Once upon a time there was a girl who thought too much. Often chided for asking questions which were nigh impossible to answer, she seemed to be stuck in that annoying, but for most people brief, ‘why?’ stage. This story is about her latest fashionosophy* crisis.
On Sunday, she took herself off to the races – one of the last remaining institutions to encourage, nay reward lady dress-ups. The frocks were so frilling, she almost forgot herself. But then that tingle under her skin – she had to ask…‘where are the pants?’
Now this lassy was no race-day virgin. She was familiar with the style to which the ‘fashions on the field’ entrants aspire and had memorised the outfits and winners for the last few years. Not that they were on her hitlist or anything *ahem*, she just liked to keep an eye on the trends… or something like that.
But this time was different; she was in the top ten. Standing in the tent, in the rain, primped and primed and in a line with nine other fillies in their fancy finery – she suddenly felt a surge of horror. It was enough to drive her to excessive alliteration. More than that, she was plagued with analysis, the likes of which clouded her face and the race-track. Horses? What horses?
Yes, she liked a full skirt as much as the next girl. Heavens knows, they hide fat thighs a multitude of sins. However, this parade made her a little uneasy on behalf of the decades of fashion since 1950. Summarily, the shocking gloveless, stockingless, hatless appearance of Jean Shrimpton at 1965’s Melbourne Cup would have been no less of a statement in the lineup this year.
The girl knew deep down that there was something to be said for dressing ‘like a lady’. For one, there’s a slim risk of wardrobe malfunction (except in the case of a strong gusty upwind). However, she felt like the definition of ‘lady’ in the world of competitive race-wear was far too narrow for her well-developed and modern approach to dress-ups.
‘Expecting pants for the races is probably just a little bit silly’, the girl reasoned, nodding in agreement as she turned on the catwalk, holding her number high, ‘but haven’t our opinions on physical femininity developed at all since 1950?’ The girl remained ever-so-slightly enraged until, that evening, in the warmth of her tasteful boudoir, she pulled on her relaxed slacks and concentrated on the problem at hand.
Looking into her wardrobe, she saw a propensity of gorgeous dresses exactly the likes of which she had lamented all day. Cinched waists, full skirts, ruffles and pleats and frills, in every colour under the sun. She could never look at them without breathing out an ever so soft happy sigh.
Suddenly it became clear; It wasn’t the dresses she despised, it was the competition that was so shudderingly arcane. The parade didn’t take into account exactly how many jobs she worked, her qualifications, her slapstick sense of humour or her amazing way with choc-chip cookies.
She knew now that the difference between the condemnation of the oh-so-immodest Jean Shrimpton and the racewear competitions today is how unused she was to being judged for her appearance alone. And surely it is far better for such baseless scrutiny to be a the novelty than the norm.
The girl clapped excitedly. Another fashion dilemma solved! She uncreased her brow and smiled. It was a perfect day to appreciate just how much thinking she could indulge in as a very modern woman.
And that my friends, is the end of the story.