Some of you will already know I'm not a fashion or trend follower. I remember struggling into a pair of jeans as a young child; they were awkwardly heavy and unmoving. I stared into a mirror, feeling my self-esteem plummet as low as the shag-carpeted floor while my eyes told me how unflattering that high-waisted, wide-hipped, tight-ankled look was. Especially with a pair of white socks. So there you have it. I cannot stand the '80s-style fashion for trousers and jeans which has rocketed through time from 1987 and is with us once again. I hated them in the '80s, and I hate them now.
Oh, those childhood fashion disasters. There was a teal and purple sweater shaped pretty much like a pillowcase, which could be combined with two different pairs of leggings: teal, and purple... surprise! When I first wore this amalgamation of clothing, it felt like a nice change from the homemade dresses, skirts, and used clothing that made up my usual wardrobe. My friend with blond, permed hair (circa 1988-ish) had a closet full of these leggings and sweaters. However, a slow hatred of this trendy little combo began to creep up on me. First of all, wearing these in the middle of an upstate New York winter, I froze to death. Secondly, after some time spent gazing in the mirror at this billowy sweater, out of which my spindly legging-ed legs poked and from which rose my rather small preemie head with long dark hair pulled into a tight ponytail, an innate fashion instinct told my nine-year-old self rather bluntly that this wholly questionable mess was just not a good look for me.
Nowadays, I do wear leggings and jeans sometimes, just in my own way. And when I'm tired of wearing certain clothes? I dye them, rip them apart for various uses, or pass them on.
Below is a photo from November 2004. I am wearing a hooded wool top with a few buttons halfway down the front and three-quarter length sleeves. It was a $12 sale item when I bought it.
Recently, I discovered this top while sorting through some long unworn clothes, and just as it was about to go into the charity shop pile, I wondered how small it would end up if I threw it into the washing machine on a warm wash. And, here it is again, post-washing, just the right size for Coo. It's beautifully felted now, soft and warm as she wears it in our chilly January 2011.
My hope for my little girl is that she too will do her own thing with regards to fashion, and that she won't feel she has to wear what she's told to wear by a fashion industry that is obsessed with perfection, consumption, and the latest trends.