Monday, May 10, 2010

Putting on the flair

My Sister-In-Law, Stephanie, was just visiting us for two weeks. Stephanie is only 25 and will graduate medical school this coming Saturday, then she's off to her three year residency in family practice. Despite having what I consider to be very well-planned, secure career opportunities in front of her (she hope to split her time between the States and Latin America doing medicals missions), she is like a big ball of fun. I know I just stereotyped all the doctors out there as being boring and lifeless, but you know what I mean, right? Does YOUR doctor make a mean mojito? Does YOUR doctor fantasize about designing baby clothes for your baby? Does YOUR doctor bring you African fabric and teach you how to tie it so you can wear your son on your back? Probably not, at least in the context that you know him or her. I think it's fair to say that Stephanie's Fun Factor is higher than your average being.

So, with Stephanie by my side 24/7 for two weeks (literally - remember how small our apartment is?!), I was able to channel some of her fun-ness and creativity into my being. We hit up a couple of Gothenburg's fabulous second-hand stores, and as we combed the racks I was transported back to high school and - in my humble opinion - my kick-ass style that was mostly courtesy of my Nana's wardrobe leftovers from the 60s and 70s that I claimed as my own. I loved-loved-loved her vintage dresses, from fancy Bonwit Tellers to the more casual shirt-dress.

As life happened, from the freshman Umpteen to a desk job, to who knows what else, it lead me to live most of the past several years in minor variations of my jeans-n-hoodie uniform. I'm actually wearing jeans and a hoodie right now, as I type this. At one point I realized that no matter what I bought I always ended up wearing hoodies anyway, so I might as well buy ones with flair... but wait, can hoodies actually have flair? Only relatively, it turns out, because at the end of the day, a hoodie is a hoodie is a hoodie. Sigh.

Back to shopping... Last week I happened upon a most delightful vintage dress while Stephanie and I were immersed in old-newness, and it has totally revived my creative fashion streak that's been dormant for the last decade-plus.

I love this dress for so many reasons... It fits perfectly while giving the illusion of a waist; it flatters my lactating bossomness; the blue ignites my eyes; the sweet bolero and narrow belt are such lovely additions. I wonder about the woman who wore it first: Was the dress made for her? Was it for a party? a wedding? Was there a matching hat? Did her husband adore her in it? Oh, sigh...

I have yet to wear it out, and I'd like to hem the skirt before I do. But, even just having it in my closet is a constant reminder of my once-whimsy self, and gives me a charge to dress each day with a bit more flair, hoodie or not.