metallic purple snakeskin print  kitten heel and things just seemed to right.  I paired it with an industrial chic plexiglass necklace for edge and a bold teal/turquoise top.  The mix felt right. 

Comfy Kitten heel
I am not ready to abandon my favorite platforms quite yet but my current rotation must now be expanded to include another type of shoe.   The subtle style and comfort of the kitten heel is worthy of revisit.