Summer here poses a problem: you walk everywhere and you need to look decent all of the time. There isn’t a moment I walk out of my apartment door that I don’t pause and think, “Do I look okay? I mean, New York okay?” For some reason, most likely constant overexposure to everyone, New York Okay is different from Anywhere Else in American, Okay. Even in Los Angeles I let the ball drop a few times, but it was acceptable because at the end of the day, I could hop into my car and be unfashionable all to myself. The fact that most people in LA can’t dress themselves on a regular basis also aids in camouflaging any temporary bad taste. Even if I wear sweatpants to Trader Joes, there’s always going to be some asshole behind me sporting Ed Hardy and a wallet chain.
In the wintertime I could justify looking a bit haggard. It’s fucking cold. I’m not going to gussy myself up just to cover it all with a G-Star heavily insulated jacket down to my knees. And I’m not going to not wear the warmest coat I can find just because it makes me look like a two-year-old going skiing with her family at the local discount resort. Frankly, I don’t give a shit. I’d rather keep my extremities devoid of frostbite. Without fingers, I could not type. Without arms, I’d have no fingers. You get the idea.
My winter uniform consisted of the same two pairs of jeans, over which hung the tails of a men’s button-up most likely purchased from the Goodwill by mom’s house. Those jeans were tucked into one of three pairs of shoes: gray converse if it were just dry and freezing outside, gigantic Sorrels if it were snowing and hellacious, or my lace-up boots if it were wet but not raining wet. These are the types of things you think about when you live here. Growing up in California it was always flip-flops or…flip-flops.
But now that the temperature has risen to a disgusting and humid 85 degrees, I have no excuse to look like fashion leper. I am, however, certainly allowed to sweat like a pig, an interesting phrase given pigs do not actually sweat. To technically “sweat like a pig” I would really be doing some internal thermoregulation and cooling myself by sitting in mud or water. I’ll skip them both.
The dressing part is easy. Shorts, summer dresses, shorter shorts. Shoes on the other hand…shoes are a pain in my fucking ass. Blisters, grimy heels, painted toes being checked out constantly on the subway – yeah, I see you looking at me lady… trust me… I’m looking at you, too.
Given the amount of walking I do, summer shoes prove to be the most problematic aspect of my wardrobe. My recent standbys are a pair of black t-straps with a zipper at the heel. Although they certainly look charming and pair well with 90 percent of everything I own, they are not functional by any stretch of the imagination. With every step that I take, the zipper inches its way down, little by little, until my heel pops sideways all of a sudden and I’m nearly out of my shoe waking down the street. It’s a real swell time looking like an idiot nearly eleven times a day.
But hey, I look cute.