Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Buy Dress, Get Unflattering Silhouette Free

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.


Beth Hannon Fuller said...

You're preaching to the choir here, lady! At least I AM pregnant (only for 4-5 more weeks) and then I am thrown back into the no woman's land of "stuck between" too young looking juniors section and L.L Bean. What's a 30 something to do?

jessica said...

As a 5'9" not-skinny woman, it's men's clothing for me. Has been for years. Jeans, button-down shirts, cowboy boots. Or straight, knee length skirts. OR it's suits, always in black,sometimes vintage-wear.

Huh, must be why I can't wear my hair short. Otherwise I look like Alice the Goon.

Good thing I've got serious jewelry.

Actually, Eileen Fisher makes nice clothing for the non-pregnant, non-teenage female. Costs some scratch, though.

Mommychicky said...

I feel like I've been sporting versions of the same style since I was in college; T-shirts, Gap jeans, crew neck sweaters and it's getting old. Empire waists just don't work for me, never have. My boobs are not in the right place and besides, I wasn't crazy about looking pregnant even when I was. I swear, someday when I have the money, I'm going to start a clothing line or have my clothes tailor made for me.

Julianne said...

Interesting point. As I was waiting in the two-freakin'-hour line at Kohl's on Black Friday, I noticed all of the non-maternity maternity tops. It's absurd. I'm too old and fat for empire waist tops and stretch pants. The last thing I need is the awkward silence that follows the, "So when are you due?" comment made by a stranger.