IMG_5204A little escapism today to a time before lockdowns and social distancing, when we walked the streets in crowds of people! Remember that? Like an eternity ago, n’est-ce pas?

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A few months ago…Christmas decorations were still up. Such crowds are unthinkable now.

Back then, when spring was just unfolding and we roamed the streets freely and unmasked, I was noticing a number of women with, shall we call it assertive taste. Assertive in that they seem to know what they want and don’t care about what anybody else thinks. Oblivious to mutton as lamb snarks. Confident. Regardless of whether you like it or not. Because when a young woman wears something a little outrageous, it’s simply outrageous and maybe courageous, but never some sort of crime against the eyeballs of the public.

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Put together, especially the one on the left.

And so I salute the sartorial derring-do of these women. I wonder whether everybody being stuck at home for so long will make us all either more attuned to fashion when we get out, or much less. I have paid zero attention to clothes since the lockdown. No appetite for it at all. (It seems I am not alone in letting go of appearances. This article says lipstick sales are down 82%, eye makeup down 68% and deodorant down 45%.)  And you? Do you dress for yourself, for others, for your partner? Maybe all three, depending on the circumstance? Are you daring or classic?IMG_5178This woman caught my eye because she was a good decade or two older than me but that didn’t stop her from rocking a short leather skirt, leather beret and tall boots, with a little leopard, of course. My reaction was “you go, girl!”IMG_5189IMG_5024There were quite a few beret sightings before the weather warmed up and we had to stop going out.IMG_4921This woman clearly has something in mind. This outfit isn’t a willy nilly closet grab, like throwing on a jeans and a T-shirt. The tiered skirt is interesting; I bet there’s a story to it. And the headscarf, which is not a simple bandana but has layers. It isn’t something I would try, but I commend her for her use of color and mix of patterns. Life would be boring if everybody dressed like the mannequin in the top photo (which is more or less what I wear, but with flats).IMG_5200IMG_5207Wide, cropped pants are a thing. Worn with brogues or “creepers,” as the French call them. A challenging silhouette, but most of the women I see wearing it clearly do not care about looking taller and thinner. The wide pants are comfortable, and being cropped you don’t worry about the hem, and the flat shoes also are comfortable. They are dressing for themselves. Chapeau!IMG_5201I suspect this one dresses for him. If that makes them happy, then fine. Rad haircut!IMG_5194Another rad haircut with an otherwise very classic look. My haircut is the same as in the black-and-white photo of me with missing front teeth. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. In my defense, it’s the same cut as Anna Wintour. Something my husband or kid can cut for me–a plus these days! (I doubt Anna’s hubby is cutting her hair, though.)IMG_4802This woman is someone I worry about. I used to see her regularly diving through trash cans and fishing out half-eaten food. Even in the dead of winter, she had no more than a big sweater. I wonder what has become of her and how she ended up like this. We are lucky to have a roof over our heads and food to eat. Concerns about fashion feel frivolous in the face of a pandemic, though sometimes they’re a welcome distraction.

Are you dressing up these days? Or is getting dressed at all enough of a victory?

 

 

 

 

48 thoughts on “Fashion Distraction

  1. Nice post; really enjoyed it. I guess I’m more classic toward my clothes than anything else…thanks to a great aunt who worked for Jordan-Marsh and several other large department stores. Even at 93, she never went anywhere without make-up, including eye makeup, and dressed very much like the lady with the very short hair cut. I would love to cut my hair like that, but it’s naturally curly and doesn’t do well in very short style. Dressing every day in causal clothes (nice) but comfortable.
    Thanks as always for a great post.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’m finding my homemade masks a great boon. I go out twice a week — once to the supermarket and laundrette and once to the fresh market. Wearing a mask means I don’t have to do anything about the fact that I’ve grown a beard and moustache.

    The popular Australian ambassador to France caused ‘awwwws’ when he admitted to cutting his own hair at home a couple of weeks ago in his weekly broadcast from his living room.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lovely to see the streets of Carcassonne again – I recognise some of the places 🙂 I dress the way I always dress, but I keep seeing the joke about someone being told that gloves and a face mask being enough when going out. It continues: they lied, everyone else wore clothes! 😂

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  4. I, in normal times am a classic dresser. At this time, it’s still “classic” however is jeans with a sweater, often in stripes. In previous times I wear makeup daily, during the pandemic I have foregone the make-up. My hair is long so I’m not worried about cutting it, however I do have a bit of color added, so far the grow out is okay, soon I will want the salons to reopen here in the US. I visited Carcassonne several years ago. So beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I am still in winter casual clothes – we are expecting SNOW today in Central New York State.
    Am sorting hopefully my spring/summer clothes and wondering when and where I will wear them all. No reason to “dress-up” that is for sure. Thank you for your blog – so enjoy it and hope you and your family are doing well during this time.
    Take care and be safe.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. We are on Day 35 of lock-down in Palm Springs. I’m still getting dressed – jewelry and makeup – daily. Except for my husband of 40 years, no one sees me. It has just been my policy to Get Up, Dress Up, Show Up… even if I am only showing up in the living room these days. One normalcy in a very non-normal time?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I have been online shopping for clothes to wear once the shelter in place has been lifted. Thank you for including the article about lipstick sales going down – I was just thinking about that! It makes sense. Since we need to cover our faces – why bother with lip color? I still, however, never leave home without lip balm! I enjoyed your post! Stay safe! 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  8. My daughter is a carer. She works with severely learning impaired adult men. She is also studying for a degree in Fashion. She has no desire to work in the industry. She is a feminist, a socialist and a champion of the masses who for whatever reason have a worthless deck to play this game of life with. She struggled royally with the notion that she really wanted to study this discipline. I understand why. We do see fashion as frivolous. And it is. And yet it also gives us a chance to focus on ourself. My husband and I have taken to dressing for dinner. Nothing fancy – I’m not talking black tie and a ball gown but just making an effort. It forces us to make an effort. To care for self a little. My granny used to say ‘fashion is what suits you’ – she would have applauded all the ladies you parade before us for their attitude. To suit themselves. Wonderful post. Really – chapeau to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bravo to your daughter. Fashion and personal style are a way of expressing ourselves to the world. Fashion can be art. It’s the fast fashion, the you-need-this mentality along with the pressure to change and update constantly that is so shallow and unsustainable. A new outfit can make us feel good about ourselves at least for a while. But even a Kardashian-sized full closet can’t fill an empty heart.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Vogue magazine, of all things, is putting out a daily (?) email of interesting things to do, eat, wear, etc. in these days of weirdness. And doing some darned fine journalism, too. The other day, there was a picture of Anna at her home desk, in sweatpants — with the sunglasses. Vogue has also started a fundraiser for people in the fashion industry hurt by this, the ordinary people, and a discussion about the future shape and track of it. Calling it A Common Thread, I think. It would be encouraging to see other industries follow suit.
    Since I’m normally at home glaring at my keyboard anyway, I’m pretty much doing the usual, and walking the dog. Although as the weather warms, I’m thinking about sorting through, cleaning out the closet. Looking at your pictures makes me want to have a beret.
    Have already trimmed my hair once, am considering living dangerously and adding some odd color. By the time we can go anywhere, it will all have grown out!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Berets are great. They can keep you warm, you can pull them down over your ears if need be, they can be squished in your bag or even a pocket for just in case, and they don’t mess up your hair like a knit cap.
      I will have to look up Vogue. Anna is visionary.

      Like

  10. Sorry, start again..
    I’m afraid that, when I don’t need to leave the house and look respectable in public, I default to scruffy art student at the drop of a hat.
    Today it was 20 year old jeans with holes and paint stains, a teeshirt that was very nice a decade ago and my accidental cardigan

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Your busy street scene almost gives the impression of the Pamplona bull-run. Chaos! … I’m in the camp of business-as-usual regarding dressing for the day. Hair, yes, but as it’s long, the ‘do’s are getting more inventive as the inclination to wash it has flown out the window. Makeup, yes, and also entering the inventive stages, although my promise to myself to finally try the false eyelashes I impulse-purchased a couple of years ago is yet to happen. Must save something for a dull day! Nice clothes and matching accessories, however I’m most often not in shoes, except for some sandals to be donned for the laundry or occasional foray to the shops. It’s autumn here but the chillest it’s yet been is just cardigan-weather. Always colourful, a bit of vintage mixed with modern, sometimes a fun frock for no good reason, but the outfits do get worn for even a few days before they need washing, such is the lack of activity. Except for zoom-ercising, of course, when I’m wearing what I’d never be seen in a pink fit out of doors!!

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    1. A pink fit! That’s an expression I must use one day soon.
      Re eyelashes, it’s not so much the getting them on but the getting them off, and the prospect of natural ones getting pulled off with them.

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  12. I’m putting on clothes. That’s about as far as I’ll commit to that. I did cut my own hair a few weeks ago. It’s making me crazy and I’m giving my husband’s razor the side eye. I’ve worn my hair super short in the past, and I might do it again.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I DO GET DRESSED DAILY………but have noticed I’m leaving the BRA in the drawer!!!!
    I have ALWAYS DRESSED for MYSELF and as I AGE More for COMFORT than FASHION.
    I realize I’m a bit eccentric……….and it does not bother me one bit!
    XX

    Liked by 2 people

  14. I do get dressed every day, but for the past six weeks it’s been in the same two-three outfits as they rotate through the wash. Never wear much makeup anyway (e.g. blush, lip gloss), but now it’s just lip gloss when I realize my lips are dry. Nor have I worn earrings. All of this is no hardship as I am retired so no zooming. The only people I facetime with are grandchildren under six years of age and they couldn’t care less what I look like. Just read a book, Nanny!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You sound like you’re making more effort than me.
      My mom used to “babysit” our kid via skype. They would talk and draw and show each other what they drew for over an hour at a time. I would go in to my office, where the computer and skyping was going on, and my kid would hiss at me, “I am BUSY!” Like I would do when on a work call!

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  15. In the morning I moisturize and put on a lightly tinted sunscreen ( every day here in Arizona) a bit of mascara and cover grey on my brows. I usually run a hot brush through my hair to tame unruly ends from sleeping. That’s it for the glam. Most of the time I wear yoga pants and soon shorts and a t-shirt, some what presentable for when I walk the dog. I did wear pants, a tunic and shoes for Easter but that’s about it for real clothes. If I go to the grocery or pharmacy I was wearing better stuff, but now if I go somewhere, I take off the clothes I’ve worn and put directly in the washer, usually followed by a shower, so why dress up? I must admit that if I take an early shower (5-6pm) I put on a nice pajama set and call it a day!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I just read that a shower isn’t that essential. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/17/well/live/coronavirus-contagion-spead-clothes-shoes-hair-newspaper-packages-mail-infectious.html?algo=top_conversion&fellback=false&imp_id=49321791&imp_id=394477695&action=click&module=Most%20Popular&pgtype=Homepage
      But why not! I put the clothes aside, but the thinking is that after a couple of days, there’s no more virus, if there ever was. With masks, I bet eye makeup is going to become more important.

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  16. The most dressed up I’ve been in the past two months was when I snuck into Switzerland on my border-worker’s pass to illicitly go shopping for groceries (certain ‘comfort’ items that we just don’t have here). I had to at least look like I might be going to the office so I wore a jacket with a scarf and makeup. I definitely dress for myself and find it harder and harder to squeeze into structured jackets and pants with waists that pinch. Sometimes I’ll see someone rocking a look like one of your photos and try to emulate but rarely do I pull it off. Unfortunately I do have ultra short hair with highlights that is desperately in need of attention! Vive le 11 mai…

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Good evening friend! I have been thinking about you. How are you? I have worked from home forever so I typically go to yoga then come home shower and change into a version of my uniform, either yoga pants, t-shirt-and a sweater in the winter and shorts and a shirt in the summer. When I go out for meetings, trade-shows, or social activities I wear classic clothing and I prefer dresses and skirts to pants.

    I am not embracing the grey hair that so many are, I desperately need my highlights touched up but as I am not really going out I don’t care anyway.

    Be well, stay safe.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s nice to have a mix of at-home and in-office/conference/shows. That’s the best of both worlds.
      You’re lucky that your hair already is quite light, so the shift to gray, when you choose to make it, won’t be as surprising as for those who have been hiding a full head of gray under dark brown color.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. I miss those days of going out (especially downtown in Toronto) and seeing how different people dress😭 Since quarantine started I’ve been living in leggings, sweatpants, tshirts and hoodies with minimal makeup now and then.

    Liked by 3 people

  19. For myself, always. And since this peculiar state of affairs has come to pass, I have taken great pleasure in getting dressed properly each day, putting on moisturiser, jewellery, perfume and lipstick. I have a yearning for dark blue eye shadow, which I cannot yet satisfy. I do my exercises, launder clothes, fold them away, play around with outfits and wear my proposed, now cancelled, holiday clothes when the sun shines hot enough. For me, sitting about unkempt and in lounging clothes would be the first step on a downward trend. I can’t afford to do that so on I go. Pleasure in small things. Looking forward to a haircut in about two months. And when I go out running, I don’t give a monkeys what people think should they look at me. If ever life was too short to worry about the opinions (imagined or otherwise) of others, it is now.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I have been on lockdown for the past 15 years and find that work-work and house-work tend to overlap in a way that can be time-saving but that excludes wearing anything nice. Too many drips of bleach on favorite black clothes while quickly cleaning the bathroom between work calls, for example. I’m not going to change every time I wash dishes or pass the mop or pop outside to pull a few weeds. So I end up constantly in my crummiest clothes. Don’t you find that having everyone home all day every day makes the house get dirty minutes after cleaning?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There is only two of us at present. But Christmas can be another story. I am very keen to buy a Japanese crossover apron because I think that is the answer. I can’t abide having annoying ties.

        Liked by 1 person

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