If there’s one thing I pride myself on, it’s my personal style. After all, I was voted best dressed in high school and in my freshman and sophomore years of college (okay, it was just for my dorm floor, but still it was an honor.) Despite this, I still could not escape some of the terrible trends of the 80’s. I wore some neon green nylon knee highs, rolled down over my tights. I rolled my jeans tight at the ankles. I wore coveted Coca-Cola brand rugby shirts. However, despite all of these embarrassing styles, I am most appalled by what I call my “Matronly Moments”. Allow me to explain.
When I was in my early twenties, I had about the best body of my life. Back then there was no such thing as Spanx, but even if there were I sure didn’t need them. If I could go back and give my younger self some style advice from the future, it would be this: “I don’t care if grunge is the rage! Quit wearing flannel shirts and start showing off that smokin’ body more! And please put down that navy blazer!”
The navy blue blazer. For a preppy like me, it seemed like a fabulous idea at the time. It was a classic Ralph Lauren double-breasted blazer with a huge gold crest on the pocket as well as four rows of eight shiny brass buttons. I wore it to my first job out of college. I knew I had made a mistake when one of my co-workers asked me if I was a cruise director. Sadly, she was right. I suddenly felt like I was missing my clip board and activities sheet and was late for shuffleboard on the Lido Deck. I felt like a giant a-hole, just like Danny Noonen did that day when Judge Smails asked him to stop by the yacht club for his boat christening. What was wrong with me? Why was I wearing something that was clearly meant for someone who eats dinner at 4:30 and calls a couch a “davenport”?
And then it hit me. This was not the first time I had commited this fashion crime, and unfortunately there was way too much evidence of it. I’m talking about my senior pictures. Whenever my husband sees my hair in said pictures, he starts singing Flock of Seagulls songs. (I can’t even retaliate and make fun of his horrible 70’s and 80’s style because he was pretty poor as a kid – and that would just be mean to make fun of his sleeveless tee shirts.) That’s right: except for the picture in my tennis outfit, my senior pictures looked like I had raided Mrs. Bluth’s wardrobe (aka Jessica Walter from Arrested Development. Google it.) There I was adorned in a ridiculous high necked formal, lacey top, as if the mother-of-the-bride section in the Jessica McClintock store had puked on me. My other choice was a silk top that belonged to my grandmother. Yes, you read that right. I was wearing grandma’s blouse in my senior picture. The real kicker was that every single outfit was peach, right down to my tennis skirt. Why didn’t anyone intervene and stop this madness? I’m all for modesty and taste, but this was ridiculous.
Unfortunately, those senior pictures are going to stay up on my parents’ wall for quite a while. I better get used to hearing my husband’s rendition of “I Ran So Far Away.”
So tell me…what is YOUR worst fashion crime?