This is the best outfit I’ve ever worn. Not just because of what it looks like—amazingly over the top, colorful, in your face and so eighties that I’m way ahead on my Pat Benetar Halloween costume—but because of the story behind it and how it made me feel to wear it on New Years Day.Here’s the story: a dear friend of mine, Kristen Sakillaris Slowe who teaches at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) in San Francisco and her lovely mother Renee Sakillaris were out vintage shopping when they came upon this Jeanne Marc jumpsuit. When Renee laid eyes on it, she thought of me. Kristen texted me a photo and asked if I’d wear it. But I wasn’t available to respond, and by the time I got the text they had bought it.That someone thought of me when they saw this crazy item of clothing is a wonderful feeling. To be thought of and cared for—those are some big things in life that we all really want aren’t they?
And then it came to the reality of wearing the garment. Did I have it in me? And what event on earth could be worthy of it? New Year’s Eve came to mind, but the jumpsuit kind of screamed daytime, with it’s colors and teacup pattern. So I brought it with me on our trip to Calistoga for New Year’s weekend, along with about five other outfit possibilities, and decided to decide when the time came.
While I was soaking in the hot pool at Indian Springs, it came to me: New Year’s Day. That’s when I would wear the jumpsuit and start out the year with a bang! We had reservations at Archetype in St. Helena with a dozen friends and it seemed the perfect occasion. Done! When you’re outfit-obsessed and you finally make a decision like this it feels really good.
But then came New Year’s Day and I put it on and thought, “Holy shit, this thing is crazy.” The colors are outrageous. It has enormous shoulder pads and the puffiest sleeves on earth. They are not just puffy but architecturally constructed to be massive and multicolored, Queen of Hearts style.
I had my green Marc Jacobs galaxy dress and a new pair of knee-high green boots that would be more in my comfort zone and still appropriately New Year-ish. Green is a color of new beginnings and the head-to-toe-green palette would make an impact.
I spent about 10 minutes muddling through this self-doubt. I had been here many times before and usually, I took the more comfortable route. But then I thought about Frida. She might look back at this outfit and say look what my crazy mom was wearing, but at least I will have been a crazy mom who made a bold decision, even if it was only about what to wear. I also thought about my amazing, creative, brilliant friends and realized there was really no reason to play it safe. I was safe in whatever garment I wore to brunch.
Some other things I thought about as I got ready for brunch and we prepared to check out of our room and Kourosh loaded the car with our stuff and Frida “helped” were all the things I DIDN’T need on the first day of the year or ever: self doubt, guilt, shame, meekness, mildness. Out, all of you. The tone I set this year would be different.
So I wore the damn jumpsuit and when I walked into the restaurant and approached our table where our 12 friends were already seated (because we were a bit late as per usual), Marie exclaimed: “Look at your fucking New Year’s jumpsuit!!” It was the best compliment ever, and it was clear I had made the right decision. Hello 2017.On the first Tuesday of 2017, another VIP in my life, my wonderful yoga teacher Wini Linguvic, taught an amazing class—another way I started off the year right. We chatted afterwards about a bunch of stuff that made 2016 challenging (for another post!) and how we dealt with it. Something she said really stuck with me: EDIT OUT THE UNNECESSARY. Self-doubt, shame, guilt: you are out in 2017. Excitement, bold decisions, making an impact: you’re IN.
Easier said than done, for sure. But the tone is set: 2017 is the year of the edit. I’m getting rid of the uninspiring BS both in my closet (stay tuned for big closet editing) and in my brain—as best I can (another Wini mantra)—and celebrating the rest.
Happy New Year!