Friday, April 11, 2008

It's All About the Uniform

Y'all, it's here!

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I know you have been eagerly awaiting for the Spring Fashion Fiesta and all of the mediocrity it holds. Fashion is something near and dear to my heart, although those in my path might question that on a regular basis.

I did catch myself mid-sentence the other day at the Gap asking for "white jeans in my size," but rest assured that I left those babies on the rack. Big Mama, God bless her, is giving this little fashion foray as an opportunity to showcase some fashion do's and don'ts, as well as a look inside the collectively scary closets of bloggers.

This morning my mind was filled with fabulous ideas about spring fashion, when I looked outside and saw this:

I'll be honest: snow in April took the wind right out of my fashion sails. This was not serene, O-Tannenbaum-ish snow. It was driving, horizontal, blizzard-in-your-ear-canal storminess. But in the name of Banana Boat sunscreen and summer I'll forge right ahead.

Let's start with my summer uniform. There has been no piece of clothing as faithful to me for the last three summers as the ribbed tank top:

For $5 (give or take), I can look totally average hauling my kids from the pool to the grocery store to the gym to the Dairy Queen. 

It's a Swim Cover Up! It's a Cute Top! It's a Workout Shirt! It's my Uniform!

Being that these are so reasonably priced, I've bought just a few:

In my best estimation, I have about 12 of these little beauties. That means between wearing the exact same one a few days in a row and slacking on the laundry, I am good to go for approximately three weeks. I tell ya, it's harder than it looks to earn the title "Trophy Wife."

This year I added brown, blue (in a very distinct shade), and coral to the rotation. I will probably keep all of my friends excited and guessing as to which one I'll wear when they see me. Variety is what makes fashion so exciting!

I like to pair these tanks with some long shorts in either a) khaki or b) black. 

That's right: 2 pairs of shorts + 12 tank tops = an entire summer's worth of clothes! 

Let's move on to the last part of the uniform, and possibly my favorite. I have a deep, long, abiding love of the flip flop. They have never betrayed me by hurting between my toes or giving me blisters and have been my trusty companions for longer than I can remember.

But all flip flops are NOT created equal. That is a lesson I learned the hard way when several Old Navy pairs just quit on me. I was mid stride, in a hot asphalt parking lot when the part that holds the flop to the foot pulled right out. That is a sizzling and painful failure, especially when one nearly drops the baby and the pool bag packed to sustain an entire family for upwards of a month.

However, a few summers ago, I was forever changed. The Reef came into my life and we shall not part--even in death--when I am buried in a ribbed tank top with these on my feet. (Sorry if that was a little morbid, but I don't own any pantyhose or pumps and honestly, can you see me buried in a floral Laura Ashley dress anyway?)

(Sorry again.)

What I adore about Reefs is that they are like walking on pillows that are so perfectly firm, yet cushiony in just a way that makes each step feel like a piece of heaven. If you think I am just being dramatic, then you haven't tried Reefs yet and you are also correct.

Here is my new pair for Summer '08:

I needed a black pair and felt the zebras were right up my alley. Also they will match my black long shorts and the black knit skirt I occasionally throw in the mix to dress things up when I go to the grocery store after dusk.

This brown pair has loved me long and well:
Bless them.

I've even infiltrated my kid's flip flop collection because if you've missed it thus far: REEFS ROCK HARD CORE. Plus, the kids are weenies and won't wear stuff if it hurts.

Lilly's pair:
Jackson's pair:

Now there are occasions, like church and weddings, when a little bit dressier of a flip flop is in order. I love a Dressy Flop because it can snazz up an outfit without forcing you to wear some strappy number best left to people with no actual walking to do. Plus, strappy heels don't really work well in sand or wood chips.

This is my Dressy Flop '08:

Not sure if you can tell, but that is a delightful black patent usually reserved for music recitals and Christmas Eve. I'm glad it's making it's summer debut because it does pair nicely with a long jean or casual skirt. 

Eating Mexican food in the summer at anywhere other than Taco Bell demands a certain leg coverage in the form of a great jean so that you can withstand the arctic air conditioning in order to savor the queso.

I'll be honest: Reefs are more of a daytime slap, while the Dressy Flop begs to be worn in the presence of a margarita and salsa. A bracelet pairs nicely, too, if you can remember it and have time to fish it out of your 4 year-old's closet.

My other favorite gift this season was the Madras Top Sider:
I'm not sure if y'all remember the Top Sider from the peak of its popularity in the 80's, but I guarantee I could go into my dad's closet right this very minute and find his pair lovingly at rest. He will probably also have the knit Polo shirts whose collars he popped right alongside them.

See? If you hang on to things long enough, they will always come back in style.

Here is an up-close of the madras print that makes my heart skip a beat. I've always loved madras and to see it on a shoe is an extra measure of God's grace.
The last item I'm going to discuss is tough. I'll be honest. You either love them or hate them. 

Brad has declared that when I wear these, he won't be seen with me in public, and that is okay. I'm not exactly cruising around, hoping he'll lock arms with me while he wears his yellowed, pitted-out shirts with pictures of burritos on them. Sexy!

I bring you The Aviator:

Brad was flipping channels the other night and came to an episode of "The Bachelor" where all the girls were similarly shaded.

"Don't they all look absolutely ridiculous?" he commented.

Meanwhile, my pulse quickened and I hoped I liked my pair as much as theirs. If I can get this much satisfaction for $10, then life is good.

Hope you enjoyed my Spring Fashion Fiesta! Head over to Big Mama's for more fashion fun and don't hold me to anything I've said. I could be wearing white jeans next time you see me.


tootie said...

Your post was funny! And you are a girl after my own heart. Running, the Bachelor, and ribbed tank tops? Those are a few of my favorite things. :)

Love your blog! I'll have to come back.

Mandie said...

I was wondering what Brad would say about the aviators...that made me LOL...The rest of your wardrobe looked eerily familiar to my own...

Lisa @ Take90West said...

This is why you are one of my favorites. I laughed the whole way through this post and I think you are in the know when it comes to fashion!
I must look into these Reefs that everyone is speaking of.

Amy said...

This makes me want to shop!!!! And tell Brad he's way behind the times if he doesn't know how cool aviators are. ;-)

Queen B said...

Here from Take 90 West...

Love your wardrobe. I am the proud owner of a few of those tank tops. They are the best!

And Reefs? There is no shoe that can compare.

I look forward to reading more of your posts!

dcrmom said...

You are SO cute! I love the aviators. And the ribbed tanks. I have a collection, myself, although my collection does not rival yours. Close, though. I think I am up to six, now. :-)

dcrmom said...

Oh I meant to say! I have those Reefs! LOVE.

Anonymous said...

Those REEFS surea re popular-
Volatile flip flops are popular down here where it is 80* outside!
But i think I'm gonna have to buy some REEFS!

Erin said...

Everything is great, esp. the plaid shoes!

Elaine A. said...

I am a huge fan of the flip flop too. My hubby says if I buy anymore he'll cut me off. Yeah right. ; )

Love the sunglasses!

Linda said...

I did enjoy this very much, and you, clever one, are a great writer! You cracked me up. I'll be back to visit you after this. Have fun at the Fiesta!

Sileena said...

Your adulation of the flip flop is so compelling. I mean if I didn't already own almost every color Old Navy has ever made then I'd seriously be out getting some now. Except that, oh wait, they failed you! As they did me and thus the reason I have to look for black flops this season! Like now because remember the nice weather we're having now? Not to rub it in or anything. :-) Really I want to know who sells Reefs. I've looked to Pac Sun, Tully's, Macy's not Nordy's yet but the thing is I have to try em on before I'll start ordering them. Gotta make sure they fit first.
In conclusion, since the khaki skirt I posted was inspiring I felt compelled to let you know your ode to the flop was inspiring to me as well. Thanks!

Keetha said...

Thanks for the comment about my blue hair. I think it mostly RULES because it isn't yet REAL. Hehehehehehe

I LOVE all your flip flops.

Boy & Girl said...

Tank tops and Reefs, it's too much. I could live in both. And yes, the Hip-T takes aways the lovely muffin top.

CrownLaidDown said...

LOVE the dressy sandals!

And YES, snow, then sun, then snow then sun all day long--ARG!!

Maybe when you head south to the Springs sometime, we could meet up for coffee and Coldwater Creek! :) OR if you're going to Beth Moore in May, let me know!

The SUN will come out tomorrow... Hee hee!

Leigh said...

I think you look precious! I enjoyed stopping in !I hope you will come and see my fiesta!

Keri said...

Love the sunglasses!!

Lauren said...

I love Gap tanks. And Reefs... I don't think there are any words to tell of their goodness. They are so very comfortable. Love your blog... I will for sure check back! :)

Lisa said...

I have just added Reefs to my website favorites list.

And I'm a Bachelor fan too, although when every season ends, I tell myself that I'm NOT going to get sucked in to watching the next season. And then I do.

Big Mama said...

The Reefs, the tank tops, the sunglasses. You are a girl after my own heart.

Now I just need to know where I can purchase a pair of those glasses for myself.

Jill@Who Could Ask for Anything More said...

Ahhhhh...those tanks! I must go get some more colors; your stack looks lovely. And, I'm with the others: need to check out the Reefs.

Robin said...

You're one popular chick! Who'd have thunk a mutual love of flip-flops good inspire so much bloggage? Alas, I join in: I, too, have a longstanding love affair with the thong. Bring on summer!

Robin said...

make that, "COULD inspire so much bloggage..."

"A work in progress," said...

Wonderful to know that someone else uses the ribbed tank as their uniform. My guy gives me so much grief because of the frequent layering of 7,000 tanks, but hey... I honestly can't go wrong with these things.

happy blogging!

Carrie said...

Have you seen the must more expensive Eddie Bauer ribbed tank tops this year that have designs on them? I really want those now.