Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Too early for that dress

It’s not often I’d advocate fashion advice from Courtney Love – the longest-prevailing and messiest of all hot messes – but recently I’ve noticed all too many girls walking the streets in the weekend mornings in their Saturday finest. And I sing to myself, from the lipstick-stained mouth of the grunge goddess; “...it’s too early for that dress”.

It might not be the case that these girls “wake up in their make up”, nevertheless, is Sunday morning really the time for short dresses and high heels? Wearing such things puts you at serious risk of judgement by passing strangers. If you don’t care what strangers think, more power to you, but my experiences have taught me to tone it down after dawn and before dusk. The consequences could be more serious than just me wondering if you’ve been out all night as I drive by quietly judging.

When I was working in a bar (a very late-closing (or early, depending on how you look at it) bar) I lived only a few blocks away so I walked home after work. Not being the type of person to take a back pack to work, it meant that I could only fit so much in to my hand bag. Usually a cardy. So I used to walk home at about 8am looking like I’d been out all night, and people out with their children and getting exercise on Saturdays and Sundays would go past and I knew they thought I was doing the walk of shame, even though I’d been up pouring their drinks all night. I usually put my sunnies on and got on with it. I held my head high because I knew I had nothing to be ashamed of. But people will judge.

So one morning, before the sun came up this time, I’m walking home, off the main streets now, and a car pulls alongside me. Sometimes when I’m a bit worried about walking by myself I stride with fists clenched, it makes me feel like I’m putting out a don’t-fuck-with-me vibe and more confident about being alone. Obviously, this guy couldn’t see that from his vehicle. He pulled over and politely asked me “excuse me, are you working?”. I thought, “no, obviously I’ve finished working and am on my way home...” and then I realised what type of work he was referring to.

After that, I managed to jam some jeans in to my hand bag.

Regardless of how overstuffed and uncouth it looked on the way to work, it was worth it to never again experience being mistaken for a prostitute.

So that’s the worst-case scenario. Most of you will just be judged by old people and fashionably concerned early risers like me.

The thing is, recently I’ve been seeing girls that offer some confusion. Here they are, walking around at 9.30 in the morning in heels and dresses; yet their hair is suspiciously smooth, their make-up reapplied and no-such rueful expression as usually seen on walk-of-shamers. But what are they dressing up for? It’s Sunday! The day I usually reserve for tights, slippers and a cosy jumper, the uniform of experienced couch dwellers. Is there something happening that I don’t know about? Is there some ridiculously good-looking grocer down at the veggie markets these girls are hoping to whisk away from the glamourous life of  vegetable purveyance and into their otherwise inexplicably preened arms?

Perhaps it’s just “societal pressure” for women to be constantly on form. If that’s the case, I’ll be maintaining my sessions on the couch. For me, Sunday will always be the fashion Sabbath.

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