Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A Fashion Intervention

In a few short weeks, we will escape the bitter cold and snow for some beach and family fun in Southern California. Warm sun on the cheeks? Exercise on the beach? Kayak through some coves? Book it. And as a bonus, we get to wrap our SoCal adventure up in Palm Springs to check out my in-laws' new digs.

My brother's family lives in Northern California, so naturally I contacted him to see if they could join us to curb my desperate niece and nephew withdrawals. With minimal coaxing, they agreed to meet up with us along the beach. And of course, if their two offspring are connecting, how can Mama and Papa Bear stay away? So Mom and Dad are flying out too.

A few weekends ago Kahley and I visited my folks, and as we were loading up our bags to head home my mother came into the bedroom to show me the bathing suit she purchased last season. I think it was more to prove to herself that she actually did buy a new suit, as she questioned herself and thought she might go shopping after we left that day. She reminds me all the time where I get my absentmindedness. Regardless, she showed us a couple of suits and cute cover ups and determined that she needn't go shopping after all.

Then she pulled out another cover up. Then another. And another. They were constructed with cheap, pastel-colored terry cloth. Hideous. I told her they had to go. Because years ago, she made me promise to tell her when / if she started to dress like an old lady. I'm not sure who wears terry cloth cover ups, but in my opinion, they need to be eradicated from the face of the earth.
That's all it took. Kahley opened the closet doors Pandora's box and started going through my mother's clothes.

Silly girl. Little did she know that at least five closets contain the past two decades of my mother's wardrobe - not to mention four dressers. Mama loves to shop and hates to purge when it comes to her outfits. Seriously - she's a borderline attire hoarder. The only difference is she's able to hide away her stash instead of sleeping on top of it with a menagerie of stray animals defecating all around and moldy pizza crusts sharing her pillow.

We ended up getting really wrapped up in the project, laughing hysterically as Kahley pulled one atrocious item after another from the depths of her closets.

Exhibit A. Jungle print velveteen turtleneck.
Ugh, Mother. That's just one redundancy too much. I love how Kahley displays the fashion faux pas with her fingertips, as if by osmosis she'll fall prey to a bad mix of velvet and cheetah.
Apparently Shere Kahn made a big impression, and Mom was on the prowl for her very own Mowgli.
And Mama. Your summertime garden provides a serene, breathtaking, visually stimulating locale to rest and enjoy an early evening cocktail for many. But for the love of Pete, please refrain from wearing your favorite summer activity across the mammary glands.
And stop with the seasons. This has been a pet peeve of mine for awhile. You must swear off wearing your favorite collectible, the snowman.
And the snowman's essential building block. Watch it fall while you sip a cup of Earl Grey. Don't wear it with a mock turtleneck.
Why she ever thought the caricature of a skinny woman out for a stroll in Paris blazoned across her midsection would make a solid fashion statement just baffles me. Kahley attempted to work it. But no.
She tried harder with the denim top adorned with delicate flowers and a sweet little ladybug. I had to make her stop.
At times, we kindly attempted to understand the rationale. "What is that Mom, a bowl of cherries?"
"Nope. It's a bushel of apples." But of course. We should all wear the fruit of the fall season over our left breast. Good idea.

(And COME ON, Kahley! Why do you keep giving these frightful garments your attempt at the sexy look? Why do you even have that look? Gah!)

Shocked by the sheer volume of ghastly tops, we had to pile them up and record them for posterity.

Seven large garbage bags later all set for consignment (minus the few gems Kahley snagged for cheesy sweater day at school), we pared down my mother's closet to the best items and gave her a list of rules to follow as she shops for new outfits. Look out, Stacy and Clinton. Kahley and Jen (yes, I get to be the gay guy) are in town and are going to give you a run for your money.

Our show? What Not to Allow Your Grandmother to Wear, coming soon to a channel near you. She's been given her directive, and we will judge her wardrobe adjustment in California. I'll share more photos later to let you all decide if it's a fashion success or bust.

Good luck, Mama! The world is watching you now...resist the urge to buy Lee jeans and theme-based, bedazzled tops. When you get stuck, refer back to this picture for inspiration - Kahley showed you how to pair patterns and texture with a simple silver chain to set it off.
And please. No more tops with an identity crisis between The Matrix and The Lion King.

XOXO,
Jen

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