The Coast News Group
Small Talk

Surprisingly, I actually do have legs

I’m quite pleased with myself. I did it. I wore a dress.
Not just any dress, my friends. I wore a clingy sweater dress (I know, that’s redundant) that I actually bought before it fit.
I rarely do torturous things like that, but it was a thrift-store find, wool Liz Claiborne, for $8 and bright red. It was worth the risk.
For the next six weeks I did those tiresome things one does in order to reduce the lumps and bumps.
Never mind that they are good for you. They are still annoying. But finally, I hit a weight I thought would permit trying on the festive dress again, and by Melba toast, it fit.
OK, it fit once I put on some extra-strength support pantyhose, but it’s a sweater dress, for pity’s sake.
I’d have to be nothing but bones to be bumpless otherwise. Well, that or be 25 again.
I so seldom dress with fashion in mind anymore, the whole undertaking rather took me by surprise.
The minute I got the dress home, I realized I did not have “the right” shoes to wear with it. I could have worn plain black shoes, but that would have been so ordinary. If you are going to wear a red dress, you just have to sell it.
My search took me to too many shoe stores, looking for low-heeled shoes in the right color red. I didn’t even consider high heels, as I just couldn’t bring myself add further pain to the ensemble, fashion statement or not. It’s enough that I held my stomach in all day.
The day before I donned the dress, I returned one pair of shoes I didn’t really love and scored a perfect pair for just $15. Now that’s fashion happiness.
Everyone was amazed to see that I actually had knees.
Being the occasional exhibitionist that I am, I had pounced on a pair of candy-cane striped stockings when I spotted them. I got such a hoot out of flashing my red-and-white, usually well-covered gams all day long. I actually wore the get-up twice before the season ended.
Now it’s back to comfy, loose slacks. Anyone who may have missed my once-a-year expose can look forward to another showing this time next year. Until then, the entire ensemble will stay packed away. I need time to forget how hard it was not to breathe for 16 hours.
Jean Gillette is a part-time editor and freelance writer who is no longer a slave to fashion. Contact her at [email protected].