Thursday, April 28, 2011

Museum of Bad Fashion Choices: Part 1

It’s spring (not that you would know it in Seattle), and I’m cleaning out my closets. This may end up requiring a forklift.
Each year, I have a ritual of purging the clothes that have come into my closets, but haven’t once left. You know, the “what was I thinking when I bought that?” outfits.  At this point, I have a pretty impressive collection.

In New York, I was much more ruthless about getting rid of unloved clothing. This is because what little closet space I had was usually taken up by things like the kitchen, and/or the living room.

Moving to Seattle meant, for the first time in my adult life, having on-site storage space. We have a basement, and even something called a “mud room” (a.k.a. “cat litter & overflow green lamé stack heels room”). The only downside to having more room is that it’s easy to let stuff accumulate. Storage spaces become little museums of bad fashion choices -- full of things that seemed like a good idea at the time. Items that will experience the ultimate fashion defeat: they will be given away with the tags still on them.

Like many women, I can justify most clothing purchases, however thoroughly and utterly impractical. While shopping, my mind leaps to elaborate scenarios where that gold-sequined wrap skort would really come in handy. At a semi-formal job interview on a beach, for instance!! Really, getting that dream job could depend on it. I can’t afford NOT to buy that skort! Or those “urban riding chaps,” or the toeless snow boots, or those size-2 hot pink leather pants with a fringe (you know, in case I ever got the ebola virus and thus became a size 2, AND urgently needed to go to a rodeo).

To paraphrase Barak Obama, I shop my hopes, not my fears. No matter how profoundly irrational or ill-advised those hopes may be. Below is a case in point
The New Toilet Paper Chic ...
Yep, this is supposed to be a dress. I bought it at a boutique that sells vintage clothing and new designs from “up and coming” (code word for “high”) designers. Had I been intoxicated, this purchase might’ve made sense. But I’ve never once, in my entire life, gone shopping while under the influence. Come to think of it, maybe I should try shopping while blind drunk. I’d probably end up with a closet full of very practical separates from Ann Taylor.
As for the sober, and sobering, clothing selection above… First, the “skirt” is entirely see-through. And gathered, just to make it extra unflattering. And the top? Wool knit. Just to make sure it’s uncomfortable in all four seasons…
But most amazingly, you’ll notice how the front and back has random scraps of fabric haphazardly sewn in, perhaps as an afterthought? It was probably supposed to be “whimsical” (whatever that means), but instead it just looks like I have toilet paper stuck in my skirt. Sex-y, baby!  I bought it thinking I could wear a pair of yellow tights underneath. Because who doesn’t want to look like Big Bird in drag??  
Just a few weeks ago, I was dangerously close to wearing this dress to a party. One that was being held in public. Yes, while wearing yellow tights. (Oh, the humanity!) Fortunately, a friend just happened to stop by right before I left the house dressed like a Muppet with faux toilet paper sticking out of my semi-invisible skirt.

“So, tell me the truth,” I spun around for my unsuspecting, and increasingly uncomfortable-looking friend. “Do I look retarded, or … just slightly retarded?” 
Unsuspecting Friend was quiet for a second, before finding a hopeful expression.
“Is it a costume party?”
It wasn’t. Even if it had been, what would I have been dressed as? Some lady who gets drunk before going shopping??
But still, I have hope for this dress. It’s not practical or flattering, or even tolerably comfortable. It doesn’t even achieve the most basic goal of what we loosely call “clothing.” But I feel like I should get my money’s worth. Maybe if I went to Burning Man someday, I could wear this while riding around the desert on a unicycle? That’s basically Business Casual out there, isn’t it??

Not that I know how to unicycle, or enjoy desert heat. But, hey. Let’s not over-think it.
Tune in tomorrow for the rest of the Museum of Bad Fashion Choices, Part 2, Guest Starring Sponge Bob Square Pants, Grace Jones, and Darth Maul!


  1. I have only one thing to say about that outfit:

  2. Yeah, Morgan, I should *totally* save this one for when I go to the prom with Jon Cryer! Actually, there's a whole section of the closet reserved for dresses in that category...

  3. Magzie,
    I just snorphed my yogurt reading this. Dang. Now I love you even more. Amy