I still remember my shiny red rain boots
before I was even in first grade.
that blue satin dress
with puffy sleeves,
the purple gingham smock top worn with white bell bottoms.
I still remember the feeling
of falling in love with the words
‘desert boots’ on the school bus.
all through my life fashion has been
my field of study
what looks good with what,
on which body type,
what shoe looks best with what look,
it all matters in some weird way,
and yes, I am a believer in
shoes make the outfit.
There are days when I enjoy
carrying on a family tradition
of really bad fashion
I remember my grandmother
free and easy
in old men’s pants with rips and tears in unfortunate places
old shirts, ripped and shabby.
Plaids and stripes of different colors and generations
smelling of pipe tobacco and mothballs,
mixed with house coats and bare feet,
occasionally high heels from a different day.
I remember my embarrassment,
and my wonder at her courage,
to wear these things
(Declaring I would NEVER do such a thing)
and then to dance in them for us,
my cheeks would burn
the many times she blatantly revealed to all present
She was ‘commando’
(long before I knew what that term meant)
I remember my Aunt Margie
wearing ripped and way too thin
T-shirts and long-johns
way to revealing
to be comfortable
for anyone but her.
My Uncle Buddy used to say,
A stitch in time…saves embarrassment!
I smile at myself today when I chose a mix of plaids and stripes,
colors clashing cheerfully,
sweat pants and flip flops
my hair flying in the air
I wear a smile and there’s passion in my eyes.
Revealing my faith
and the firm belief that,
in a moment,
anything could happen.
It makes me happy every time
I catch my colorful, jumbled reflection in a mirror,
or the microwave door.
I feel connected and rooted to my ancestors.
The ones of family folk lore,
who wore fur coats in the summertime and had fights in the middle of church –
sisters pushing each other off the organ stool…
just because their hair looked good that day
and they wanted to be seen…
yes, I am a descendant of colorful characters,
ones with imagination and courage,
ones with flair and the brass to stand proud
and pull off their living,
and fashion, with
style and grace, or at least,
loads of panache
I am now older,
and a wee bit wiser
from that easily embarrassed, trying to fit in,
girl I used to be.
thankfully I have grown comfortable in my own skin.
I now realize
the true power of fashion
is the reflection and revelation of how we view ourselves.
the true power of style
is the reflection and revelation of our character and creativity.
the true power of beauty
is the reflection and revelation of how well we know our own personal value(s) –
and respect the value(s) of those around us.
today I stand in the power of my heritage
the beauty of each person’s worth,
though you will need to look behind and beyond
these stripes and plaids.
At first glance you may think I made a mistake with my wardrobe today.
I may not seem to know much about fashion.
But if you take the time to look,
with new vision,
you will know I chose this on purpose
and you will begin to see
the vastness of this gift,
this legacy I have just begun to
fully love and appreciate:
beauty is in each one of us,
style is knowing the truth
of our beauty within
and letting it shine!
Listen to Tony Bennet & Lady Gaga sing Lady is A Tramp http://youtu.be/ZPAmDULCVrU
photo sources found on www.pinterest.com/al513