Oh Mrs. O

Maybe it’s because I hail from a climate with no spring.  Maybe it’s because I grew up with a holiday celebrating gefilte fish rather than jelly-beans.  Either way, year after year I find myself shrinking in dismay as retailers put forth their collections of clothing in a palette of pastels no thinking woman should ever wear.

So it was with a failing heart that I checked into my favorite website, Mrs-O.org, to see what my hero is sporting these days, only to discover she’s succumbed to the allure of fruit flavored clothing. “Mrs. O wears a melon, doubleface stretch wool crepe sheathdress and one button blazer, both by Michael Kors.” Heavy sigh of despair follows.  Alas.

No one above the age of consent should wear anything described as melon to work.  In fact, I’d go so far as to rule out most of the colors found in the produce department:  cherry, banana, kiwi, carrot:  these make delicious lunches and disastrous blouses.

It shouldn’t stop there.  The palette cleansing needs to extend to the ice cream parlour.  Adult women need to put their collective well-heeled feet down and say no to wearing anything suggesting sherbet. Mango and raspberry have no place in our closets.

Don’t misunderstand me.  I do understand there’s more to wear than just black and white and gray.  There’s blue.  And dark green.  And I can see the occasional merit to, say, um, two shades of blue. But just because the calendar says spring is around the corner doesn’t mean I have to dress like I’m on a seasonal menu.

Does this make me a clothing curmudgeon?  Lots of women think nothing perks up a pair of black pants better than a jaunty jacket bursting with color.  My mother, bless her southern-born soul, has a soft spot for citrus. Walking into her closet filled with orange and lime green (in cotton, wool, cashmere, and linen) might just supply you with a year’s worth of vitamin C.  No fashion scurvy for her.

My closet, on the other hand, is wilted and funeral ready. I’m not necessarily proud of this, but I can say, with complete candor, that I think more clearly and take myself more seriously when I’m wearing clothes that show no hint of mint, sprigs or gardens.

The feminist in me cries out, “People should wear whatever they want.”  Who am I to condemn those who want to wear festive fruit flavors? After all, it seems ill conceived to take our fashion cues exclusively from the Supreme Court wardrobe, right?

Would I feel differently if our landscape were ablaze in color rather than its current state of mid-spring mud? Maybe. But I don’t see Michael Kors, proud designer of our First Lady’s melon sheath, showing up on “Project Runway” in anything other than black, black, and black.  Maybe I should call him Justice Kors?

Still, there’s no justice in dressing to match your melon. I’m just saying.

-Sally Higginson

co-host, “Walking on Air with Betsy and Sal”