Cherubs. Oh cherubs. Cherubs, cherubs, cherubs.
I have seen the new worst look in Edinburgh. And that is saying something.
It is the translucent, silk/rayon playsuit, quite obviously worn with a thong and a dark bra. And with tennis shoes and socks.
I call it a playsuit because I don't think it is actually sold as a teddy (loose, one-piece undergarment perhaps better known in the UK as camiknickers) although that is what it looks like.
And that is what one of the waitresses in the cocktail bar I was in last night was wearing. She seemed absolutely oblivious to her bad taste. And although her hair was loose and flowing--not really a good idea in a restaurant--her make-up was tasteful and her tan natural. So what was going on in her head?
She did not look sexy. There's a lot of artifice in sexy. She looked natural, animal, like a squirrel or a Highland cow. She looked like she had just gotten out of bed, done her hair, put on her nice make-up and had absentmindedly put her sleepwear back on over her bra.
All the men around looked at her, of course. When she bent over a table the already short "shorts" part of her playsuit clung to her ample--not fat, but ample--womanly behind. Did I mention it was see-through?
Across my table my friend moaned something about these men underscoring her need to find a man who was really decent. I pointed out that I, no less than the men, was peering through this woman's outfit. As far as I could tell, we were all thinking the same thing, which was "Whoa. How totally inappropriate."
Another waitress was wearing the black-tights-tight-shorts look so prominent in Edinburgh right now, but she didn't give off the same air of loucheness. I think if there had been two waitresses in clinging, see-through playsuits, we would have left. The thought crossed my mind anyway. I, the customer, the semi-regular, felt that uncomfortable.
In contrast was a young woman diner dressed according to the height of fashion in 1941. I know it was 1941 because my friend asked her. This young woman had dark hair--possibly dyed darker than it naturally is--carefully rolled and pinned and adorned with pink flowers. She was wearing a brown dress that was obviously a very well preserved relic of the 1940s and beautiful 1940s-style shoes. She had exquisitely groomed 1940s eyebrows and bright red lipstick. She was slim and looked fantastic, if a tad startling. (She really could have walked in right out of 1941; there was the slightest whiff of the supernatural.) And I tried to imagine how the cocktail bar--which is itself a beautiful Art Nouveau space--would look if all the women dressed rather like her. It would have looked incredibly elegant.
This is the second time I have seen a vintage fanatic in Edinburgh, and I must say that I hope hers is a sub-culture that becomes a little less sub. If people can feel comfortable dressing as 19th century vampires, then certainly just as many can feel comfortable dressing as 1940s damsels. It is intensely superior to dressing as if you had been suddenly awakened from slumber.
To repeat my theme of midnight, what women read, buy and do matters to the culture around us. My CR detractor, a man, scolded me to "Trust women for a change." This suggests that he has some sort of Rousseauian ideal "Woman" in mind, and has not reflected that saying "Trust women for a change" is as nonsensical as saying "Trust men for a change."
There are over three billion women alive right now. We are a mix of good and bad, and what we do has no less of an impact on society--and sometimes more--than what men do.
Speaking of men, men who buy good old-fashioned hats should know that they should TAKE THEM OFF indoors. There were a surprising number of young men around with hats, but unfortunately they were on their heads. None of the Young Fogeys I know would make a slip like this.
What's that? No, darlings. I am not being judgmental of people. I am being judgmental of actions. My waitress seemed perfectly nice. I just wish she had been wearing clothing that didn't make me, the customer, the customer who has developed an attachment to that establishment, feel so uncomfortable.