Women's fashion now enters the Twilight Zone

August 30, 2011

Last week I looked at the broken piece of tile on my kitchen floor and came to the only logical conclusion…that I really hate my clothes. I mean, there is nothing in my closet. You open the door and it’s the same old thing; every item is black. I must have gone to a lot of funerals; it’s the only reason I can come up with for an inventory large enough to start my own one-color consignment shop. It couldn’t possibly be that at my age, black is the natural color that will take a few centimeters off what is growing to be a rather large protrusion from the rear. They say that black is slimming, and it is the new gray. Apparently they have never seen me try on a pair of spandex pants, sending me orbiting around the store to regain my balance. Not even close to gray.

Unfortunately, at around this time of the year, with the end of summer in sight, all the clothing turns to the styles and colors for the fall. I was paging through some women’s magazines (I was supposed to be writing this stupid, stupid column, so I had plenty of time), when I realized we were going back to maroon and black, two colors that express some sort of Goth look for cooler weather.

I decided to step into that Twilight Zone known as the closet. After perusing the bin of winter stuff it occurred to me that maybe, just maybe I took a job with DelDOT last year driving a truck full of salt, because most of my sweaters looked like they had been through some kind of natural disaster.

There were those fuzzy round balls of lint stuck everywhere. And the neck was stretched to the point where you could fit a herd of rhinoceros through it and still have room for an occasional hippo.

Now, the slacks hanging smartly on their racks only confirmed that it’s possible that I took some public works project job, because the pants were huge, all stretched out and frayed at the seams.

Most women don’t aspire to be fashion plates, but neither do we want to look like we just got off the Mayflower, either. We like to keep up with things. And in an effort to appear tasteful, we usually try one new item, such as a scarf or some of the “in” jewelry. It shows we are at least trying. But one item of style I will never understand, and it goes for summer and fall, is the high shoes or stilettos that women parade around in. I’m talking about the ones that are guaranteed to give you a nosebleed. Even airport screeners treat them as if they are a potential threat.

In my day, oh here we go, but seriously, we wore high-heeled shoes also, but they were sensible pumps. You know, you saw them on people like June Cleaver and Richie Cunningham’s mom from “Happy Days.” You could vacuum in them, iron shirts in them, cook a meal in them and still have a smile on your face at five o’clock. That’s when the family arrived home and you all sat around the table for dinner. At least that’s what I’ve read happened.

Today, these shoes are twice as high and are made so that by the end of the day they are welded to a person’s foot; they come with their own blowtorch for removal. Frankly, I think most women just wear them until they become a permanent part of the body.

And it’s not just the height of these high heels, it’s the straps and leather that make them look like you are locked in some sort of bullfight.  They scream of pain and dodging animals that might gore your insides.

I’m not picking on women’s fashions, but maybe the next logical conclusion I can come to is to just replace those kitchen tiles after all. You know I hate the sight of blood anyway.

  • Nancy Katz has a degree in creative writing and is the author of the book, "Notes from the Beach." She has written the column Around Town for the Cape Gazette for twenty years. Her style is satirical and deals with all aspects of living in a resort area on Delmarva.