Friday, July 2, 2010
The Date Skirt
Long ago, ten years to be quite exact, I was a single woman living in New York City. More precisely, I was recently single and eager to meet some people. I did not know at the time that in September of that year I would meet the man who would eventually become my husband. I simply knew that I felt like going out on a few dates, like any reasonable woman in her early thirties might, and I bought some new clothes in anticipation of some evenings out.
The men I met (husband excepted) were underwhelming, but my go-to date skirt was great. It was (is) knee length, cut narrow, and is black with a black mesh overlay imprinted with oversized roses in my favorite colors (red, orange, yellow). I always fell back on this skirt because it was both demure enough to demonstrate that I was not out for a wild night of first-date debauchery, yet slinky enough to imply that I might be convinced over a series of evenings to dip my toes into the waters of tomfoolery.
Clothes always wind up hanging around in my closet too long. Once in a while I'll have a fit of clear-mindedness and become able to follow the famous closet cleaning rule, which is "if it hasn't been worn in a year, out it goes". The skirt has always stayed (along with a men's black-and-white polka dot shirt I've had since college that manages at once to look vintage and modern. My dad borrowed it once when we were on vacation and he forgot to bring a dress shirt. He looked like Errol Flynn.)
I'd be the first to admit that for not a few years now, especially since becoming a mom, my figure has been not quite as lissome as it was when I purchased the Date Skirt. Although holding on to clothes (or worse, buying new ones in too-small sizes) in anticipation of the day one achieves one's goal weight is a cardinal sin, it should be said that this skirt wasn't a carrot at the end of a stick. It is just a reminder of my last hurrah as a single person, and gazing upon it made (makes) me feel happy and empowered.
I got together today for a lovely lunch with a new friend. She is dazzlingly-yet-effortlessly stylish, achingly lovely, and great fun to chat with. I felt a need to come up with a Sufficiently Slick Outfit so I wouldn't feel abashed when seated next to her. For the first time in a decade, I reached for the Date Skirt. I paired it with black patent sandals, a clingy cap-sleeved tee shirt, my big, dangly gold filigree earrings shaped like leaves, a wrist-full of jangly gold bangles, and my favorite black quilted bucket bag. Definitely a SSO. It felt odd to have my past clinging once again to my hips, yet familiar and comforting. I did not feel like the same hopeful, expectant newly-minted single person I was when last I wore it, but I felt close enough to bring a smile to my face. To be honest, it's a big more snug than once it was. But these days, my life and heart are feeling more snug than they did back then, too. Which, I suppose, was the whole idea behind the Date Skirt in the first place.