Shorts in winter? I was glancing through Lucky Magazine’s "online community" (www.luckymag.com) to see what fashionistas are blogging about in February. Surprisingly, the vast majority were sporting drapey shorts in creamy pastels while they pined for spring. Granted, they were in sunny California and temperate Florida, but still. It’s very much the middle of winter here in the mid-Atlantic!
I felt a bit daring yesterday, spurred on, I suppose, by all the abbreviated trousers I’d seen in Lucky Mag, but also by the exceedingly kind words I received from the textile designer at whose craft booth I acquired a beautiful orange shawl while perusing last weekend’s American Craft Council show. Susan Luks, the talented creator of a whole line of luxurious silk fashions (http://sdluks.com), wrote to me in response to my blog about the show. In her email, Susan observed that I seem to possess such "life and light and electricity" about me!
Needless to say, I was elated to hear such praise. My day instantly felt brighter, despite a prediction of torrential rain forecast for much of my lengthy commute to and from Washington D.C. for research at the Library of Congress. That must be why, when I stepped into my walk-in closet to see what my joyful mood might inspire, I wasn’t surprised when a pair of shorts held my attention. They weren’t fanciful or pastel. Rather, I was attracted to a substantial gray tweed pair, by Savanna 1114, which were in a box of hand-me-downs sent to me last summer by my best friend’s mother, Joyce, in Spokane. It is still winter here, after all. But the weather wasn’t supposed to be frigid, really. Just rainy. I plucked the shorts from their hanger.
I found a pair of opaque tights by Leggs in my hosiery drawer that I’d owned for ages but had never worn. They would be perfect under the shorts. I buttoned up a black Worthington blouse from JCPenney with a crisp, contrasting collar and turnback cuffs and pulled on a thick cable-knit sweater by Calvin Klein Sport that I found in a consignment shop last fall for $2.
Emboldened by choosing shorts in the dead of winter and wanting just a tad more insurance against the chill, I went back to my hosiery drawer. Why not add a pair of retro leg warmers to the mix? These were adorable: thick and cable-knit like the sweater, but with cheery pom-poms dangling from the cuffs. As long as I was going to take a fashion risk, I might as well pull out all the stops.
I scanned my jewelry collection. What would suit my plucky countenance? I spied a gorgeous necklace of carved onyx faces encased in feathery silver frames, an heirloom piece that my parents bought in Mexico in 1953. Perfect. I added a silver and onyx bracelet I’d purchased on my own trip to Mexico in 1998 and chose simple silver hoops for my ears. I pulled on comfy short boots by Pink & Pepper and looked in the mirror. Could I really wear shorts in February? Did I dare to ride the subway through our nation’s capitol wearing Flashdance-era leg warmers? With pom-poms? Well, why the heck not?
The day was very wet. Torrential, even, just as predicted. But nothing could dampen my effervescent disposition. I was toasty in my leg warmers and aware of frequent second glances and approving nods, even a few smiles. After work I stopped at my local mall in Baltimore County to pick up a pair of sunglasses for an upcoming trip. As I walked down the shopping center’s main aisle, two jewelry store employees stood chatting with a security guard outside their store's entrance. When I got within earshot, one of the women exclaimed: "We were just admiring your outfit. We LOVE it!"
"Ooh, those are LEGWARMERS!", the other woman gushed.
I’d just gotten my desired votes of confidence.
|Lucky magazine's faux-cover|
features a Selma Karaca gown
I modeled last year
Already bolstered by a just-for-fun magazine cover I'd created on Lucky Mag's website featuring a gown I modeled at last year's ACC craft show, I was cheered even more when Susan Luks effused in her email that I "crackle and sparkle and shine" with my presence and that I left an "energetic wake" as I walked away from her booth last Saturday. A new fan of my blog, Susan urged me to "dance through my day".
Indeed. I will be dancing through the rest of my week at the memory of such gracious words of inspiration. Why the heck not?