Yesterday was one of those days. I originally donned a dark green rayon skirt by Rampage, which I’ve owned since the 1970s, and topped it with a mint-hued ribbed-knit tank with a pretty embroidered neckline by St. John’s Bay for JCPenney. My plan was to wear a vintage forest-green sweater over the tank top to tie the look together. I added an abalone necklace and earrings by Mixit for JCPenney and an abalone bracelet-watch that I bought online several years ago. I was ready to face my commute to the Library of Congress in Washington D.C.
But before I could get out the door, I stooped to pick something up off the floor and heard the back seam of the short skirt split with a pop. Oh, no! Was it a simple rip I could run through the sewing machine lickety-split? No. I would have to search through my grandmother’s extensive thread collection to find that particular shade of pine, which meant not only changing the filament on my vintage Singer Featherweight, but also adding that color to a bobbin. Better to leave that mending project for another day.
I moved to Plan B: vintage teal slacks by Inclinations, which I bought at JCPenney back when I worked for them in northern California in the 1970s (I also have the same pants in black). I had been wanting to wear the teal slacks this spring, anyway. Maybe I wouldn’t have to change anything else. But no. The mint tank top suddenly looked much more lime-colored. It didn’t go with the teal at all, and the abalone jewelry looked wrong, too. I was having a major wardrobe meltdown.
So I started over. For Plan C, I chose a sheer black blouse with teal polka-dots by Eber that I bought in the 1970s to tuck into the teal slacks, and cinched the whole thing up with a wide black belt from Target. I tried on several pairs of shoes and booties, but the narrow gathering of the pant legs at the ankles draped awkwardly over all my black shoes except my platform pumps by Call it Spring which I purchased from JCPenney.com last year.
Once the task of choosing footwear was accomplished, I held up a selection of teal and turquoise jewelry to my neck, finally settling on a gorgeous malachite and silver necklace and bracelet that my father had given to my mother in the mid-1970s, paired with a blue-green crystal fashion ring I picked up in Las Vegas last May. My vintage forest-green sweater was miles too big for me when I put it on, and it didn’t go with the teal, anyway, so it was consigned to the Goodwill box. I donned a cropped black knit sweater instead, a darling find at Goodwill a few months ago for $3.81. Whew. I was relieved that my green skirt had ripped while I was still at home and not after I had gotten underway, where a safety pin would have been the only remedy for as long as I was out.
My black and teal outfit ended up being a perfect choice for a sunny spring day in April. And when I stopped at the supermarket after work to pick up groceries for a dinner party I will be hosting for Easter this weekend, no less than four people stopped me in the aisles to complement me on my outfit. I was amazed by that! And my clothing admirers, in turn, seemed equally amazed when I replied that my outfit was from the 1970s. Just goes to show you that Plan C is sometimes the right choice.