Friday, July 16, 2010

Anthro Chorus Girl Romper

Anthro Chorus Girl Romper, originally uploaded by retrogemkitty7.

I don't think I've owned a pair of shorts in two decades - not even for working out. Most of the shorts I see in stores fall into two categories - they're either of "Daisy Duke"-esque length & cut for 16-year-olds with thighs the same circumference as their ankles or they're so boxy & matronly that they may as well carry a tag which reads "For When You've Given Up". Even Bermudas are hard to rock if you're 5'3", which I am. So, even though I live in in area where summer temperatures frequently top 90 degrees & the humidity reaches steam room levels, I have stayed true to my sundresses & lightweight skirts.

Occasionally, I'd watch an old movie that featured Broadway dancers - "42nd Street" or one of the "Gold Diggers" films - & become insanely jealous of the cute little rompers some of the girls would have on in the rehearsal scenes. I'd wonder why on Earth no one made shorts outfits like that nowadays. Well, at least for the moment, they do. Anthropologie has had some darling rompers this year & there are plenty of vintage ones on eBay as well. (Check out the one I'm wearing in the post below.) One of my online friends very sweetly RAOKd me the romper I'm wearing in this pic - thanks again, V!

How long will this trend stay around? As with most trends, that's anyone's guess, but I hope rompers will be with us for at least a year or two, & even if they go "out", I may well continue to wear them. I firmly believe that "dressing casually" & "giving up" are not synonymous, & outfits like this one are excellent proof of that. Oh, & they're comfy, too. Do you have a romper you're loving this summer? If so, where's it from?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Biker Chick

Biker Chick, originally uploaded by retrogemkitty7.

Talk about arriving in style! Okay, so I don't usually dress quite this well when I bike. I generally ride very early on weekend mornings, which means I leave the house in gym clothes & no makeup. I'm a tan-phobe, so I'd have to wear pretty serious SPF if I biked in the afternoon, & many drivers in this city are so completely clueless that I'd fear for my life if I tried to cycle in "real" traffic.

That said, I'm tempted to make my bike more than just a piece of workout equipment. I had to work early yesterday morning, all by myself, so I decided to try commuting on two wheels rather than four. (Since I was working solo, I felt free to arrive sweaty & disheveled, then "fix up" later.) I left the house 90 minutes before I was due at work; the ride, about seven miles, took just over one hour. Along the way, I encountered very few cars, but I did discover that there are more hills on my commute than I'd realized - whew! I loved the sense of connection that I suddenly had with the all-too-familiar streets & the buildings on them. All those cool houses I've admired for years looked even better with just air, not a car window, separating us.

So, did I ride home? Um... no. As I said, I'm a tan-phobe, & being of 100% Northern European ancestry, I can broil like a crab cake even with SPF 85. My husband picked me up after work; we put my bike in the back of his car & drove home. So much for being "green", but at least I got a good workout & had a very pleasant commute.

This morning, I went back to commuting by car, & as usual, the experience was pretty nasty. (How on Earth do some drivers manage to take up two full lanes with a Ford Focus...?) Even with a combustion engine at my disposal, I have to allow at least 30 minutes for my 7-mile drive to work, mostly due to stop lights & traffic. Once again, I considered leaving my car at home & biking to work on a regular basis, as two of my colleagues do. That's probably not realistic for me, but perhaps my husband & I can ride our bikes to local restaurants & summer festivals on weekend evenings. That way, we can burn off some of the food & wine we consume, connect with our hometown in a fun way, & save a little gas money. I don't agree with those who think that people who believe in climate change have to live "off the grid" to be true to their ideals; that's far too unrealistic. I feel that if we all made some small changes (& perhaps one or two big ones) the world would be much better off.