About a decade after a woman gives birth to a girl, she begins to know exponentially and unequivocally less about fashion than her daughter. I’m not talking about (what are for me) the classics; I’ve got a DVF wrap dress, a half-dozen Betsey Johnsons, and at 30 paces can peg the best polyester hostess gown in Goodwill. I mean what’s going on now: When did acid-washed jeans become “sand-blasted,” and what’s up with all the denim, anyway? Is Lenny Kravitz to blame for oversize accessories? Are we on the 67th or 76th resurrection of the peasant blouse? How would I know? Like realizing I haven’t read the last Amis book when the next is being reviewed, at a certain point I simply stopped trying to keep apace. I chalk up my befuddlement, and my 12-year-old daughter’s concurrent awareness, to some shark-like sartorial survival gene that needs to keep moving if it’s to stay alive. While Tafv likes wearing my Emilio Pucci nightgowns (which I inherited from my mother), she’ll also shoot me looks of abject terror when I try on old outfits I think still work.
“No, Mama, you can’t!” she’ll shriek, tossing the blouse with the ruched sleeves back in the closet.
“But I wore that when I was pregnant with you . . .”
Embarrassment factor for Tafv if I wear the blouse: 704. Luckily, I still understand humiliation. And so, while it may be true that I was stranded in the fashion undertow two years ago, I also unwittingly did something brilliant...
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