Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.
— Coco Chanel
D.C. is a great town for people watching. There are tourists everywhere, and you can spot them in a second (the next one I spot standing on the left side of the escalator – standers to the right, walkers to the left, it’s not a hard system – may get an “unintentional” nudge). They dress like you would expect, and they’re easy targets for snark. This post is not about them. This post is about the people who work in the city, whatever their jobs may be (as will become clear in a moment).
Now, look: I don’t claim to be a fashion plate. I don’t subscribe to Vogue or Elle or In Style, I don’t really care what’s “in,” so long as I don’t stick out, and I skip the parts of Glamour (which I do subscribe to) that instruct me to “layer with sheers,” and “don’t forget the girly touches,” and “wear his clothes your way,” because: No. However, I have seen several episodes of What Not To Wear, and I can honestly say I’ve never left the house in any of the following:
1. A hot pink (nearly flourescent) business suit. With Adidas slides. And ankle socks. (If she had been on the Metro in the morning, I might have excused the footwear; a lot of people change at the office, but this was midday in the middle of the street).
2. Blue (closer to teal) suede cowboy boots, with capris. I’m not sure where she was going with this look, but she didn’t get there.
3. A seersucker suit, with bow-tie. In fairness to this guy, this is Virginia (I saw him at my morning Metro station) and I think this is where seersucker country starts, but still. It’s not like he was old, either. He was probably in his 40s. My Torts professor and Tom Wolfe are fond of seersucker, but . . . they’re in their 60s.
4. Silver lamé halter top with denim (super)short-shorts, and silver pumps. At 9:45 on a Tuesday morning, in a business district. She’s the one I was referring to above when I said “whatever their jobs may be.” I’m not saying she was a prostitute – hey, maybe she was doing a walk of shame, what do I know – but if the silver shoe fits . . .
and my favorite:
5. A navy blue skirt suit. Great, right? What’s wrong with that? Well, when I first noticed her getting off the Metro, she was in front of me. She caught my eye because she was wearing red, patent leather, sling-back, peep-toe pumps with her sort of average, everyday navy suit. At the top of the escalator, she stopped and turned around for a second, and that’s when I hit the jackpot: white oxford shirt with a red and white striped men’s tie. Oh, and big, puffy 80s bangs. I really wanted to follow her to find out where she worked. I’m guessing T.G.I.H&RPatentPalace.