Wasting Away – or rather, Waist, go away! – in Repression Era Wear
By April Lamm
So there’s wasted and there’s waisted, and I cannot get enough of the high-waisted looks from those shops of others’ “waste.” I’m shopping primarily secondhand these days and what could be less wasteful and more ecologically sound than hoarding what would only fill the landfill. Shopping for high-waisted pants, you see, represents the ultimate optimism and the ultimate do-gooding. What fashion signaled the end of the Great Depression? The high-waisted roaring 40s. What’s more, you don’t have to do credit crunches to fit into them. That is, your core bank account – the piggy bank – supports your addiction to these $3.99 Goodwill goodies.
Ok, so truth be told, the idea of wearing recycled pants gives me the heebeegeebees. And though it’s never been a street name that’s sounded anything less than mangy, my pant collection is pure high street, Mulackstrasse. It’s what I pair up with them that’s yesterday’s goods. Recently, I found three “new” tops in my new favorite shops, used, yes, vintage, no. Silk-imitation polyester tops, wash and go – at the risk of sounding like a shampoo commercial, we’re talking about more time for travel and leisure. RTW, no ifs, ands, or buts, and if someone backs into you and your cocktail, you can always convert the goodwill shirt into a holy holed Balmain by cutting the stain out. These tops deviate from the normal button-up with flattering pleats at the collar bones and blousy arms cinched at the wrist. No removal of the shoulder pads necessary, though I’m still unsure of the comeback of the Pad. All three are in hues of nude, and though it’s tempting to say that nude is the new black, it’s not. Black is the new black, red is the new black, and nude is just an interesting side dish I’ll never tire of, like mashed sweet potatoes. Furthermore, this rosy nude evokes the era of taupe. I don’t mean to digress into a diatribe on color in the midst of my push for recession-wear, but… remember that color? It’s not one of your 64 crayons, but connotes rather the tone of a lady who means business, Rosie the Riveter business. Roll-up-your-sleeves business, yes, but just let them blush to think that you’re nude while you’re doing it.