Sunday, July 11, 2010

Low Fashion, Rustic Art and Cool Bikes

Bob indulged my need to be in the downtown mix this past July 4 weekend and pedaled with me to Art in the Park (Wheeler Park that is).   The lovely day called for my new Patagonia sundress.  This summer I've purchased 3 Patagonia sundresses and this one is my favorite, the Margot sundress.  I have broad shouldered and have a large ribcage so I wear a medium.  I love the fit.  Very flattering, not too clingy and a medium weight knit that doesn't feel flimsy when I riding on a windy day.
Though we originally planned to observe the parade from the balcony of the Weatherford sipping cold vodka lemonades by the time we arrived downtown the crowd was too thick so we went straight to the art fair.  Bob saw Don Swanson first and played it cool.  I saw him second and made a bee line for his booth.  Lovely, beautiful, low fire pottery with rustic southern European surface design of the variety one might see on a pitcher resting on a rough farm table outside an Italian farm house surrounded by olive trees.  Not that I put a lot of thought into it . . .  

The thing about beautiful pottery is (and you really don't see a lot of really beautiful, inspiring pottery at art fairs) that I have to pick it up, turn it over and look at it from all directions, and study the little imperfections that really aren't imperfections but evidence of the human touch, the hand that formed the art.  I have to study the little intentional flourishes and imagine what inspired each.  Why did Don Swanson places the little rosette just inside the lip of the vase?  I don't ask; I'm sure it just felt right.

Certain that Bob was not moved the way I was I pulled myself away from the booth and headed toward the hot dog cart for a Chicago dog, which proved not to be a real Chicago dog since it lacked pickles, onion, celery salt, poppy seed bun and who knows (except a upper Midwestern boy) what else.  For the love of God, foot cart vendors, don't advertise Chicago dogs unless you really intend to sell Chicago dogs.  We should be able to trust that when we order a Chicago dog that is what we're going to get.

Okay, so anyway, following the dog episode, we continued browsing.  After wandering the entire fair, Bob asked me if I was ready to go.  Yes, but I want to go back and visit that ceramic booth, I said.  "I liked those pots," Bob agreed.  " Those would look nice in our house."  Soon we had 2 vases and a pitcher selected for purchase (at Bob's urging I came back later and purchased a fourth piece).  After our purchase we thought of the challenge of carrying them home on our bikes.  Don had wrapped the pots well with bubble wrap and butcher paper but would we have enough room in our panniers to carry them all home.  Not worry, the Planner Guy brought a bungee cord net!  It was a very tight fit but I managed to get a small vase in my Detours pannier and Bob fit the very large vase and the pitcher in his Nashbar pannier and fit the bungee net over the top so that nothing could could bounce out if we hit a bump in the road.

On our way out we ran into this young woman and her boyfriend locking their bikes to a tree.  I loved her skirt leggings combo, a look I never feel capable of carrying off very well but always find really cute on other people.  It's a very Flagstaff, young look and maybe I worry that I have simply aged out of that look.  I see it on women older than me and they look great but still I worry.   Is it just me but do any of my readers ever struggle with the fashion dilemma "Am I just too old for that"?  I don't stress out about my age and for some reason really look forward to turning 50 in a few years.  I don't ever plan to leave the house in a velour sweat suit or sit on the porch in a floral housecoat but I fear being seen in public in anything that suggests a painful attempt to appear 25.  All the clean living, exercise and SPF in the world cannot conceal the fact that I am a "woman of a certain age".  Feedback is welcome.

Anyway, we made it home pottery in tact.  I went back later and collected a mid-sized pot, as directed by Bob.  Don Swanson seemed to doing a bang up business as his supply looked very depleted, including a set of teacups I was considering buying for my sister.  I left with my pot leaving behind a long line of people greedily clutching their finds.  Once home, Bob and I arranged them on our console and admired ourselves as people of culture and good taste.


Oldfool said...

You need not worry about how you look. You are a lovely woman. The dress suits you well.
I am 71 my darling will soon be 65. We do not worry about being a certain age. There is no rule for how you dress or how long you hair is for your age.
Trust me 50 is not bad. Don't let your head age you.

Sinbad and I on the Loose said...

"Am I just too old for that?" Oh I won't get started on how often that thought rattles through my head. I am currently working on realigning my thinking to be like that of Old fool above. But to your dilemma. The "young woman" doesn't look that much (if any) younger than you look. You could pull off, or rather pull on the skirt/leggings combo quite nicely without a sideways look from anyone except perhaps another woman wishing she could comfortably wear a combination as such. On a side note, the pottery is beautiful.

Traci said...

I was laughing reading this because I'm wearing a dress/leggings today and was asking myself the same thing. I wore it anyway - haha :) I think as women we probably worry too much about what we wear. The only thing that I really think looks inappropriate is when older women continue trying to dress like teenagers in micro minis and such. But then, I don't think 4 in. skirts look very good on anyone past about age 2 :)

Seriously, I would never have guessed your age if you hadn't stated that you'd be 50 in a few years! I love your dress/cardigan combo above!

Barbara said...

Two things: I love, love, love your collection of displayed pottery...the colors are outstanding! Good buy! :) And re: the top photo of you in the heels. Did you RIDE with those shoes one?! If so, OMG, you are my heroine!

She Rides a Bike said...

Barbara - I do indeed bike in high heels, and I am not the only one. I have several pairs of high heels that are easier to bike in than to walk in.

Don's pots were a real find and his colors are amazing. I hope to get some teal tea cups for sipping hot tea on the front porch.

Traci - I gathered opinion on the skirt and leggings question from some groovy twentysomething seamstresses I know and they agree that it is fine even at my advanced age. The skirt won't be a micro mini nor will I be wearing fishnet leggings so I might be safe from humiliation.

Barbara said...

Holy Cow, riding in heels! I'd be too afraid if I were going to fall/tip over for some reason, I wouldn't be able to catch myself wearing heels. But then, I haven't worn heels even for just walking in two decades. Hurt my back. I miss the fashion look of heels, but at my age, not hurting takes priority. ;) You go, girl!

Omen shara said...
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