I played tennis for the first time in high school gym class. I sucked then. I suck now. My most recent SA (Salvation Army) shopping trip, aside from making me feel very Miami Vice with all the cotton-candy colors, dredged up unpleasant-cum-amusing memories of those sessions with the racket…having to stand differently from everyone else because I’m a southpaw, helplessly chasing after the ball after I blindly swung and missed once again.
The skirt was an authentic piece of athletic wear from what I could tell, with the Reebok tag and the brand name sewn over into one of the skirt pleats. I knew it was meant to be part of my wardrobe, but not for playing sports…I never was athletically inclined. However, I’ve always adored short, pleated skirts–I took a black one from my mother when I was 14 and it was a staple in my wardrobe for years. This one, in a lovely turquoise shade, certainly succeeded in inspiring similar feelings.
The first time I saw the color block tunic/dress, I was uncertain. It took me another circuit around the store to come back and say “Alright, I’ll take it” but even then I was feeling mostly “Whatever” about it. I don’t usually complete the purchase when feeling that way, but I was in a mood for challenge.
As soon as I’d coordinated the body of the outfit, I knew which shoes I had to wear with it. In the spring of 2012, I’d gone to Brooklyn to visit my girlfriend who’d been going to school in NYC at the time. We hit Chelsea Market; it was my first time there. There was a pop-up vintage shop and the blue suede shoes were looking so pert and pretty; I had to have them. I remember I worried about the fit because they looked narrow, but after being assured I could try them on and then calmed even further by virtue of the fit itself, I plunked down my card at the register. The original lacing on the shoes was dingy white suede, and in a streak of creativity, my girlfriend and I stopped at M&J Trimming, a massive ribbon/lace/button outpost in Manhattan, and I found several coordinating ribbons for laces, my favorite being the featured multi-stripe.
Wouldn’t you know, I’m suddenly feeling competitive. Hey! Who wants to kick my ass in tennis?
Maybe I should work on my balance first though…or just change my shoes.