This is me, walking around since election day. I’m pissed, tough, armed, dangerous. I’m also tall, sleek, unafraid. I’m fighting in a dystopian present that I thought was in the twentieth century past. I’m armed to the teeth not with ideological b.s. but with an innate sense of what is right, kind, good, human. I’m now in a world in which diversity, tolerance, love, and kindness = the resistance to those in political power. Yeah, outta my way, mortals.
In real life, what I worry about, and what I think a lot of women in their middle years think in their head, is that they look more like Amy Sedaris in Strangers with Candy. Frocked with washed-out pastels and limp poly-cotton, and with “unique” necklaces that fool no one into thinking you have traveled widely. Caved in with worry, toil, and (in Candy’s case), the consequences of bad bad decisions.
[I just realized that Amy Sedaris, that sneaky sneak of a gal, modeled Candy’s hair style on… Mary Trump, Donald Trump’s mother. Amy S. is a genius light in the world.]
Okay, back to topic. In my mind, I’m Katniss, striding about my small ohio town and frightening bullies before they even get started. But the truth is, I have never been a Katniss in exterior expression, even if I have felt like her inside.
This fall I bought myself two items of clothing that have provoked savvy people to tell me I look kickass. Which was the point and thank you, I feel as if I did indeed crack a code of a sort. The jacket is NYDJ, it’s ponte knit and faux leather, and I bought it from 6pm.com for under $50 (it’s sitting at $40.95 right now). It comes in plus and regular. It came to me a bit too big and I didn’t bother to exchange it for the smaller size, even though I can hear Tim Gunn telling me to do so (make it fit!). It is a terrific jacket: it’s lined, the sleeves are not too tight but the ponte fabric means they fit just a wee snug (a good time). the jacket has an elaborate button and zipper set up, and looks okay zipped up, but way better unzipped. I can move around in it. The only downside is that pet hair sticks to the ponte knit parts. I can say that while it’s dry clean only, this Katniss has spilled on it, and it wiped clean very very nicely.
The pants are amazing. Simply amazing. Macy’s INC Ponte Pull-On Pants and on sale for $41.99. I bought these on the strength of the positive reviews, and yes, these are terrific pants. They are too long for me but like the model, I nonchalantly bunch them up and figure I’m “modern” (poor Tim Gunn, who pops up on my shoulder to say, First the Jacket, now the Pants! Make it Fit! But I’m so much more comfortable, Tim…). These pants are flattering, the knit is perfect weight, and they look awfully good on. They are machine washable, totally easy. I feel like I’ve got on some major leggings, but in reality these are pants — they look enough like pants to wear not-entirely-tunicy things with, if that makes a diff. to you.
The rest of this I haven’t bought but I would.
Any of these (Style and Co. plain old white tshirt for $9.99 with a cool edge of drapey hem; the ombre sequin top also from Macys, this time INC Sequinned Top for $89.50 (which is way more than this budget-minded Katniss pays); and the lacy/sequin top, which makes me yearn for the 1980s, also Macys INC, and also hovering around $80.00). Okay, two over-priced tops and one cheapo. If I had my heart set on a sequined top I would check Kohl’s Rock & Republic line, or JCPenneys. Target is bereft of decent tops like these, so don’t bother with them. But dang. Striding clothes.
I’ve also been really into shiny, slightly repulsively-textured wedge booties — the kind that are not intended to give anyone all that much pleasure, except the wearer, who gets to see her feet twinkle and she gets to stride about in comfort. The pair to the left is Mephisto Garbria in Gray Patent from 6pm.com for under $100.00 and the others are super-cheap J.Renee Kareenatoo from 6pm.com for $30.00. That name manages to sound Katnissy and Tatoooine at the same time, so, hey, warrior princess.
At first I thought that Katniss’ outfit had little historical precedent outside of comic books and superheroes, or the designs of some couture geniuses in the 1990s — outfits out of the reach of mere mortal women. But in the 1940s women’s jackets have a similar look — more on this in the next post…