It's fall in New York City and we all know what that means... Confusion!!! In a place where everyone has to walk everywhere all the time, you have to be outside a lot and this means... Preparation! And since no one quite knows what the weather is really like until we get outside from our sixth floor apartments or what it could become later because the weather report is a lie, we over-prepare and end up lugging umbrellas and jackets around when we don't need them and freezing or soaking when we don't prepare enough. So we prepare, dammit. But we don't always have the same ideas of what this preparation entails...
You see a ridiculous amount of variation in dress during this in-between seasons time. I have waxed poetic about fall and weather before, but it never ceases to amaze me, fall after beautiful fall, spring after glorious spring... Shorts and sandals next to long coats and sweaters. Sundresses continue to abound while new leather boots are suddenly everywhere. And EVERYONE is wearing a goddamn scarf. Including me. Still, I find myself flabbergasted while trying to get dressed in the morning.
"Wait, I can't just wear a dress and flip flops? Uhh... Maybe things should match, kind of. Shit, I have to wear SOCKS? This is ridiculous! Gah, I'm late now! SOCKS!"
I get flabbergasted at the various details involved and try to find the simplest solution possible. Top, bottoms, shoes. Jackets and scarves and belts can go to hell! I should only be required to wear three pieces of clothing, dammit, it's still summer! Right?!? I end up in a navy blue sweater, houndstooth pants, and brown Oxfords. I catch a glimpse of my rather masculine reflection in the subway windows and realize that my autumn attire makes me look a little less than straight. I decide that maybe I should try harder to still look decent even in this confusing time. Just because I have to wear pants doesn't mean I need to dress like a boy, right? I can still be pretty in pants??
Then I get on the train and see girls who look like models who probably actually are models wearing perfect pants with perfect boots and perfect jackets and perfect scarves and they have actually ACCESSORIZED in addition to wearing more then three items of clothing and then I really feel shitty and inadequate.Then I see them taking off the jacket because it's too hot and I feel a sense of victory.
I get off the train and follow too-high heels up too-high steps and feel happy that I chose to wear manly shoes. I won't fall down, no I will not! And I walk down Broadway in the cool rain and see a middle-aged woman wearing flat black knee-high boots with OPEN TOES and I completely lose faith in humanity and decide to just stop trying. Yet I feel strangely elated. Everyone is apparently just as confused as I am, except that they actually spent money trying to look fashionable and failed miserably, and I look like crap for cheap! Woohoo!
New York, thanks for reminding me that I will never be fashionable and that I will always be confused about my wardrobe. And thanks for reminding me that your finicky weather and endless sidewalks and large supply of beautiful people will never, ever remedy this. But also thanks for also having an endless supply of people who are even worse dressers than I am. In a crowd of eight million, I don't look so bad after all.