I Attempt to Be Fashionable. Because Milan.

Posted on
Jul 30, 2015
Posted in: Random Musings

I don’t really understand fashion. Fortunately, I live in the Pacific Northwest. In my corner of the country, I once saw someone wear cargo shorts to a wedding, and there’s a grey-haired, bearded guy who runs around my neighborhood in a rainbow colored skirt, juggling scarves, and absolutely no one cares. It’s wonderful.

Recently, though, I was in Milan, where people seem to look effortlessly composed, straight out of a photo on The Sartorialist. (This was somewhat confusing for me. I own KEEN shoes.) People were wearing gorgeous outfits and looked crazy fashionable (and sometimes just a touch crazy), and I figured I should buy at least one completely impractical article of clothing, because I wanted to fit in and also I was drunk on focaccia.

I wandered into a cute store chain that isn’t even Italian (which sort of defeated the purpose) because I was distracted by something shiny in the window. I ended up trying on a few things.

This shirt sort of fascinated me, because it looks like the drop cloth from a crime scene. On planet Vulcan.

I don’t know what’s up with my face, but this is how I look whenever I enter a dressing room.

It was horribly boxy, which I’ve heard is a no-no, because I’ve got these great, wonderfully big hips, but it was also absurdly comfortable. Plus, I was pretty sure that if I spilled on it no one would notice, provided that I restricted my diet to bubblegum ice cream and Smurfs.

I was kinda digging the skirt, too, in a “it’s a sin for a woman to show her knees” kind of way.


Then I tried on this shirt, which was all sorts of confusing. The front was structured and kind of cute, in a 1950s dentist kind of way.

Again with the face.

But the back was crazy voluminous. It was like a tent.

Which I suppose could come in handy if, say, you have really fat kidneys, or you are secretly a ninja turtle, or your uterus is in the wrong place and you are trying to hide a back-pregnancy. But if you wear something like that, you just know that everyone is going to whisper about how you are probably back-pregnant, and that’s always awkward.

I ended up buying the tie-dye Rorschach test shirt, because it was comfier. But the problem with buying something fashionable is that you start thinking that you really are fashionable, and then you leave your hotel room looking like a spokesperson for M.C. Hammer’s new line of travel wear.

I almost wore my new shirt with this outfit, but thought I’d look like a walking homage to Jackson Pollock. I mean, more so. 

I just pretended that I looked crazy-en-vogue instead of regular crazy. Which I’m pretty sure is what half of the population of Milan does, anyway.

Leave a Comment

  • “Which I suppose could come in handy if, say, you have really fat kidneys, or you are secretly a ninja turtle, or your uterus is in the wrong place and you are trying to hide a back-pregnancy.” = *dead*

  • So right after your entry came through my feed, this one from a diplomatic spouse in Milan popped up. #5 is written for you. ;). http://www.thehotpotblog.com/almost-a-year-of-lessons-learned/

  • So so true. Were you in Milan when my boo Michelle Obama was there? Did you girls hang?

  • Sarah Matthews-Laurence

    I liked the Vulcan crime scene shirt on you 🙂

  • Carly Hulls

    Ugh COS is so weird I walk in there everytime like ‘I’m going to be a sophisticated European person, yes I am’ and the minute I put it on = potato sack look because of the floaty/voluminous issue, so annoying! But I keep trying dammit! Shirt was a good purchase for you 🙂

  • The white shirt actually looks really nice! … until you see the back.

  • Tracy

    LOL, I can always depend on a good laugh from you. As far as fashion goes, I live in what has been labeled the most boring fashion city in Canada, Ottawa. But I rock out a few decent outfits, as not to fit this description, by using pinterest,,, cause I have not wasted enough time on this site already. pretty sure the pinterest people own my soul!

  • Krystal

    What Carly said about COS. We were recently in Scandinavia and all of the girls can pull off that long, lean, boxy thing, but having wide-set hips myself, anything boxy makes me look impossibly larger.

  • I have such issues with COS. I want to like it – it seems to look good on everyone else, the mannequins look good, the models on the website look good – but then with everything I try on, it looks like it’s swallowing me whole and billowing awkwardly around me.

  • Kristina Cline

    ” you just know that everyone is going to whisper about how you are probably back-pregnant,” This is why you are my favorite blog. I needed that giggle.

  • Ashley Person

    I love those hammer pants! Seriously!

  • creativenomad

    LOl – diets to smurfs! very good, as always

  • So glad I stumbled upon this blog (surprised I didn’t find it sooner, but better late than never I suppose), as you have a fabulous sense of humor in your articles! As a fellow Pacific Northwest girl, I know exactly what you are talking about. On a side note: scarf man is awesome (if he is the same man you are referring to) and there was a piece written about him a couple of years ago that was very insightful. http://www.capitolhillseattle.com/2013/10/meet-boe-oddisey-of-capitol-hill-scarf-dancer/

More from The Blog

On Instagram @theeverywhereist

  • Take note: if you ask your husband if you can move to NYC roughly four dozen times, he will start to cave a little.
  • Incredible reading by the love of my life to a packed room at NeueHouse Madison Square. So proud of you, @randderuiter, and the amazing emcee work by @michaeliconking.
  • Re-posting this photo that @wilreynolds took of us and his youngest near the beach outside of Lisbon. We're back home now, and I can't decide what I miss more: this little guy and his brother, or Portugal. Actually, scratch that. I know.
  • This place looks like a damn fairy tale.
  • Lunch with a view of the water, and some of the best seafood of my life.
  • The entire drive from Sintra to Lisbon looks like this. It's just miles of blue sky and rocky beaches.
  • No filter. This is just what Sintra looks like.
  • This street artist does amazing collages of animals from hunks of discarded plastic he collects (part of an effort to raise awareness about some of the most vulnerable victims of pollution). They're all over Lisbon, but we managed to get a close up view of this one.
  • Thousand watt smile on the little dude, and I am done.
  • Those eyes though.

All Over The Place

Buy my book and I promise I'll never ask you for anything again.