UFOs—Unfortunate Clothing Option
EW and I have a secret phrase when we see someone wearing a wildly inappropriate outfit. I’ll whisper, “UFO,” and tilt my head to indicate direction; EW will usually say, “UFO—Unfortunate Clothing Option?” and look.
Yes, it’s judgemental and snarky. Yes, I am sometimes ashamed. And yes, I have also been guilty—often. So pot, meet kettle. (Also, as the thumbnail shows, even icons are not above committing a UFO. Sorry, Michelle.)
Did you always “get” fashion? I did not. This led to a whole lot of UFOs.—
Some of us are born with an understanding of fashion. At the very least, others of us soon understand what clothing looks best on us. And then there are those, like the 7th grader who proudly bought a new pair of flared jeans with white snaps and a COOL wide patterned blue and red vertical stripe. And then wore them to school to find that one of the actually cool kids had the same pants—the kicker? These “men’s” pants had also been purchased by one of the cool boys in my class, who was mortified that the awkward, inches taller, blond “smart girl” was wearing the same slacks he had proudly donned that morning. (He went home and changed at lunch.)
I really liked those pants. And frankly, they looked better on my long legs than they did on his shorter ones. I think I continued to wear them and always heard a few snickers. With my long legs in a small town, I was wearing women’s jeans long before it became popular.
My Wardrobe Has Always Been Hit or Miss
I can look fondly at some of my high school choices, like the wide-legged laced-up-fly jeans which I wore with a ribbed navy-blue turtle-neck body suit. (No flab at 16.) I’m sure there were other things I wore that were flattering, but not the puffy bright yellow ski jacket or the round ski goggles. That outfit had “bug” written all over it. (Again, a shorter person figures into this story. The photo I remember is of me and my frequent ski partner, Wanda. She may have reached 5’2″ to my 5’8″. Our T-Bar failures were legendary. Still, she looked cool on the slopes. As for getting dressed up, for some reason, this strawberry blond, who now despises pink, wore just that color to two semi-formals in high school.
Even though I’m older and wiser and have been able to state for years what types of things look good on me, I frequently mess it up. There have been days in every year of my life for which someone could look at me walking down the street and say, “UFO alert!”
Why I Envy Lynnelle and Others Like Her
Here’s the thing—well two things:
- It makes Lynnelle’s hands sweat to pair down her wardrobe because she actually likes and looks good in most everything she owns. (Though she still doesn’t need 9 pairs of black pants.)
- She also knows that when she must seek a new outfit, such as a “beachy floaty dress”, that a) she’ll find one fairly easily and b) she’ll have shoes that match the freaking dress. (No, I did not gloat at all to hear she had left those raspberry Louboutins at home in error.) (That’s not a joke. I’m a friend. I did not gloat.) Do note that if I had left my shoes home in error, I would not have had another pair of heels to wear in their stead and would have had to buy some sequined or raspberry flipflops.
I, however, frequently feel that I have nothing to wear—and I’m frequently right. While I have some good things, there are too few of them. I know what I can expect to look good on me, but cannot find it and settle for what I can find.
This Dress With its UFO Color
I purchased this dress because I truly had nothing to wear for Jeff and Barb’s renewal of vows in St. Thomas. I paid too much for it. The style is lovely on me—though I’d rather the deep V neckline wasn’t quite that deep. The color– not so much. Yes, it does have “Barbara Blue”, Teal, and a lovely Green. But it also has way too much yellow. white lime green, and orange. It was not a flattering dress for me. Come to think of it, that pattern of fake quilting is horrendous. What was I thinking?
This dress is today’s offering to the give-away pile. I love the style and the length. I need this dress in “Barbara Blue, teal, bright navy, or turquoise. Heck, I need this dress in at least two of those colors and maybe black.
This dress has got to go.
Two Takes on a Capsule Wardrobe
Lynnelle is working on de-cluttering and adding a select few items when she’s done.
I am working on de-cluttering and making a list of the what I need and the styles/colors/sizes that I will accept. I know what works. Until I find it, I will keep wearing what I own. In a year, there will be no UFOs-Unfortunate Clothing Options in my locker or drawers.
That is my pledge to me.
(Oh, god. I may have to wear the same thing over and over and over again. Talk about a small capsule!)
Wish me luck.