Easy, casual and comfortable are three words I would use to describe my dressing style everyday. Gone are the days when I would to go to work dressed in an office jacket over a dress, a skirt or trousers, with pumps or high heels. These days, my life has become more simple and relaxed. I work from home, manage my own time while occasionally going out to meet with colleagues for work-related affairs. Invitations to dressier occasions generally put me on panic-mode. My anxiety levels go several notches higher just because I know I can’t wear sneakers, flats or flip-flops while lugging my over-sized purse that can fit my whole house to these events. I invested in a few basic (but not pricey) pieces that can be both worn dressed up or down (usually down), that with the right accessories it can pass for elegant in stiffer occasions. Basically, every day of the week is pretty much “Casual Friday” now, which is just how I like it.
Every now and then I take a peek into the latest trends in fashion, and put together a look that is a little bit more daring and out of my ordinary. Because these styles are not my usual timeless and basic pieces, I make sure my purchases are within a specific budget so it would not end up being too much of a waste when I realize that as soon as I step out into the world, my look turns out to be “so last season” after all.
The usual question running through my head when trying out a new look is “Can I still pull this off?” I want to make sure that the style was young but would still work well for someone in her 40’s. The truth is, one of my fears is to make too much effort at being trendy at the expense of looking silly.
The summer heat has taken its toll on me and I have been on what I call a “skirt phase”. Been obsessed with wearing skirts lately because they allow a light gust of wind to flow from the hem. It may sound inane but this mild airflow somehow has a way of helping me stay human, keeping me from lashing out into full big-bad-wolf-style at every man, woman or child that gets in my way, as I make a mad dash for the nearest room with an A/C. It has literally helped me keep my cool. A couple of months ago, I found the origami skirt quite interesting in design. It’s trendy and something I felt that I could “pull off”. So, I decided to venture out into the retail jungle in pursuit of the right one without having to break the bank.
While enjoying a stroll in the mall one day, I was attracted to an origami skirt in denim, with a distressed or fringed hem. As I admired the garment on display, I proceeded to picture myself in it, paired with a plain white v-neck shirt and flip flops. Then I continued to imagine that the outfit would work well with Converse, Roshe Runs or flats. In my mind I thought “versatile” and “worth it”. I was convinced. I wanted to see myself “pull this off”. So I asked the sales lady where in the store can I find the skirt on the mannequin. She looked at me, assessed my physique (For a while there I thought she was checking me out and actually felt flattered by it.) then smiled and said “Nagiisa nalang po ‘yan. Sa tingin ko maliit po ‘yan sa inyo. (The skirt on the mannequin is the last piece. It probably wouldn’t fit you.) ” 😐🔫 .
THE NERVE. I struggled to contain my immediate wild reaction. Was she saving herself the trouble of taking the piece out of the display so I can see for myself whether or not it would fit me at all? Was she being rude because she was lazy? From the onslaught I had wanted to retaliate with a curt remark, one that reeked of “customer is king” undertones. I wanted to put her in her place, but I was wearing a skirt and the mall’s A/C was keeping me comfortable. I decided that I didn’t feel like raising my body temperature to match the weather outside. So I let the insecurity in all forms and levels come over me instead. Did she think I was fat or that I didn’t have what it takes to wear a trendy short skirt? Did she think I would look silly? Did I ask for her (less than) two cents’ worth?!
Perhaps it was because my shirt was loose-fitting and that gave her the impression that I was large. She didn’t know that I usually find myself in the petite section in a department store or that I am an XS in regular women’s sizes. In the end, I came to the conclusion that she doesn’t know anything about me to have any opinion at all. I decided that I didn’t really care what she thought, so I just smiled at her and walked out the store.
I got my origami fix elsewhere.