10 January 2007

Don't rush the goal skirt (pt. II)

How do I know the woman who stuffed her size 8 hips into a size 6 plum boucle knee-length skirt was guilty of wearing an unearned goal skirt?

At first, I wasn't completely sure. There are so many irretrievably dressed women on my four block walks to and from work every morning that all I can really do is shake my head and "tsk, tsk" when I see unfortunate but all too frequent offenses like denim-on-denim and all-purpose athletic sandals.

A too-tight skirt, by comparison, would in any other circumstance hardly be worth a full-scale here's-what-she-should've-done analysis. But something about her was different.

As we stood side by side at the intersection of 16th and M streets, I began to notice out of the corner of my carefully-kohled left eye that she was making strange, jerky movements. Thoroughly content listening - and shamelessly lipsyncing - to track 4 on my "just get over him" playlist, I tried not to notice her, but the fidgets graduated and finally got to the point where I wasn't able to appreciate Fiona Apple's jadedness to the full extent she intended. Looking over my shoulder to see what this woman's damage was, I was surprised to find myself looking not at a skintern in an unnaturally fibered Forever 21 suit but a top-to-bottom, polished and put-together Alpha Female. Scanning her from the shoes up, I gasped with pride when I noticed she was wearing the same Oscar de la Renta bow-pumps I was. Sheer black hose, plum boucle skirt-suit, and a black military-style wool-blend cropped coat rounded out her prim ensemble. Her accessories - pearl studs and a whopper of an engagement ring - were simple and spot-on to carry the tone set by the rest of her outfit. All in all, I couldn't help but be impressed by what I saw. As soon as I said that in my head, however, I was rudely brought out of the zone by another fidget.

This time, looking at her head-on, I finally got it. Her fidget wasn't a fidget at all but rather an unnatural, amateurish attempt at a skirt-smooth.

So, how do I know, from a two-minute superficial assessment, this was a goal skirt situation gone awry?

First clue: she was too well groomed in every other part of her look to be unaware and accepting of an ill-fitting garment

Second clue: she was neither an efficient nor effective skirt-smoother, which means she normally wears clothes that fit and don't bunch around her mid-section

Third clue: through the translucence of her plastic Safeway bag, I made out a can of Diet Coke, a frozen South Beach Diet meal, a banana, and a funsize Krackel -- a true dieter's mid-day meal.

This is a woman who cares a great deal not only about her appearance but also her weight. A Prada handbag says that her closet is filled with goal clothing.

What's so sad about today's subject is that she was thisclose to reaching her goal - and still on track as evidenced by her spartan meal - but let the excitement of a great outfit cloud her otherwise impeccable style judgment.

In short, she jumped the gun.

The day you earn the right to wear an article of goal clothing should be one of the greatest days of your life. Taking it off its hanger, trying it on, and leaving it on is only half the experience; what makes that day come full-circle is that when you look at whatever body transformation was necessary to fit into your goal garment, you remember the day you first saw it in the store, you remember entering into the goal relationship, and you remember the sacrifices you made to honor and fulfill your commitment to that goal.

My only hope is that this woman is more patient in her relationship with her fiancé than she was in her relationship with her poor skirt.

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