What not to wear
Posted: Thursday, August 14, 2008 10:19 am
By: By Lisa Smartt
Have you seen the television show called, “What Not to Wear?” The hosts, Clint and Stacy, walk up to unsuspecting people and basically say, “Girlfriend, you have no taste and you need a wardrobe overhaul.” Of course, Clint and Stacy are there to save the day by helping poor Nancy Nobody find clothes that make her more desirable and more likely to find that dream job and eventually buy a house in the Hamptons. I don’t know why we prize the opinion of Clint and Stacy so much. But we do. The whole point of the show is to prove that when their advice is followed, a beautiful butterfly emerges from a horrible jogging suit cocoon.
Clint and Stacy don’t live at my house. No one at my house has ever studied fashion. We don’t know the names of designers. All three of my men would wear plaid shorts with a camouflage shirt. Camouflage goes with everything, right? I doubt my husband or either of my boys will ever have their own fashion show. But when time is of the essence, they’re all I have. Such was the case last Saturday morning.
All four of us were to attend a wedding in the evening. I was feeling insecure about my fashion options. My husband was out working in the yard while our two boys were watching cartoons in the living room. If I wanted fashion advice, it would have to come from our two boys, ages 10 and 12. Two boys who turned an old lawn mower into a four-wheeler. Two boys who don’t like soap. Two boys who tied one of their T-shirts onto a tree limb and used it as a human slingshot. I know. I’m a brave, brave woman. It was all-out desperation. Desperation, I say. I first emerged from the bedroom wearing a straight black skirt and light blue jacket and asked a simple question, “Hey guys, how does this look for the wedding tonight?”
“Hmm. No, Mom. You don’t look good in black.” “Yeah. Black’s not a good color for you because you’re so white and everything.”
I emerged wearing a brown and gray floral dress. “Absolutely not, Mom. It’s all brownish and grayish and all boring and everything.” “Yeah. You’re not boring, Mom. Plus, it’s all puffy and weird in the middle.” Back to cartoons.
I then walked out in an outfit I really liked which was predominantly blue with gold buttons. “Mom, that blue doesn’t look good on you.” “Yeah and it’s the same color as those crooked lines on your legs. It’s like the dress is trying to match the blue lines on your legs. Were you trying to match the lines on your legs, Mom?”
“Uh. Not exactly.” (Note to self: Put blue dress in dumpster.) All that was left was a hideously bright floral dress with a loud jacket. I emerged from the bedroom with my head down.
“Mom, you got it! That’s it! It’s not all grayish and boring and it doesn’t make you look as bad as those other things did.”
“Gee, thanks.” I happily attended the wedding wearing a dress that didn’t make me look as bad as those other things did. As an added bonus, it didn’t even match the color of my varicose veins. Who needs Clint and Stacy? Two country boys will do quite nicely.
Editor’s note: Lisa Smartt’s column appears each Wednesday in the Friends and Neighbors section of The Messenger. Mrs. Smartt is the wife of Philip Smartt, the University of Tennessee at Martin parks and recreation and forestry professor, and is mother to two boys, Stephen and Jonathan. She is a freelance writer and speaker. Her book “The Smartt View: Life, Love, and Cluttered Closets” is available at The Messenger, The University of Tennessee at Martin bookstore or by mail for $10, plus $2 shipping. Send checks to Lisa Smartt, 300 Parrott Road, Dresden TN 38225. She can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.
Published in The Messenger 8.13.08