Friday, May 2, 2008

Stepford Style

Yesterday on Ludwig Bemelman's Madeline cartoon show, there was an episode about fashion. Miss Clavell remarked to the girls that style wasn't about what designer you wore but about how well you put things together. I love Madeline because it's just so adorably French, and who can resist the luscious voice of Christopher Plummer narrating? And, it must be said, the French certainly know about style.

This afternoon by the pool, there was a woman sunbathing. She was the grandmother of Little A's French friend, here for a visit. This woman was the epitome of French chic. In her late 50s or early 60s, she wore a strapless black maillot, oversized designer sunglasses and red lipstick to match her crimson toenail varnish. Next to her lounge chair was a clear tote and a bottle of Dior Bronze. Ooh, la la! When it started to rain, she got up, wrapped a black sarong (Indian cotton, naturellement) around herself, knotted it stylishly and went on inside.

This woman didn't have a hot mama body - she looked her age, but she looked wonderful. Little A could spot style a mile away, and he was giving her his charming gummy smile as we strolled around the pool. In my utilitarian ponytail, orange Zara shorts from the children's section (age 11-12) and an old tatty top that has seen better days but is one of only 5 I can wear as it has nursing openings, I felt very un-stylish. Sigh.

Realizing that I am now a 32-year old mother, it's high time to go through my wardrobe again. A firm believer in few quality items over many trendy ones, I know there are some wrap dresses and other things my own stylish mother has given me over the past months that have yet to be worn. The red lipstick I am already a firm believer in, though years of ballet leave me few choices by way of toenail varnish (nude or none, to be precise). If I could just leave Little A alone long enough to get a decent haircut, maybe stylish me will put in an appearance before the summer is over.

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