Saturday, November 12, 2011

Blog Post No. 1, 10/18/11 -- Jumpsuit, Jumpstart!

Let me introduce myself.  I am just an ordinary girl who has worked as a paralegal in the personal injury field for over twenty years, specializing in toxic tort litigation, the past 17 years for a law firm in Dallas, Texas.  I love to cook and snow ski and ride my horse, Chubby. I volunteer with the Maryland Park Service as a park ranger and I am active on the board of directors of a non-profit "friends" group for a natural environment area near my home in Baltimore County, where I live.  I also volunteer at the stable where I keep my horse, helping to feed the 40 horses there three mornings a week before work. I've always considered myself healthy and physically active, but as my age increased, so did my weight, until I was pushing the scales at 190 pounds on my five-foot, three-inch frame.

I came to the realization several years ago that as I approached my 50s I had become nothing more than a "middle-aged fat broad", a self-deprecating term used by my old college roommate, Ellen, during a 2005 visit, to describe so many of us in this typical stage of midlife.  As much as the term brought home what had become of me, it took five years after that before I was moved to take action that would change my life.

A full-mouth dental reconstruction in 2010 to correct an overbite that was exacerbating periodontal disease left me in such discomfort that I couldn't chew. I started to lose weight and decided that it would be a good time to go on a diet, since I couldn't eat much, anyway.  Starting on October 15, 2010, I embraced the principles of the HCG diet and stuck with it faithfully, losing a total of 70 pounds over six months and reaching my goal weight of 120 pounds in May 2011.

As I prepared for a "girl's weekend" celebration in Las Vegas in May 2011 with several longtime girlfriends who had embarked on similar weight-loss journeys, I suddenly realized that I had no clothes to wear that fit me.  With no money to buy a whole new wardrobe, I remembered that I had long ago stashed boxes with some of my favorite outfits in my basement, boxes which had moved with me from state to state -- from northern California, where I grew up in the 1970s, to Reno, Nevada in 1991, then Dallas, Texas in 1994 and, finally, Baltimore County in 2001.  Amazingly, most of the clothes in those boxes survived their decades-long storage and came out of the washing machine in mint condition.  Also equally amazing was that they all fit my new, trim frame perfectly.  Suddenly I had a whole vintage wardrobe of "new" clothes to wear, and for months now I've been having a blast putting outfits together from all these old clothes, supplemented with staples like tank tops and some gorgeous jewelry and shoes that I've picked up more recently.

In an effort to record what I wore on various days, I snapped a few pictures of the outfits I put together. On a fluke I showed the snapshots to a girlfriend, who encouraged me to start a blog of my quirky, vintage fashion looks.  I was reluctant.  Who wants to see a middle-aged broad in all these funky old clothes?  But my dear girlfriend, Judy B., of Dallas, Texas, was unflinching in her wild enthusiasm that I go public with my photos and descriptions of the clothes I donned each day. Judy urged me to take this giant leap into the public domain. 

And so, today, I did.  Come along with me as I explore the funky quirks of my favorite clothing from the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s... and a few pieces far older than that.  Here, then, is my first entry:

For today's outfit, I donned an army-green cotton twill jumpsuit by Ideas for JCPenney that I have owned since at least 1976, with an equally vintage red beret, boots and belt, also from JCPenney. I should probably explain that I took a job at JCPenney in 1976 while I was in college and ended up working in the store's television department at Hilltop Mall in Richmond, California, for the next twelve years, until 1987. 

My camouflage scarf is not vintage, however.  I picked that up at Target in 2011.  My green and brown pearl bracelet and earrings are from a fabulous jewelry store in the Baltimore area called Fire & Ice (they have eleven locations, check out their website at!).  My red fabric watch was a gift from my girlfriend, Judy B. in 2006, and my green glass cocktail ring was a gift this year from Joyce of Spokane, Washington, the mother of my best friend, Kari of Dallas, Texas.

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