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caramel & cocoa

Caramel & Cocoa - cooking, parenting, fashion, diy, eating, living, a blog

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Very casually dressed (& in Europe)

I left California for Europe 5 years ago wearing my favorite faded boot cut jeans, red tagline t-shirt and black Reeboks.  I've never really questioned my ‘style’ until last week when I ran into a friend in my village (yes I said village!) and she asked me if I had been to the gym.

“No!” –I snapped.

It was a fair enough question. It was Thursday afternoon and I was sporting black lycra running pants, a bright pink gym top, a university zip-up hoodie and my staple messy bun hair. Let’s get this straight fellow Americans, no one, I mean no one out here wears a university sweatshirt. Not even university students. Just me. I’m cool. People here are more sophisticated and wear cardigans, jumpers, scarves and even coats.

I’ve spent the ensuing days obsessed with my looks. And by obsessed I mean ‘thinking’ about what I wear not actually changing anything or being at all proactive because that would require effort and I just can’t be bothered. I was considering slapping on some lip-gloss but then I would have to fish it out of the arts & crafts box where the girls keep crayons, markers, pens, chalk and my lip-gloss. Again – I can’t be bothered.

Back to the point. My conclusion is that I am stuck in my 20’s and overly casual.

Now. I refuse to take complete responsibility for all of this and blame 90% of it on being American, 5% on my kids and the other 5% on my childhood (because I can).  Then again, it could be that I am uninterested in society’s sense of ‘fashion’- you know, the type of person that refuses to go with convention (revolution!) but that just isn’t true either. I think it’s more because I’m American and old habits are hard to break.

I am that person who thinks that flip-flops are appropriate 90% of the time, especially if you are in a hurry: Quick night-time run to the grocery store, coffee with a friend, occasional movie, playdate, and on a warm day, church.  And I don’t mean nice wedge sandals, I mean beach sandals (Reefs anyone?). I am also infamous for wearing sweatshirts (all of the time) and tag-line t-shirts with expressions like, “kiss me”, “naughty or nice”, and my favorite “born in the 80’s”, to which H always replies. “My gawd that’s boring.” I also often & unsuccessfully, turn a ‘day’ outfit into an ‘evening’ outfit by adding a pair of heels and heavy make-up (Ta-Da – Instant night outfit!) Again, something I don’t see my European counterparts doing. They actually have day and evening attire. 

I'd love to live my life in yoga pants - that's my style. 

Moving on to my hair. It is always in a bun, even now as I type this.  I have incredibly long, thick, wire-like hair that grows quickly. When I was 25 I donated 18 inches of my hair to an organization that makes wigs for children. I hated the look but it grew back quickly & I always got this warm fuzzy feeling about what I had done. Now, 6 years later I am sporting the same hairstyle of my 20’s. Something’s got to change. I have pretty much decided that I am going to chop off my hair in favor of something short, easy to manage and more age/lifestyle appropriate. I know I am going to look like a boy, but ‘whatever.’ I have the hairdresser’s number. I just need the backbone to set-up the appointment. Maybe for January 2?

This brings me to what actually sparked this post: my girls. They are all of a sudden into accessories (& handbags) and their newest fads are these neon colored braids that you clip onto your hair.

A put them on, turned to me and said, “Would you like one mommy?” pause “You’ll look like a lady.”
Me “Don’t I look like a lady now?”
A     “um, no.”
Me “Alright then let me have one.”  Instant lady? 

ok. That's all. I'm cold. Where's my university sweatshirt?

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