Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Day 52 -- Pretty in Pink

Back when Molly Ringwald ruled the earth (and what a glorious time that was), one couldn't wear anything vintage or pink without (consciously or subconsciously) invoking her royal redhead of the kingdom of the pouty lips. There was this notion that if Andie could take two perfectly lovely prom dresses and combine them to make something truly beautiful (actually, I think we all agreed that her dress was atrocious--if not derivative of Donna Karan), certainly we mere mortals could throw together a vintage look of our own (even if said vintage was from a mall store like Ups 'n Downs or Contempo Casuals) without too much trouble.  There was something so effortless in the way that Miss Ringwald threw together those broaches, fedoras, and handkerchief-hem dresses...yet it was practically impossible for any of us to emulate her aesthetic successfully.

In fact, at my high school at least, those that dressed the most like Miss Ringwald's best characters (the hat trick of Samantha, Claire, and Andie...out of respect for my teenage role model, I'll try not to mention anyone from Fresh Horses, For Keeps, or Betsy's Wedding), were not necessarily seen as the most stylish of our classmates. Since we were all usually sporting Beneton's latest and greatest (always featuring argyle in some incarnation), it was very difficult for us to carry off the vintage sweater look with any credibility.  I recall that someone in my English class had on a chartreuse beaded sweater which was clearly from the 50s, and I remember wondering if I could ever pull off that look (the answer...definitely not!).  It takes a certain type of person (i.e. Molly Ringwald) to achieve that "Oh, is this sweater vintage? I don't even know where I got it...I'm too busy working at the used record store to be bothered to shop for clothes" look--and that person was most decidedly not me.  But still I dream...

Of course, this sweater does not hail from thrift store (the Limited, yet again), but, its mid-90s heritage does almost qualify it as, if not "vintage," then definitely "retro". One has to wonder how many "Outback Red" or "Forenza" sweaters will be donned by future hipsters in search of "vintage" clothing.  I'm pretty sure that 80s acrylic sweaters will decompose just after diapers and D batteries in the landfills--ensuring that future generations will also know the glories of the Shaker-knit v-neck (a misnomer, if ever there was one...I'm fairly certain that no actual Shakers, nor any Amish, for that matter, were involved in the knitting of those sweaters).

A look so demure, even a "richie" like Blaine would be attracted to it...

I think I can pass this off as this season's collection.  According to all my
magazines, floral is definitely "on trend" for spring.  They didn't indicate which year.

Umm...definitely not.  This sweater was not on my body more than 30 seconds before I declared it to be far too short to be worn with my skating (or anything short of Eight is Enough-era waisted) pants, making it the record holder for shortest length of "wear-time" in sweater blog history.  Also...the matching sleeveless sweater that goes with it (I believe my Mom calls that a "shell") was a size larger than the cardigan itself, making for a very awkward fit when the two of them got together. An emphatic "no," despite the cheerful print of those lovely roses.

But, upon further reflection, I decided that it deserved a fair shake in this competition and thought that it might actually look nice with a dress.  But, since today I would not be teaching Lutz jumps dressed like Zoey Deschanel, I respectfully tabled this sweater for a future occasion.

What was I to do?  I couldn't start an entirely new sweater today (there is no precedent for such behavior), but I certainly did not want to be accused of wearing a midriff-baring sweater set all day long. So I did the next best thing--I re-wore a (pinkish) sweater from an earlier blog.  It was fine, but not exceptional.  But since it had already past the test back in December, I certainly wasn't going to break its heart, especially being this close to Valentine's Day.  This rosy sweater set would have to wait for a more appropriate test

Floral sweater--2nd attempt (almost 2 months later). 

I paired this sweater ("pairing" sounds so much more stylish than "wearing") with a gray dress and a cute belt from Anthropologie.  Although I didn't notice anybody rushing off to H&M or Charlotte Russe in an attempt to duplicate my outfit, I do think that I did a fairly convincing job of appearing current.  I've seen nothing but floral, floral, floral in all of the fashion layouts this season (although, unfortunately, most of them are on "skinnies"--as skinny jeans are now known) so there's a chance that this sweater might even receive the highly-coveted but rarely achieved, "I love your sweater; where did you get it?" I can even imagine the "clever" puns that In Style magazine would use in their fashion spread for this sweater--"A rose by any other name..." or "Smelling like a rose," (not that mine are much better, but at least I have the decency not to paraphrase the Bard).  

My rating: Robert Wagner. While he has numerous movies and TV shows to his credit (but let's not talk about those reverse mortgage loans commercials that he's been doing lately, m'okay?), most of us will forever remember him as dashing millionaire (and amateur sleuth) Jonathan Hart on Hart to Hart. And what befits a legendary detective/doting husband better than a well-tailored tuxedo?  I think that "Mr. H" even slept in some sort of dinner jacket--in fact, the only time he was allowed to remove his tie was when he was skiing down a mountain in hot pursuit of a jewel thief (looking suave the entire way down, naturally).  Certain people just look better dressed to the nines...such is the case with Robert Wagner (and, to a lesser degree, this sweater).  In his world, there is no casual Friday--there are only degrees to the level of formality in his attire (all of which are seen to by his trusty valet Max--and his dog Freeway, of course).  I would no sooner wish to see Robert Wagner wearing jeans (or would he refer to them as "dungarees?") then would I ever attempt to wear this sweater with anything other than a dress again.  If Jonathan Hart can wear a tuxedo while hang-gliding off a cliff (once again, in hot pursuit of a jewel thief) than I can certainly find a cute belt and a dress to give this cheery cardigan another chance at life. And maybe I'll even attempt to chase down a jewel thief (while on skates, of course), while I'm at it...

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