Monday, December 21, 2009
In praise of skirts...
HALLIE: I miss skirts. Remember the days when hemlines made headlines?
They went from just below the knee (at school they made us kneel and your skirt had to touch the floor), to barely below your fanny, to mid-calf...in the course of a few years (I'm not saying how long ago this was).
I was too late for poodle skirts, but my older sister had one that I coveted. Wish I'd saved that long black velvet skirt I wore for the holidays, and a swirly-twirly patchwork skirt made of strips of pastel ginghams, and that short leather skirt that barely cleared my fanny(tights and over-the-knee boots were de rigueur with that one).
Nowadays there's no one hemline, and though the stores are awash in sweaters and over-the-knee-socks, and sure there are plenty of suits and dresses, where are the skirts designed for folks past puberty? It's (almost) enough to make me drag out the sewing machine.
Do you yearn for skirts?
JAN: Well I play tennis, so skirts are very much a part of my everyday life. The question there is pleats? no pleats? What is Maria wearing?? What is Nike pushing?? But even in my non-athletic world, I just bought a new skirt this summer in France. But I don't think I have the nostalgia for skirts that you do. Usually I look better and feel better in pants. Even when I find the perfect skirt,it never seems to become a staple in my wardrobe -- outside of tennis that is.
RO: I LOVE skirts and have dozens. The leather, the silver sequined, silk, lace, denim, the one slit up to there and the long ones I wear to the opera. Some days only a skirt will do. You walk differently when you wear one. The other night I wore a pencil skirt and felt like an Italian movie star! I'm just sorry I didn't go all out and resurrect the elbow length gloves.
Hallie, it's not too late to get that poodle skirt..okay maybe sans poodle..but that swingy flared skirt, ...twin set..go for it!
If you wear your skirt to ALA, I'll wear mine.
ROBERTA: The trouble with skirts is shoes. Since I have a resistant case of plantar fascitis, I can't wear a lot of fashionable shoes or boots--especially narrow toes and high heels. But I love summertime skirts with Mephisto sandals. For a while it was hard to find them, but they are back in stores now I have a whole cedar closet full of wool skirts, mid-calf length. Not sure when I'll ever wear them but I can't bear to throw them away...And Jan, the same closet is full of my tennis skirts--mostly pleated. Can't wear those either, but they're there waiting, in case of a medical miracle.
Oh, and I have a black and white faux fur cow skirt that is simply aching for the right occasion--price tag still on it. Any suggestions?
RO: What's a cow skirt? Does it come with udders?
HALLIE: Roberta, sounds like we need to throw a hoedown! (Before ALA in Boston?)
Yes, the shoes are a problem.
The OTHER trouble with skirts is panty hose. ICK ICK ICK.
HANK: See, my problem is pants. I don't like to wear--slacks, trousers, whatever you call 'em. I wear skirts and dresses to work every day. I have some puffy shaped big skirts I wear with little jackets, long straight ones for boots, a row of black pencil skirts for white shirts and red belts. Suede, leather, fleece, lace. On TV, you can wear the most staid black jacket that will show on the air--with a slinky leopard skirt that no one at home will see.
And because the legs are the last to go, short skirts and tights are still (barely) doable. (Although not as short as some of those I see on office interns. Yikes!Did I do that at age 22?)
And for the holidays, I love big gorgeous ball gown skirts with a turtleneck sweater and lots of pearls and velvet ballet flats. I wish I had a huge jewel-toned plaid, long and satin--the kind my mother used to try to make me wear when I was a little girl and I loathed. Now, I see what she meant.
And Roberta, a cow skirt? I do have a suggestion. Maybe--smiling--send it to ME?
HALLIE: Legs ARE the last to go! That's priceless and so true.
Wednesday, we'll still be talking about clothes--but not in the fashion sense. Come back and meet one of the authors of the off-Broadway smash hit, "Love, Loss, and What I Wore," who also happens to be my sister Delia.