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Subject:  Re: zoot suit Date:  12/9/2012  2:00 PM
Author:  alstroemeria Number:  46705 of 139644

most in the engineering and archaeology communities have come to accept my dress as eccentric rather than improper and disgusting

I heartily approve, and I expect you have significant charisma and cool colleagues to get such approval from everyone.



I opened a dry cleaning bag tucked into the wrong part of my closet (the dress area). Turned out to be a very old pair of black silk pants in size M (for medium), a size I haven't been able to squeeze into for probably 20, 25 years. They fit well--I quipped to the hubster that perhaps they put in the label upside down, and it was really W for wide ;-) The pants are lightweight and slinky and feel quite delicious to legs!

I tried a few tops...the red-violet top to my mother-of-the-bride outfit from 2006...nah, too shapeless. The overtop to that outfit over a black tank top...nah, not the right kind of tank top (not to self: a black silk camisole would not be amiss!). Silk & linen blouses...not in the mood, too loose, and in some cases too shabby--fine for some occasions, but not this one. Nothing seemed right. A white-on-white Middle-Eastern or Indian-looking embroidered linen top that was at one time a go-to outfit for such occasions had faded to a sickly yellowish ivory (ah so, that's why they used bluing when washing laundry in the early 20th century!).

Way back in another corner, by the little black dress and silk kimono and other stuff I can't wear, my Japanese suit. 6 months after we moved to California, the hubster had a business presentation in NYC right before Thanksgiving. Since we were going to NJ for TDay that year, I took a few days off and went along.

During his meeting, I wandered the nabe. Our hotel was at Times Square, and he walked a couple blocks to Rockefeller Center (I'm guessing NBC at 30 Rock...he was doing broadcast video systems in those days). Anyway, Times Square is at the northern edge of the Garment District aka Fashion District, which runs from 42nd street south to 34th St and 5th Ave west to 9th. Times Square is where 7th Ave and Broadway cross at 42nd St (alstro has an ear worm now...).

In my meanderings, I ran across a Japanese or Japanese-American designer's shop, Tomatsu IIRC. I was quite taken with the outfits and bought a suit with an unusual piece, a long-sleeved v-neck buttoned vest with an interesting shape that matched the dark green & black knit knee-length skirt and a jacket with a rich black plaid overlaying the dark green knit. Very unusual and also quite Japanese looking, elegant, minimalist, eccentric...just my cuppa green tea. Especially the vest, which is the piece I wore most. I used it as a stand-alone top with other bottoms. Should've just bought that piece, but at the time I couldn't fit into my other 2 suits. Which I only needed for job interviews and product demos up to that point, and never needed a suit again, but I didn't know that at the time.

The outfit had been too small for years. The last time I can remember wearing the vesty thing was over a pair of black pants to my job interview in late 1997 at the last company I worked for, the startup. I might've worn it a couple more times in the late 90s, definitely not since moving to SC in 2002. Well it's now quite loose--and the jacket is so baggy that it looks like I'm a kid playing dress-up in a grownup's jacket. But I was so happy to see it again, I stopped my search and added a festive pin that had once belonged to my paternal grandmother. It's shaped liked an interesting bow of ribbons made of gold or brass or some alloy) with 3 rubies...or maybe red glass, I dunno, they're kinda biggish. I added my French scarf and some old burgundy suede shoes with a black criss-cross of sort of microfiber/elastic/gros-grain (no I don't know much abut fabrics-) that makes them a bit out of the ordinary. I felt good, and knew I wouldn't look like anyone else. Actually I didn't look much like myself as I hadn't put this combo together before. Why that matters to me, I do not know. Anti-collectivism? Let my freak flag fly? Probably just my particular brand of materialism.
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