If you care a lot, you give the matter creative thought and regular, painstaking attention. You develop, gradually, a sixth sense which sometimes enables you to understand what the fashion experts are talking about. And you’re never caught with your hemline down and your only good gloves in your other coat pocket.
It is equally advantageous not to care at all. If you feel this way, you can wear your leather motorcycling jacket with your Tyrolean dirndl, ankle socks, and medium heel pumps, and feel perfectly happy about the whole thing. Areas of serenity are scarce enough anyway, and if this happens to be one of yours enjoy, enjoy!
It is the in-between person who is in trouble, the lady who cares only moderately, most of the time, and hugely sometimes. But— not having done her homework, so to speak— she is never exactly prepared.”
— Peg Bracken, from The I Hate to Housekeep Book, first published in 1958. The above excerpt begins chapter 11, “How to Look as Good as the Lord Intended”
When was the last time you read a fashion magazine that DIDN’T feature some combination of leather jacket/dress/socks/heels? Bracken was ahead of her time.
Despite having read hundreds of books and magazines about fashion, I’m what Peg described as “an in-between person.” I spend hours pondering personal style’s merits and implications, along with collar height, denier, heel shapes, dart length, and so on… and then I scratch myself, yawn, and slap on whatever T-shirt still passes The Sniff Test. “Doing the homework” is a pleasure. Doing the legwork, no. Just me?
As a side note, isn’t the title “How to Look as Good as the Lord Intended” magnificent? For my money, it’s right up there with Loudon Wainwright’s “Attempted Mustache.”