3 hours ago
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Things That Just Don't Suit Me - Case File #1
Fifties eyelet frock - $8 op-shop
Andrea & Joen blue patent leather shoes - $10 Bondi markets
Gold plated blue bird locket - $3 garage sale
The blog world is full of girls who look just dandy in a fifties full-skirted frock. They've got the right hats and pumps and foundation garments (for nipped in waists and jaunty jutting busts), the perfect alligator bags and white gloves and cherry red-lipsticked lips. They know how to make a french roll or a chignon or whatever those things are called, and they like wearing stockings, even on sunny days.
And then there's me.
Look at me, all apologetic and schlumpy slumpy shouldered there in what is actually a perfectly pretty little dress. It's so rare these days to actually find a fifties frock in an op-shop, let alone one which is a lovely creamy beige embroidered eyelet, so I felt compelled to buy it. All the while knowing that it just wouldn't suit me at all.
I did try to make it work, I promise you. I put my hair up, and then had to take it down again because it was even stragglier up than down. I put some lipstick on, then wiped it off because it made me look hard and old and a little bit mean. I put on my juttingest bra, then took it off because it made me look matronly rather than jaunty, and I ransacked the back of my wardrobe for the right shoes until I was forced to give up in defeat. The best I could manage were my blue shoes, and (much as I love them) they obviously aren't quite the thing.
I could have kept working at it, tried harder, made more of an effort. I briefly considered having a look for a belt which might give my waist the vaguest hint of nipped in - but one peek in the writhing snake pit which is my belt drawer put paid to that plan. Really though I am far too lazy for outfits which are that much hard work, especially when there are so many things in my wardrobe which I love unreservedly and which feel exactly like me when I throw them on.
Our house and this dress are of just about the same vintage, so (as a last ditch effort) I thought maybe I'd take some photos inside - as though perhaps the pure fifties-ness of the shack would bring out some heretofore untapped ability in me to wear pleated skirts without looking dumpy. The photos all turned out like this, with me blurrily haunting the frame like a disconsolate ghost - condemned to roam the a halls for all eternity entirely without a waist!
There are lots of things which I am, or might be, or would like to be, or could be - but fifties girl isn't one of them. I am not demure and I am not prim, nor am I pin-up girl sexy or seamed stockings sophisticated, I do not have an hourglass figure (nor the inclination to squish myself into underwear which might give me one) and I am far too happy with the wings and eggs and sparkles I wear already - so I'm not quite sure what to do next time I find a little fifties frock hanging on the op-shop rack. What would you do, in my shoes? Leave it in the hope that a fifties girl will find it and give it a loving home before the rapacious secondhand dealers get hold of it, or take it home yourself just to look at?
PS. In another bit of classic Sunday night business I bring to you this tag response. I haven't done one of these for an absolute age - this one comes courtesy of Hammie, not only brave enough to post photos of her spiral permed (and gorgeous) teenage self, but nice enough to tag me with the Q&A meme.
Here are the guidelines:
1. Respond and rework. Answer the questions on your blog, replace one question you dislike with a question of your own invention; add a question of your own.
2. Tag eight other un-tagged people.
What is your current obsession? Attempting to make another little dude-type person for our family. Although I'm trying not to obsess about it, because that's not at all helpful.
Good fika place? (That would be coffee to us non-Swedes) - Ok, I'm replacing this one because I don't drink coffee. My replacement question is:
Good yum-cha place? Ming Palace, Broadbeach.
Do you nap a lot? I often nap when the little dude naps, or at least have a little lie down and read a book. I think I should have been born in a siesta-having country, either that or someone needs to convince my fellow Australians that a siesta would really work here.
Who was the last person you hugged? The little dude, when he went to bed just now.
What’s for dinner? Sunday night is povvo night when no one can be bothered cooking, so dinner was canned tomato soup and parmesan cheese toast.
What was the last thing you bought? A mango smoothie. Last fashiony thing was a ruffly silk 80s blouse which I might have to try and post about soon. It is delicious (as the little dude would say).
What are you listening to right now? Geckos chirruping as they run across the ceiling.
What is your favourite weather? Lovely golden afternoons at any time of year.
What’s on your bedside table? Nothing, I don't have one. I just have a little stack of books under my side of the bed.
Say something to the person/s who tagged you. Hammie, hurry up and get that book deal I'm always hassling you about. The parents of the world need your guidance!
If you could have a house totally paid for, fully furnished anywhere in the world, where would you want it to be? Wategos Beach at Byron Bay. That's not very exotic, but it would work for us really well since it's just down the highway from here. We had our honeymoon there too.
Favourite vacation spot? Anywhere! Although we actually live in a holiday beach town now so every day is a little bit like a holiday.
Name the things you can’t live without. Are people "things"? Little dude, husband, love. Non-peopley things that I can't live without (apart from air/water etc) are black eyeliner, lip balm and books.
What is your favourite tea flavour? I don't drink tea either, but I like those little tubs of green tea ice-cream that they have at the sushi train. Those are pretty good.
What would you like to get rid of? Apart from all the terrible things like cancer and famine and religious fundamentalism of all stripes? I'd like the bull sharks in our lake to be banished so that we could play in the water there and the baby ducks wouldn't be constantly being eaten in front of the little dude.
If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go? I'd go to Scotland and see my mum.
What did you want to become as a child? An Olympic clown - aka a gymnast. The circus came to town the same week the Montreal Olympics was on TV.
What do you miss? Getting to sleep in whenever I please without any small persons demanding bananas at 5am. I'd miss the small person more than I miss the sleep though, so I can handle it.
What are you reading right now? At the moment I'm re-reading Jonathan Strange & Mr Norell. I want to read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies next.
What's your favourite brand of jeans? I don't really have one, since I am not particularly denim-inclined.
What designer piece of clothing would you most like to own (new or vintage)? Far too many to list here. Probably all the dresses I endlessly pored over in my Women's Weekly Fabulous Fashion Exhibition book - pieces from Vionnet, Balenciaga, Chanel, Schiaparelli and so on.
If you could go back in time and talk to your 17 year old self, what would you say? I don't think I could stand to talk to myself at 17. The drama! The teenage Romeo & Juliet style romance! The attitude (I got on detention for "flouncing" at a teacher once, I wish I still had that detention slip, I'd frame it)! There would be no point talking to me to try and impart my ancient wisdom either, I absolutely positively knew everything when I was 17 and no one could tell me otherwise.
This is my question:
Dogs or cats? (this particular question led to some rather heated discussion at our little dinner party last night). My answer is cats because they are silly and funny and keep themselves nice.
I am tagging: I'm a bit late with this, so no doubt every other person in the world has already been tagged with it. I'll tag Claerwen, I think!