There are those in the city of Toronto who are all a-flutter this morning as it is the start of something called Toronto Fashion Week. These are the people who indulge in huge portions of purified oxygen and vitamin water for breakfast.
People like me, devotees of hoodies and yoga pants, dare not show themselves downtown for the week.
Truly though, my lack of fashionable-ness has been bothering me lately – in fact, ever since I saw the photos from our summer vacation. But, yoga pants are comfortable in the extreme. So are sweatpants. Some days I just can’t face cramming my muffin top into the not-so-skinny jeans that I bought at the grocery store.
Thank God my mother is not around to see me schlep into middle age. My mother never left the house without looking a good bit better than presentable. Hair was washed, set, and lacquered into place. Makeup was carefully applied. Clothes were clean and pressed.
My mother would admonish me for leaving the house without lipstick. I thought she would suffer a collapse the morning she caught me with my hair held up by a binder clip because I didn’t have time to wash it and couldn’t find enough hairpins to put it up properly.
I admit fashion is not my thing. However, sometimes even I go too far: faded sickly gray sweatpants and fleece pullover covered in equal parts lint and cat hair. Out in public. Yes, ewwww.
So, Friday night as my daughter and I strolled through Toronto’s Eaton Centre, I paid close attention to those around me, making mental notes.
I noted that most of the women (teenagers excepted) wore heels of varying heights or they wore this season’s hottest item: high leather riding boots. Jackets, even leather, were tailored and slightly fitted. Scarves were everywhere. Tops – unless they were tunics – were tucked in and all jeans sported belts.
I can’t wear heels much anymore because of my bad back. I own no riding boots, tailored jackets or even a scarf. I hate belts.
At the grocery store Sunday afternoon, I did more fashion reconnaissance. I wore a white Fruit of the Loom t-shirt and the jeans I’d done the gardening in. I may have been wearing my 13 yr. old son’s hoodie. While I pretended to study nectarines, I spied on the women around me. Shockingly, quite a few were dressed – maybe not to the nines – but to at least the sevens. Tailored jackets, clean jeans, scarves. Makeup. Some even had small children in tow.
I considered climbing into one of the freezer cases when I saw my neighbour across an aisle. Gleefully noting her wet hair, elastic waist pants and puffy down vest, I wanted to run over and give her a high-five. It then occurred to me that then I would have to explain myself: “Oh, Sally – so good to see someone else here who looks as bad as I do!! Go girl!” No. That wouldn’t go over well.
Do I continue to claim victory every morning for at least getting out of my pjs? This morning I showered, put on clean clothing. I promise to apply at least some lip gloss before leaving the house. Maybe I’ll even crush one of the kids’ Flintstone vitamins into a glass of water and chug it. I will avoid downtown like the plague.