Am I or am I not a fashionista? The answer appears to depend upon who is doing the assessing. I know I am no fashionista but I do like clothes and one glimpse of my closet and you too would quickly come to this conclusion. Another clue may be that you won’t find my husband’s clothes in our bedroom closet. He gave up the fight and his quarter of the closet a few years ago! Even though I am not a fashionista, I do like fashion. My favorite designer is Michael Kors and my favorite piece of clothing is my red Michael Kors jacket. My daughter Abbie laughs that I can’t mention the red jacket without saying Michael Kors, but I am proud not because of the designer name but that I got a $250 Michael Kors jacket for fifty dollars! Yes, I like a good bargain, but besides a bargain, I like putting my outfits together with the appropriate accessories, resulting in my mother’s opinion that I am always put together. My sister-in-law has gone as far as saying that I am one of the most fashionable people she knows. Unfortunately, my daughters have demonstrated that they have contrary opinions.
My four daughters first started scurrying through my closet when they needed clothes of a certain decade. The clothes of the seventies were a common request and I had a gauze top that matched the bill perfectly. Then as they got older, my clothes and shoes started to disappear. Sometimes they would ask, but more times than not I would just find my belongings in places other than my closet. I wasn’t the only one who got her closet raided. My husband had to deal with the boys grabbing up his shirts and ties. In fact, they did it so much we started believing they were the boys’ clothes. All of this was tolerable, the rest isn’t.
Halloween was a fun holiday for us. The kids would dress up and we would have a house full of their friends. One Halloween, my daughter Lydia asked if she could look for something in my closet. I agreed, but when she came downstairs, Lydia and her friend were each wearing one of my dresses. It took a little explanation from Lydia and a few more minutes for me to compute what they were doing. They were going trick or treating in my dresses as OLD WOMEN! Yes, I hadn’t worn those dresses for years, but when I did wear them, I thought they were pretty and fashionable. I just kept saying to Lydia, “but I loved that dress! I thought it was so pretty!” After the girls had a fun night in my old dresses, I took both dresses and gave them to Goodwill. First rule of fashion, when your kids are using your clothes as costumes, it is time to throw them out.
Then came the ugly sweater parties and it didn’t matter if it was an ugly Christmas sweater party or just a general ugly sweater party, each time they were in my closet! Another trip to Goodwill!
The last incident happened April 29th, the day of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding. We were sitting at dinner and we were talking about the wedding and the royal family. The daughters gave me a rough time about my interest in these royal festivities and for my fondness for Princess Diana. Come to find out they were all hypocrites because that evening they were attending a royal wedding party and they were to come dressed as a princess. While my other three daughters went off to look through old prom dresses, Lydia hung back with me. I noticed she had something to ask, but she was just hemming and hawing, but eventually she got the nerve and asked if she could look through my closet. I didn’t know what for since I had cut up my old bridesmaids dresses years ago in order to make princess dresses when the girls were much younger, so I asked her why? Lydia hesitantly said, “I was going to look for a Queen Mum’s dress.” With pretend disgust and a wave of my hand of dismissal, I told her to just go away. And wouldn’t you know, she found a perfect yellow dress, Queen Mum’s favorite color! The following day I went to Goodwill.