What the 99% Wore

The Take-A-Napsters know of my love/hate obsession with the NYTimes Sunday Styles section.   Each week the Times asks a celeb/socialite to chronicle for the week “What They Wore.” It feels to me like one long advertisement for apparel labels most of us will never wear — some I don’t even know and I used to read WWD fairly regularly for work.  This week profiled the Emmy-winning actress Archie Panjabi, of “The Good Wife.” (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/04/fashion/archie-panjabi-what-i-wore.html?ref=fashion)  I mean no disrespect to Ms. Pahjabi, who does work for a living, but in the spirit of OWS  below is a chronicle of  “What the 99% Wore.”

Full disclosure:  Throughout my career in the rag trade, most of my peepz have competed to spend as little as possible on our threads.  Since we have some idea of the actual cost to make a garment, and have some access to sample sales and employee discounts, the fun is in the hunt.

Sunday, Dec. 4

Going to Tex-Mex brunch:  Gap boyfriend jeans:  baggy, with a D-ring belt, so I can enjoy my breakfast fajitas without anything cutting into my soft belly. Worn with a navy Polo/RL Outlet thermal top and a Lucky brand red wrap-style, hooded cardigan.  Also wrapped around my neck is a freebie scarf from one of my fashion club chums.  On my feet:  the “giraffe” spotted clogs I got from the Bargain Loft at the Farm Way last summer.  I also have to bag some leaves later and get gas for the snow blower.  Guitar Man believes that if we are over-prepared early it will work as an offering to the weather gods and spare us a harsh winter.

After napping thru the Jets win over Washington I change into my gym clothes:  navy sweatpants with a “public safety academy” logo  (where did these come from?) and a heather grey Dartmouth co-op t-shirt.  Topping off with zip-up TCNJ sweatshirt because we have to run over to the grocery store, too.

Monday, Dec. 5

Off to work in the weirdest December weather. No coat needed, but the office may be either 55 degrees or 95 degrees.  So layer up….

JJill Navy cargo style pants, L/S white cotton woven shirt and Lauren/RL outlet denim pinstriped vest.  Top off with AT Loft burgundy shrug, and pop on the freebie scarf from yesterday because it’s still hanging off the back of  the “hoarding chair” where I keep my purse and a bunch of old magazines I need to either read or recycle.  Oh — and rainbow socks with black “suede” Aerosole loafers.

When I get home it’s dark so I like to save time and go straight to my jammies:  Old Navy floral print PJ pants and baby blue American Apparel Obama 2008 tee.  Top off with my old Alma Mater sweatshirt with the open, shirttail style bottom (can’t find these anymore).  Make mental note that I should wash it LESS…. it’s becoming too frail to withstand unnecessary friction.

Tuesday, Dec. 6

Again, bizarre warm weather means confusion in the closet.  So I punt:  take generic black pants with Old Navy tank top and an Anne Klein striped tunic jacket, self belt.  Wear my black Durango cowboy style ankle boots (another Farm Way Bargain loft purchase) and head off to the vineyards.  When I get home?  See Dec. 5 above….

Wednesday, Dec. 7

It’s only Wednesday, so, yes… I still have to go to work.  After a quick peek outside to see if there is a Horseman of the Apocalypse coming down the block because it is like 60 degrees this morning, I turn my half-naked self back to the closet to figure out what to wear.  So today it’s a tank & leggings catsuit combo topped off with a button-front denim dress I got off the RL outlet store clearance rack.  I can honestly say this is an outfit of last resort because the dress has a leather patch on the shoulder which means I can’t wash it — it has to go to the dry cleaner b/c of the leather trim (which could also be why it was dirt cheap.  Remember kids:  if it costs more to clean it than to wear it, it is no bargain!).  But I am wearing black faux leather biker style boots from Kohl’s, because it is December, dammit.

The G-man is coming home late and we’re going to run out to eat so the jammies have to wait.  I get home before him, change into random jeans and throw on a sweatshirt that was a favor from a 2008 bar mitzvah,  white gym sox and Puma sneakers from the mid-90’s.  The kind of sneakers that encase your whole foot and close with Velcro, giving you the look of “ninja feet.”   I always wear these if it’s pouring rain (which it is) or I’m going to be in environments where my feet can’t see where they are going.   I wear my Farm Way baseball cap, too.  I really love the Farm Way.

Thursday, Dec. 8

It’s a zippy 39 degrees this morning so I finally have a chance to step it up with some seasonal dressing, and it’s a good thing I did.  We had the CEO drop-in on our weekly staff meeting, and I was bright and shiny in a short black/grey/turq tweed AT Loft skirt with a turquoise cashmere-esque sweater from Banana Republic, grey tights and those faux leather biker boots from yesterday.  Since it was cold enough to wear some outerwear I pulled out an old Liz Claiborne black leather bomber-style jacket (I got it back in 2000 when the company was solvent enough to give salespeople a clothing allowance).  Side note:  now that Liz is a JCPenney exclusive brand my consignment shop contacts tell me it isn’t considered “designer enough” to consign anymore.  As Heidi Klum sez, “Fashion: one day you’re “in,”  the next day you’re “out.”

Friday, Dec. 9 — Shame!

My office has a “Denim is OK on Friday” dress code, and in what seemed like a good idea at the time I wore my (Lucky brand) button fly, boot-cut jeans with a yellow BD oxford (Polo/RL outlet) and since it’s finally beginning to feel like Fall, a wool cable cardigan that I inherited from Estelle.  It wasn’t until later in the day that it hit me:  I looked like (a) an Easter egg (the sweater is a deep lilac color) or (b) Mare Winningham’s character from that 80’s movie chestnut, St. Elmo’s Fire.  Most of the folks I work with are too young to remember this cultural touchstone so I don’t think they noticed my faux pas,  so for those of you who may not have been alive (or still in diapers) in 1985, a small reference photo is below.

But I did wear my “giraffe” clogs from the Farm Way again — perhaps the scariest proof that the 80’s can and do live on….kinda like Rob Lowe.

St. Elmo's Fire -- Who wears a fluffy sweater to a bar?

5 thoughts on “What the 99% Wore

  1. Most of the labels on my attire say things like “Mossimo” or “Old Navy” or something nobody’s ever heard of picked up at Nordstrom Rack. Oh, and LL Bean. Fashion plate, I ain’t. 😉

    1. I have a garmento friend who cuts the labels out of everything she buys — at first I thought she was making a statement against labels, but it turns out they just irritate her skin.

  2. Don’t ditch the lilac sweater, though – just pair it with something a little less Easterish – a teeshirt or shell in black or gray or aubergine maybe?

    1. excellent color suggestions. I think this post just highlighted that i need to actually buy some new threads. But I also read a story that confirmed what I knew all along: the quality of clothing has been deteriorating in the last few years with the rising prices of raw materials, like cotton ~ and customers are noticing.

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