The local department store carries clothing in my size, but clothing that looks very much I should be out on the lanai, cracking wise about my incongruously tiny mother.
But a girl can’t wear the same increasingly shabby black sweaters every day, so I ordered some stuff online, including a nice patterned dress in the BabyPhat line. I got it the other day: red and black tiger stripes and a giant gold cat embroidered on it. (Brandon sort of choked when I showed him that.) BabyPhat owner Kimora Lee Simmons writes on the tag, “Baby Phat represents my dream of what every woman can be: stylish, beautiful, and ultimately—powerful.” Also, Kimora? Pregnant-looking in a way no Spanx can touch.
Every season, I dread what horrors await in fashion. And for the past several years, it’s been a whole lot of yuck: empire waists, babydoll dresses, jeans that taper, sweaters that end at the belly button. I’ve mostly been quiet about it. But last night, I read in the Columbia Journalism Review a review of Susan Faludi’s new book, in which she examines the way the U.S. responded to the attacks on 9/11: the hailing of the macho in men, the trend pieces about increased domesticity of American women.
It made sense to me, especially sitting there in the living room with the what to wear when you're expecting dress on the table to be returned. The empire waists, the skinny-legged jeans… it’s either the look of the pregnant or teenaged in fashion, both groups of vulnerable women. I’m positive Kimora Lee Simmons isn’t consciously participating in this fashion zeitgeist, but I’d like to go on the record here. Stop it.