After a long, skin-crackin' winter, fresh colors herald the spring. Pink, yellow and pale greens are budding everywhere on new clothes racks. I'm about to be fashion blindsided. Put those pink daisy pants down!
Who wouldn't want fun and flirty wear after a season of dark woolen coats and sensible shoes? The problem is, I'm pushing 60 but my inner teen still wants low-slung jeans and filmy blouses. She is responsible for my bad fashion choices. At stores she and I go 'round and 'round.
I tell her, "You're circa 1973. Get over the short skirts and peekaboo tops."
She pouts. "Can't we at least get something in a kicky color? Don't be such a fossil."
Colorful clothes sound harmless. Or are they? The last time I listened to her, I wore neon watermelon sweatpants through the streets of Boston.
My inner teen is never to be trusted, especially when cruising new clothes. The bright blue sweater is oh-so-cute. Ooh! Check it out -- a tank top with shiny seed beads in the same color.
"Get these cool pants!" she giggles.
Hmm. They are blue, beaded and hemmed in rickrack. What is the wear window for heavily embellished blue pants?
That brat argues, "Don't be such a stick in the mud! Buy them. After spring, you can wear them to a tropical locale, Ms. Practicality."
Slap went the plastic to the cashier even though no tropical locale looms anytime soon.
At home, I then entered the inter-dimensional fashion warp where all zesty spring fashions, so au courant, never translate well in the bedroom mirror. Modeling my fresh season outfit I asked my husband, "Don't you love the color?"
David said, "It makes me think of fruit."
"What fruit?" I stopped dead in my rick-racked tracks. "These pants are sky blue, you maniac."
"You mean I look like a blueberry?"
Ever the expert back pedaler, he replied, "You look like a sweet little piece of fruit."
Whenever I feel (sky) blue about my fashion choices, I call my gal-pals for comfort. For example, a black and white toile pattern on pants started off as a Vogue concept for Jill, who later regretted it. "I looked like walking wallpaper, no wonder it was such a deal," she said.
Like me, she has a collection of bad buys. She once frolicked in flowered overalls until a number of possible pregnancy questions came up. Another time the 20 year old promptly returned plaid capris when she spotted a nursing home resident wearing the same pair.
Who can go wrong when the price is right? Well, Diane did. And wow! At a big party, did the sun ever shine through that unlined pink dress she bought for a song.
"It was my five-dollar disaster," she said.
At times, we picture ourselves wearing the cute clothes of our youth, which explains Annie's peasant blouse.
She said, "In the '60's, I looked so pretty as a little peasant girl with my long flowing hair and slender body. It doesn't work thirty years later. I look like a peasant all right, the kind pulling a plough with six kids behind me."
Oh, spring delirium -- it makes us crazy. Somebody save me from the peach-swirled pants!
What is the worst fashion buy you ever made?
Email Suzette Standring: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.readsuzette.com
She is syndicated with GateHouse Media and is the author of The Art of Opinion Writing and the award winning The Art of Column Writing, both available on amazon.com