A lot happened in 1998 and 1999. I got married, had a baby and went from working on Wall Street and living in a cool apartment in San Francisco to raising a baby in the Midwest and joining the Junior League. The movie Sliding Doors came out in 1998, I was obsessed with it. Not the movie, it’s not great, but I was completely taken with Gwyneth Paltrow cutting her hair short and bleaching it platinum blonde. Oh how I wanted to do that, I ended up with a bob that makes me look like I sold photo copiers for a living and spent my weekends making casseroles for the church book group. The guts to really cut my hair alluded me, so instead I lived in the boring middle, of my hair, and the country. Then in 1999 the book “God Save The Sweet Potato Queens” was published. It was a fun romp of a book with lots of southern wisdom and foul language, two things of which I am huge fan. One quote has lodged itself in my mind for the last 20 years. It was something about if we knew how great our bodies looked in our 30’s and 40’s, we’d have been running around GD naked. We all hate our bodies, think we are too fat, or too squishy, or too whatever. Despite being a size zero, I sit firmly in the “I can’t wear that because…..” camp.
This week I re-watched Sliding Doors and remembered how badly I had wanted to cut my hair, it took me 18 years to find the courage. Since I’ve gone short I have never felt “less sexy without long hair” or like I “cut it because I’m old”. I feel edgy, I feel fierce, I feel like me. Watching the movie reminded me how many years I’ve spent afraid. Afraid of taking risks, afraid of being embarrassed, or ugly, or mocked. So I decided to conquer my fear of dressing the way I’ve always wanted to. There was a photography teacher in our high school who wore leather pants and a white t-shirt pretty much every day. She was cool beyond words, she was groovy in a way that I had never seen in Bothell, Washington. While buying a Queen t-shirt at Alice and Olivia the other day I tried on a pair of leather shorts on a whim. First I tried on a cute striped pair that would have been lovely for a club luncheon or any other sort of ladylike event. But the leather shorts looked so fierce, I mean not West Village fierce, but fierce nonetheless. They are pleated so they aren’t skin tight and the length is short enough to be sexy but not so short that your butt cheeks will hang out. This week I was headed in to the city for meetings and desperately wanted to wear them but was worried I’d be laughed at. The criticism I imagine is always very detailed “Why is that old lady wearing leather? She looks ridiculous, and look at her thighs, they literally shake.” And “Why would that women think she is young enough to wear leather shorts and boots? What a joke.” I could go on, but you get me, am I the only one who has a really specific and vicious inner critic?
So today’s Fashion Friday is about doing what you want, because in the 20 years that have elapsed since I was inspired to cut my hair short and wear edgy clothes nothing has changed, I didn’t become any younger, or sexier, or edgier. Time just goes by and really could not care whether you seize it or not. So seize it ladies, wear the shorts, the bikini, the pink hair, the toe ring, the stilettos, whatever you want to do, do it now. Time will just keep marching on and you will regret not being the truest version of yourself.
The shorts are in stock at Alice and Olivia right now, they are $595 and I feel like they are worth every penny. I tried a size 2 and they were a little baggy, the girls in the store talked me into trying the zero and I’m glad I did. They fit comfortably and even in a zero I was able to wear them with full cotton panties underneath and I didn’t feel like I had panty lines. I plan to wear them all summer with everything from heels and and sexy top to t-shirts and sneakers. And if anyone laughs, I could not care less.
There are no affiliate links in this post, I paid full retail for my groovy shorts.