Black Outlook, part 2 of 2

Continued from part 1.

A year or so ago I decided that I wasn’t going to buy a single wardrobe addition that was brown or black. I have mostly stuck to that resolution by not buying much at all. Salubrious for the bank account, deleterious to the rewards account. The situation really comes to a head at this particular season  (ed–this was written September), when trying to choose a dating outfit. The conversation between Me, Myself, and I goes something like this:

Me: Well, I can just wear the turquoise beaded top with the white eyelet skirt.

I: Dearie, Labor Day was two weeks ago. No white skirts.

Me: Why not? The weather is hot. I see no reason to abide by arbitrary rules possibly invented by the defunct civilization known as the Old South. Also, all our summer skirts are white, more or less.

Myself: Well we can’t wear a white skirt. It’s a daytime stroll date. What if we sit down on a dirty bench? He’ll spend the whole rest of the date trying not to notice the seat mark. And it will be a super pain to wash out.

Me: Well that what am I going to wear?! I can’t wear brown – it’s not fall enough. And the tan would also get dirty, and I don’t want to wear brown.

Myself: Chillax. What about that dark  blue sweater we found for that silhouette print skirt?

I: No way! Winds supposed to be gusting at 45 mph or something. That skirt is too full and light to handle that gracefully. We’ll spend the whole date with our hands in a modest Marilyn Monroe imitation.

Me: I’m gonna cry. Why did I ask for a daytime date? Why didn’t I push it off until the leaves started changing?

Myself: [soothingly] We’re not at the bottom of the drawer yet. What about that sky blue sweater with the 3/4 sleeves?

Me: The only thing I can wear with that is a black skirt or the gray, but the gray is too corporate.

Myself: What’s wrong with corporate? Ten to one he shows up in a suit… [sees Me’s face] Okaaay… black then. We’ve got loads of those. How ’bout this one?

Me: Too dressy. This is a casual date. Or, as casual as a first date can get.

I: How about that one?

Myself: That one is a classic example of where buying one size too large isn’t the solution. Nix it.

Me: So, winds considered, how about a long skirt?

I: It’s a first date!

Myself: Yeah, but in a park. Doesn’t he expect us to do any running over hill and dale? We can’t show up in a pencil skirt.

I: Weren’t you looking for a nice casual skirt to replace that great one that got worn out in the wash?

Me: [glumly] Looking. That was the key word. I don’t have a replacement.

Myself: Listen, he’s a guy. Do you really think he cares what you wear? Does he have any sisters? I’m sure he’ll understand.

I: [cheerily] Oldest of six boys. And don’t forget that other guy who kvetched to the shadchan that we weren’t dressed up enough for a daytime date to a museum. We were pretty well turned out for that one, I thought.

Myself: Just goes to show, you can’t win. So why bother? I’m still rooting for this one here. [Tugs at skirt]

Me: [falls backwards onto bed and moans into hands]

Myself: [Throws a comforting arm around Me] Hey, Me. You didn’t even want to go out with this guy, remember? So if he doesn’t like your skirt, big deal. He should have chosen a better first date location.  Strike one for both teams. try it on, okay?

Me: [Wailing] I don’t understand how I can have so much clothing and nothing to wear.

I: Pshaw. That’s the Feminine Condition. Get used to it. There. That doesn’t look too corporate after all. It’ll do.

Myself: A little bland… [Sees Me’s expression], but yes, I think it’ll do.

Me: Good. I’m going to sleep. No, I’m going to blog.

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32 thoughts on “Black Outlook, part 2 of 2

  1. This is a universal post! It doesn’t have a whole lot to do with dating and it’s very true to life and funny!

  2. Kudos for owning a pink skirt, knowing the labor day rules, and making me laugh at the ungodly hour of 10 AM when I am expected to be awake and working.

  3. One more thing – since the advent of global warming I refuse to apply the Labor Day rules. I give myself all of September for clothes that used to be verboten after Labor Day. It’s October 13 and we haven’t turned on our heat yet. Crazy.

  4. hahahaha, this is hilarious!

    (Hi. I’ve been reading this blog for months, but I don’t think I’ve ever commented before.)

    CB

  5. OMG! Nothing to, like, wear!

    I must say that laws of summer white are correct. It may be 80 degrees out, but the calendar says otherwise. However, there is always winter white. But since winter white looks distinctly wool, it can’t be worn between September and October, unless it’s unseasonably chilly.

    And in terms of what is most flattering, pencil skirt is at the top of the heap (especially for your build). A date is not about function. It’s about lookin’ good. So mince if you must, but bring out the pencils first. Then you can indulge in flarey.

    Blue and gray go together beautifully. It is not corporate (and just because I have another ensemble in that color scheme does not mean that I am biased).

    As for shopping and not having time – the secret is the morning. If you are truly driven to find what you must, leave the house at 9 am on a Sunday morning. I know many have sleeping late penciled in for that time, but having a store all to yourself and being able to think clearly is so worth it.

  6. Lea – September and early October are going to be problematic if we stick with the old rules. Yes, the planet is getting warmer! Take it from someone over 40! If you don’t want to wear white in September, that’s a personal choice, but stick with lightweight fabrics when the temperature is warm, even after Labor Day.

  7. I didn’t say one has to wear wool. I have quite a few summer outfits that are white, and somehow it feels inappropriate in September. Of course you should wear lightweight fabrics in hot weather; one year, Rosh HaShana was very early, and everyone came to shul in the winter suits and boots while a balmy 85 degrees sizzled outside. They looked ridiculous, but they couldn’t wait to put their new suits and shoes on.

    I was saying that since one can’t wear white unless winter white after Labor Day, then one can’t wear white until October.

    MCP – No one here is a morning person? Anyone? (Crickets chirp). What’s the point of coffee, people?

    Shopping should be considered a serious sport. One can’t just roll out of bed and expect to be in marathon shape. It’s devotion to the craft that is so wanting nowadays.

  8. Not me. If not for Shachris I would probably sleep till 12 every sunday (gotta be ready for football by 1pm). Coffee is not a substitute for sleep, just a morning necessity.

    I prefer to do my shopping in the afternoon when i’m in a good mood, in the AM i am still irritable and cranky- i get withdrawal syndrome from my pillow

  9. >>Shopping should be considered a serious sport. One can’t just roll out of bed and expect to be in marathon shape. It’s devotion to the craft that is so wanting nowadays.<<
    😀 Okay, training session in two Sundays, Lea?

  10. @MCP- 9 am on Sundays in Israel is a WORK DAY. It is possible.

    Love this post. And, it does take up time to build up endurance for shopping. I recommend a window shopping marathon once every 1-2 weeks to build up stamina. Then you can go for a heavy 2-4 hour workout.

  11. “Which stores are open at 9 on a Sunday morning?” Or on any morning for that matter. To my knowledge most stores do not open until 11, maybe 10:30 at the earliest. And I should know- I have stood at store doors, waiting for them to open (so if shopping is a serious sport, does that make me an athlete?)

  12. Unless you only shop at frum stores, I haven’t found it that difficult to find non-black clothes, as long as you’re aware of it and try other colors. If you think it’s bad for shidduchim to wear a ring in case people think you’re married, wearing all black will convince them you are widow!

  13. You see, you have to be up by 9 to daven, pack the necessary provisions (I find string cheese to be very useful if one’s energy begins to fade) and then there’s travel time to get to the destination 2 minutes before the doors open.

    Although, the Tangers Outlets at the Arches on Long Island open at 10 on Sunday.

    Bad4 – first there’s a course that has to be taken, then jogging up a series of steps, pain inflicted to see how much farther the applicant is willing to go after your shoes fail you during a monster sale, etc. Then maybe you begin training in the ways of the force. Once you earn your black belt, you can move on to gain knowledge in makeup purchases. Few make it to the next level.

  14. Woodbury Commons opens at like 830 I believe, but again, Sunday is my off day, I sleep as late as I can get away with. The Palisades Mall and Garden State Plaza are both huge, great, and indoors, and not to far from where I live, makes for a pleasant experience.

  15. MCP – I’m sure you know that the Garden State Plaza is closed on Sundays!! If you don’t know that, you don’t live nearby!

  16. I do know that, although the thought slipped my mind when I was writing that last post. Still a great place to shop.

  17. *groan* I don’t even want to think about makeup yet. I can do steps, though. I do them in college wearing a messenger bag. And once I got up at 4:15 to check out Black Friday. Granted, I was a voyeur, but still, I did it.

  18. “Who are you dressing up for?” The guys started this by complaining about black garb!

    So, Bad4, we have established you are in Rocky-fighting shape. But do you have the love? The adoration of clothing? The joy of the search? If not, maybe I can brainwash you into a proper mindset.

  19. Er, I do not have the love. No adoration. I hate the search. I wish it would all march in front of me so I could what I want out of the lineup. And I’m awfully hard to brainwash, but I’m willing to try.

    Who are we dressing up for? A complex question that deserves its own post.

  20. A psychologist will back 25 – Anonymous on that one. Most women’s motivation is dressing for other women, not men. Most men really are clueless (I say this with love, even though my brother-in-law is the exception)about women’s wardrobes. The fine nuances go over their heads, while sometimes they may grasp the whole picture.

  21. Second Anon 25- we dress up for other women. My husband is a prime example. He doesn’t get any of the nuances- except when they don’t make sense to him (like skirts sewn with the seams on the outside to give that flared look, for example.) He knows when I look nice, and when I don’t. But that’s about it. Even colors sometimes fly over his head. Try conversations like: it’s not green, it’s turquoise. No, not blue either. Yes, that is velvet.
    Ah well. I think though- that makeup is done more for the guys’ sake than for girls.

  22. I think it depends on the guy- NMF #7. Some do notice things- though in general I do think you are correct and most only notice the general picture- that you look good- instead of the fabrics, etc. My husband actually remembers what I wore on each date- so I am so glad that I did not repeat lol.
    And makeup can be done for girls and for guys. Depends again.

  23. Speaking as a guy, I do notice all the little things- Jewelry, shoes, patterns, etc. That being said, I would agree that I am the exception rather than the rule.

  24. A man I know was complimented on his paisley tie. His response, “oh is that what this material is called?”

  25. I just broke out of the white shirt male syndrom, and it feels great! I could actually think about what to wear in the morning! you don’t know what you’re missing, guys! Although, I was actually shopping one time, when a zeyer ernste goy saw me, paused, gave me a huge smile, and said, “shopping must be so easy if you only wear white and black!”
    alz is toluy on perspective

  26. Join. The. Club.
    “What To Wear” – a nation-wide shidduchim best-seller – in the female category.
    A daily activity that takes on monstrous/frantic proportions when applied to a date outing. If you’ve been decently, tastefully clad your entire life – Date Night rolls around and your ENTIRE wardrobe disintegrates into a dim puff of non-usability. A lifetime of outfit combinations gets narrowed to a few pithy items with limited options – many of them replete with absurd with Me, Myself & I conversations…
    Also, of course the outfits that make the cut get remembered in detail – to NEVER be repeated in subsequent outings with the current beau.

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