à la mode

  1. Fashionable; in the current style or fashion.
  2. (US) Served with ice cream.

Ah leave it to the Americans to turn a French phrase for style into a lump of ice cream on pie. But who am I to talk? The second definition fits me far better than the first. I’m into this today because I’ve been cleaning out my email trash folder and my closet. The first project led me to a site called My Habit which is neither a place for cocaine addicts nor a discount store for nuns. It is an online shopping site where one can find incredible bargains, like a purple Roberto Cavalli gown for the low, low price of 900 bucks.

Shows you what I know, to me it was nothing more than a prom dress gone hideously wrong. In fact I wouldn’t have the first clue about what’s ‘in style’, never have. All I know is that any time I see someone supposedly chic they always look like a $10 dollar hooker (what is with the shoes nowadays?) which only proves that I am officially an old bat.

I’ll tell you what else is old, my wardrobe. This week as the weather turns chilly I’ve been unpacking sweaters and cords to brace for the season ahead. The good news is my fall clothes are intact despite the months spent in giant ziploc bags. The bad news is they’re still ugly. Uggully. I don’t mean dated or off trend. I mean bag lady, former gym teacher, should be on that show What Not To Wear ugly. The worst is I know my drab clothes are ugly when I buy them but there’s nothing I can do about it. If I’m lucky enough to find something that fits me, I buy it, hate it every time I wear it then baby it so that I can wear it for at least 10-12 years.

I had a good laugh trolling about that fancy clothes website that said “even if you’re not buying a whole new wardrobe this fall blah, blah, blah.” I stopped reading after the first part. Yes I’m sure everyone goes out and buys a whole new wardrobe every September. Budgetary restraints aside, imagine me trying to find all new giraffe clothes every season. Sure if I started in September it would take me until August, just in time for it all to be passé. I’m thinking what I really need is a collection of muumuus like the ones Mrs. Roper used to wear on Three’s Company, comfortable yet colourful and eccentric, the perfect antidote to my sad beige cords and cardigans.

I’ve always said if I ever won the lottery I wouldn’t bother with mansions or luxury cars or anything like that. But I would, for once in my life, have a closet full of beautiful clothes. Not wildly expensive clothes, just things that fit me and things I really like, all chosen of course by my fashionista friend Jill.

At least I’m in this foreign country where nobody knows me and likely nobody notices how badly I dress. I hear the French only care about two things anyway, cuisine and I forget the other one. I’m sure it’ll come to me at some point.

See I can’t even deal with the basics- which one of these looks is right for me? Jill?