Disclaimer: I do not watch much TV and while I’ve heard about the shows, I have no real experience with much of it. Well, I am getting into shows like Agents of Shield and Gotham but that’s a separate post. Back to this blog!
So, I’m told there is a television show called “what not to wear.” The premise of the show is basically to revamp a person’s closet. Well, not so simple. I guess, if someone dresses horribly, her (I don’t know if guys are involved in this show or not) friends call the show and “report” their poorly dressing friend. The show in turn goes through the closet of the poor dresser and trashes EVERYTHING and gives the poor dresser a $5000 check or gift card or something, and of course help to get a new closet.
This is where this blog gets interesting. Hmmm. Do I really admit to this? OK. Here goes. My cousins who also happen to be my best friends, came to me one evening and asked for permission to send me to this show. They did not want to call without consulting with me. Good move there. I would have blown a fuse so bad, they will probably never have heard the end of it. So, they did the proper thing and asked me. They explained how the show worked. They explained how I could take some of my favorite clothes and hide them in storage so the people who come to my closet would never know about those. And I’ll be honest. I was considering this. Seriously.
I know this show is for the horrible dressers but I did not take offense to my cousin’s suggestions. See, about the time I walked through the halls of my professional school wearing fluorescent orange sweats and proved to be the human highlighter (it was not halloween), my closet was filled with more fun stuff. I had an all-gold outfit, I used to mix patterns, I wore clothes that were way over sized (I’m XS, and I wore M), I wore the wrong colors, and of course I mismatched colors like wearing blues with blacks or greens. In other words, I had the fashion sense of a gorilla, putting it mildly.
In professional school, my good friend was honest enough to explain to me that I needed a little help with my clothes and so started the education. She explained how everyone needed a standard black pair of shoes and a black pair of slacks. I was trying to get through the basics. And she helped pick out my clothes and slowly I went from horrible to very bad.
I had some help for my desi clothes from my brother-in-law’s wife and so I had reconfigured my desi closet. My cousins began to get involved with helping me a couple of years later when they noticed the change. They were surprised I wanted to look half way coordinated. Of course, for all these years, I looked like the geek and anyways a few years ago a good friend of mine got involved in the project to “save” me. And I remember clearly my instructions from everyone who went shopping with me: Do not shop without us!
Even today, I hesitate to shop alone. I’m nervous that I have an uncanny ability to pick the clothes that look the worst on me. Recently when I was in Ireland, I purchased a bright red Aran sweater. I thought to myself then that I was breaking a cardinal rule in shopping, but I had no choice. My cousins or my friends were not in Ireland with me and my husband has no fashion sense. I had to make my own decision.
Well, this comes to the conclusion of this story. This past weekend I was giving the introductory speech for the 10 minute play festival. It runs 2 weekend on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Well, the first day, I wore a black dress with broad light blue patterned stripes. Second day, I wore my red Aran sweater and the third day I wore a costume I bought at the renaissance faire (again, without any help from my cousins, but I had some help from the people at the store). Everyday, I got a lot of compliments from all the actors. I was shocked they loved the Aran sweater. That was my crowning glory. I picked that one out. I did. Myself. With no help! On day three as I sat in the changing room with the other actors, one of the women actors says to me, “Oh God! I so want to raid your closet!”
I was very surprised. I was thinking, “Are you sure? What’s wrong with you? You have amazing fashion sense, why raid my closet?” and then it hit me. Maybe, just maybe, my fashion sense has graduated. Maybe it’s not horrible anymore. Maybe it’s not very bad either. Maybe I’m heading into the zone of “not bad”. Maybe. For now, I’ll take the compliment and fly high until the next time my cousin or friends point out and ask me “who’s the brains to this outfit?” What not to wear? No thank you. I’ve moved on.