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Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Check My Style Out

I am in love with my new pyjama bottoms. They are mustard coloured with two white stripes down the leg and covered with micro fleece inside. They are $15 of love. They are manufactured love that wrap around my legs and silently tell me, "I've got your back. I'm here to make you comfortable." I would wear them everywhere if it wouldn't be gross to never change my clothes.

I love my pants.

Last night, I wore them to bed and woke up several times due to nightmares. Each time, I felt that soft fabric around my legs and remembered that they are mustard yellow (have I mentioned that they're mustard yellow?) and I immediately felt a sense of peace. As if the nightmares were mere gnats buzzing around my head for a moment but my pyjama bottoms were the real deal, the meat and bones, the thing that mattered as opposed to the inconsequential.

I woke up so happy this morning in my mustard yellow pants and spent several minutes making plans that involved my pants. Lounging about in them all day. Going back to the store to purchase three more pairs of mustard yellow sweats. Baking in my yellow pants. Going food shopping in my yellow pants (pyjama bottoms to the local Giant? Well, if it makes me happy).

Which is why I thought when I sat down to read Nina Garcia's fashion book, The Little Black Book of Style, that the words would probably be lost on someone like me. I am a creature of jeans and cargo pants. I don't always match. I've never worn a belt. Sometimes Josh needs to remind me why flip flops don't belong with a formal dress.

And then I read the author's note: "this is not a book of rules. It is a book on style. I am not going to tell you when to wear white pants or when not to wear sandals. Instead, I am going to help you build your style confidence." This book will "decide what image you want to convey to the world."

The image of me in mustard yellow sweatpants.

I liked this book a lot because the message was to be yourself and not wish you were someone else. I will never be taller, have smaller boobs, or a flatter stomach barring surgery, surgery, and a little more surgery. But I can learn to work my assets and not be stressed with what I don't have. And I can ignore that little mention on page 5 that "sweatsuits just won't do" (have you seen my mustard yellow pants, Nina Garcia?).

I like her sensible advice: edit your wardrobe to remove anything you're not wearing (we've been talking about doing this for a while) or doesn't look good on you. She provides a list of must-haves in the sense that they are the bones to build a fashion style (basic black dress or jeans). How to "buy with drama" which creates a space for my love affair with orange. And a fantastic motto: "fashion is expensive. Style is not."

She provides places to look for style ideas including movies, music, and cultures. How to dress in certain situations (first date vs. meeting future inlaws for the first time). I really enjoyed the interviews with different designers--how they came up with famous ideas like the wrap dress (Von Furstenberg) or how to buy panties (Elle Macpherson) or ideas for brides (Vera Wang). But my favourite part of the book came at the end when she went through the characteristics of each era and all I could think of was "future Halloween costumes." And then there was this internal pause. Where is the girl who used to wear saris for fun? The one who owned the perfect pair of black swingy pants? The one who dressed for style and not just for colour?

I don't know...I'm thinking of adding a new goal for the winter. A Happiness Challenge for myself where I choose one day a week to put on something fantastic. A break from the jeans and cargo pants and mustard-coloured sweat pants.

Even the most intense love affairs need an inch of breathing space in order to fan the fire. Maybe a day away from my yellow pants is just the thing I need in order to keep the love affair hot and heavy through the winter.


Samantha said...

I love my comfy clothing too! although my winter nightware consists of a fleece nightgrown. So soft! I love fleece.

Baby Step said...

Fleece is a must-have wardrobe item. And I am so happy someone else loves mustard yellow! I am also a huge fan of the "puke green". :-)

nancy said...

but what if thos emustard yellow pants ARE what you deem fantastic? So you are looking for a day where you dress fantastic-er?

Michell said...

I too love comfy clothing. Most of my days off are spent in shorts and t-shirts or my big dog pajamas. I have several pair. I should dress up more often too but to go where??

Baby Steps to Baby Shoes said...

Finally! I have an idea for my happiness challenge. Once a week, I am going to wear one of the many pairs of my fabulously expensive and totally impractical designer shoes that I mostly just admire in the closet. Woo-hoo!

Anonymous said...

I was going to ask where I could get a pair of these oh-so-wonderful pants, and when I clicked on the pic to make it bigger, it told me.

I think I will go shopping!

Bea said...

I am wearing trackies as we speak (what you Americans know as sweatpants). And a really incongruous top. Fashion guru, I am not. But I agree with what's said here!

Last season I bought a pair of mid-calf-length, black, lace-up stilettos. I hesitated because I thought they were a bit too... trendy? and I considered buying something in the boot line that was safer instead. I didn't. I bought them, and I wore them heaps because, you know, they were probably only going to last the season. And they were noticed and appreciated everywhere we went.

And this season? I wore them again. That "safe" pair of boots I nearly bought had totally the wrong toe shape for this season, whereas my stilettos fit in just nicely.

And then I realised that, even had I not lucked out, I still would have been more stylish in the boots I liked best, because *I liked them best* and wasn't just trying to slavishly follow the fashion herd.

Style lesson learned? Be true to yourself. And, er, learn to walk gracefully in stilettos.


Chebbles' Mama said...

Oh hooray for your marvelous pants! I recommend wearing them every single day until it becomes objectionable to those around you (due to filth or odor). They are obviously magical, and nothing should separate the bond between you two!

Kristen said...

I'm a sucker for my Juicy Couture suit. I bought it on Ebay but it is so comfy and fashionable too. Not work material but I can wear it at home or out and about.

I've always wanted to buy a ridiculously expensive jeans - Sevens, Citizens, AG, Paige Denim, Joe's, etc - and wear them when I need a pick me up. Something to make me feel hot. I figure once I lose some weight at the gym and firm up, that will be my prize :)