I like to think I take fashion risks. People don’t realize how frightening it can be to dress the way you want to dress if it’s out of the ordinary. If I had my way, I’d be walking around like I was heading to an awards show circa 1976 every friggin’ day. But no. You dress like you are going somewhere special, people start asking questions “Where are you off to?” They may as well say “You look like you are up to something and I want to know what the hell it is”
The worst is when you look like you are up to something but you’re not and you have to verbalize it. Back off. Let me pretend like I am doing something fun.
I have to coach myself into wearing a sequin vintage bell sleeved tunic by saying to myself “Who gives a shit? Let people ask. I’ll lie to their faces. I can lie in this outfit and this outfit alone” I don’t want people talking behind my back “Kendra has officially lost her marbles. I saw her last Tuesday in a sequin tunic, full face of makeup and an up do at 10 am. She was going to get a bacon egg and cheese sandwich.”
When I see somebody who took a fashion risk I want to talk to them about it. My sister and I went to a bar (how many stories start with that premise?) and there was a girl in big felt hat, full face of make up, alone. Pretty ballsy. We were at a bar, by the way, that had reservations for all the seats. Even stools in the window – Reserved. We had to ask “Can we just stand and have a drink?” I mean what is going on in Brooklyn? Anywho, we wanted to stay because they have these amazing cocktails called Tia Mia. They have a smoky mezcal in them with crushed ice and a flower. And the food is amazing. You should check it out: Leyenda.
We stood and drank and talked about the girl in the hat. I mean she looked good but I wondered, did she hesitate to wear the hat? It is a big hat to wear in public and act like nothing is going on. I mean I could not do it. Outside, sure. During the day inside, maybe. But at night in a reserved seat at the bar? I’d have to be hiding a bad hair experiment or be heading to a dimly lit party.
The truth is, if you wear a hat like that, you are manipulating conversation. People have to say “I like your hat” if they don’t, they are saying “I don’t like your hat” You get my point, it’s all about the hat. The hat must be addressed before carrying on.
I mean it’s days later and here I am still wondering about the hat wearer.
I wish I had asked her about it. The thing is, a stranger approaching you and asking “So what’s up with the hat?” sounds catty. If I say “I too would like to be a hat wearer. How did you convince yourself to do it?” Is plain odd. I am tempted to get a big hat and make a reservation at that very same bar and see what happens. Facilitate a good old fashion hat off.
“Oh I thought you were Penelope. She always wears big hats like that.”
Penelope walks in twenty minutes later and spots me, in a competing big hat.
I raise my glass in her direction. She maintains eye contact. Her make up looks perfect.
Ok ok ok, I’ll stop with the hat.
I’ll admit it, she inspired me. I wore a pair of oversized Tom Ford glasses I bought, prescription, but never wear because I feel like they are “too much” After the girl in the hat, I said to myself “I’m wearing them” I threw them on and went to run an errand in my neighborhood.
I ran into my neighbor on Smith Street. I smiled and waved, she stopped and said “Oh, I didn’t recognize you with the funny glasses on”
She hasn’t been seen since.
Thanks for listening!
Kendra is a stand up comic living in Brooklyn. She is the proud owner of a $3000 bed where she eats, drinks, and occasionally entertains.
Check out my podcast "How’s Your Mother?" https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/hows-your-mother/id1294768033?mt=2