My fashion style has transitioned from Crystal Gayle to Annie Hall, but I’m still me.
When I went to college in the ’70s, I became more fashion conscious. I worked part-time nights in retail and started to save money. My first major purchase was a pair of soft contact lenses. No more thick glasses! I continued my glassless look from age 20 to 52.
One of the many advantages of contacts was that they provide perfect peripheral vision, especially when driving. Also, I knew that my feet were on the floor versus that feeling of walking on air with new glasses. And when I went to my hair stylist, I didn’t have to take off my glasses to have my hair washed, then put them on to walk across to the styling chair, back off to have my hair cut, and back on to check on the cut’s progression.
I was forced to give up contacts, but not without a fight. My ophthalmologist explained to me that I was starting to lose my close-up vision. Thus, from ages 48 to 52, I wore fashionable reading glasses, “cheaters,” in addition to my contacts. I had different colors to match my outfits: blue frames with my blue jeans, red frames with my red dress and black frames when I wanted to appear studious.
Then I gave in and purchased progressive bifocals. This took some adjustment time. Driving can be a little scary with new glasses. My optical insurance allows me to purchase glasses every other year. This year I have frames of brown and gold metal with latticework sides and purple-tinted lenses. I like the open look of the frame with metal only across the top and the nosepiece.
Last fall, I experienced the first of several foot infections. No, thankfully I don’t have diabetes. To protect my delicate dermis, I now wear white, 85 percent cotton socks. It was suggested that I wear canvas sneakers (in warm weather) because they breathe. I decided to have fun with my new dilemma and purchase a colorful, but inexpensive collection of sneakers.
The problem with these low-cost sneakers is that the dye comes off the interior inserts, dyes my socks and penetrates to the super sensitive soles of my feet – not good! So I discovered I could wear cheap white canvas sneakers and colorful Keds. My fun Friday sneakers are light blue with yellow and green pineapples.
Haberdashery has been a longtime friend – I love hats. Mine correspond with the seasons, like baseball-style caps that I have picked up on my travels for spring and summer gardening. My husband and I wore caps at our wedding rehearsal that were embroidered on the back, by our friend Vickie, which read Groom and Bride. I also have multicolored straw hats for summer parties, felt hats for winter parties and faux fur hats for protecting my ears against the wicked winter winds.
I noticed my first gray hair at age 28, when my hair was waist-length and a natural deep chocolate brown. All my friends wore their hair the same long straight style and to date, only one friend has refused to cut hers. I have traded my long hair for a no-fuss, short, wash-and-go style.
Many friends insist on hiding the gray in their hair or changing the color to something unnatural, like purple. This is my response: “Would I dye in deep despair and change the color of my hair? Oh no! God’s frosted me this way, so this is how my hair will stay!” But I know my style will continue to evolve.