Friday, April 9

You Wear It Well

(blog title courtesy of Rod Stewart)

So this week we’re blogging about clothes and style and fashion, and I have to admit that I waited until today to post because I wasn’t quite sure what to write.

But then yesterday, while I was working on Riley Book #2 (NOT the official title!), writing about a particularly heinous kindergarten memory of Riley’s, I started to revisit my own early memories—which lead me to what I wore on my very first day of kindergarten:

Purple velvet hot pants

A white frilly shirt

White tights

Black, shiny, go-go boots

A blue fake fur coat with gold buttons (not because it was cold, but because it completed the look).

Oh, and I’d recently cut my nearly waist length hair into a short, cropped pixie cut.

I kid you not.

What I love most about that outfit is the way I wore it—with the kind of self-assured confidence only a little kid who hasn’t yet been knocked around by the opinions of others could. I was sure it represented the truest version of me.

Dressed like that, I felt like a rock star.

I wasn’t dressing to blend (obviously!), though I wasn’t attempting to stand out either. I had no idea what kids my age were wearing, I didn’t really know any other five year olds—didn’t really have any “age appropriate” friends—since my sisters were both older by 5 and 10 years, and all the other neighborhood kids were way closer to their ages than mine. So to me, that outfit just seemed like the kind of thing any person of style would wear on such a special day as the first day of school.

I remember finding the pieces in a department store that no longer exists, I remember how excited I was when I put them all together and showed them to my mom. But what I love most is how my mom didn’t balk or visibly cringe or try to talk me out of it. She just smiled, hauled it all up to the register, and allowed me to be that particular version of me.

I don’t remember any kids making fun of the outfit. In fact, I don’t remember them paying it much notice at all. Though I do remember some kid making a mean comment about my hair looking just like a boy’s, and though it broke my heart a little (okay, more than a little) that was pretty much the extent of it. The rest of the day is a blur of apple shaped, construction paper nametags, and a nap time I was too excited to truly participate in.

If memory serves, I think I got maybe a few more wears out of those hotpants and go-go boots, and then I outgrew them and they went off to Goodwill. And while I spent the following decades experimenting with all kinds of looks, not one of them could ever match the thrill of what I wore on that first day of school.

What about you—what is your favorite fashion related memory??


Wendy Toliver said...

I have those exact boots in your photo, Alyson! I wear the heck out of them come Halloween season. :) Your first day of kindergarten outfit is precious. There's nothing cuter than a little girl with her own sense of fashion (and parents who allow her to express herself). Great post!

Alyson Noel said...

Wendy I am jealous of your closet! I would love to own boots like that!

TheDreamer said...

wow. what a great story! you always have the greatest stories to tell! you should write an autobiography! (or tell me the stories and let me to write it! lol).
Anyway, I always wear my best clothes on my birthday party! That day I literally shine not only because it's my special day, but also because I'm wearing something I so long wanted to wear and it really makes me feel like the star of the day!

Alyson Noel said...

Hi Dreamer- haha- trust me, my life's not near interesting enough for an autobiography!! I LOVE that you wear your best outfits on your b-day--you should celebrate the day you came into the world in high style!

Gerb said...

Not sure if this counts as a fashion memory or not, but when I was in fourth grade, my mom and dad had gone to Mexico and brought me back a poncho. It had a black background with a colorful Aztec design woven into it. And fringe. I loved the fringe.

What I also loved was to "check out" of class when the lesson got too boring and to make a tent with my poncho on my desk. I'd pull my head inside like a turtle and shut everything else out and write stories until my teacher would make me return to the real world *again.*

Kinda wish I still had that magic story poncho.

Alyson Noel said...

Gerb- Oh how I loved my ponchos--though they weren't near as cool as yours --it's all about the FRINGE!

Hannah S said...

Those boots are HOT!
Love, Hannah

Alyson Noel said...

Hi Hannah- Agreed!