My dog Gilda has dope style.
I, on the other hand, could use some help in that department. Maybe it’s because I work from home, so what I wear doesn’t really matter. Most likely though, it is because I heard one time that leggings are an “acceptable form of pants” and never looked back. My daily look is best described in nouns rather than adjectives: (hopefully) pants, t-shirt, ponytail, sneakers. Every once in awhile I’ll throw a sundress in the mix. But like, only if my legs are shaved (usually they’re not).
This hodgepodge of sad fashion has worked for me for the last quarter of a century, yet last week as I was about to slip into some Nike capris and call it good, I paused. I slid open the sliding mirrored door of my closet and was overwhelmed by what stared back at me: lots and lots and LOTS of clothes. Clothes that I never wear. Clothes that I’ve promised I’m going to pare down cuz I don’t need ’em, but I never do. Clothes that I honestly am not even sure how to wear/what to pair with what/what even works for me.
Cue this little loaf:
Eureka! I HAVE ACCESS TO A REAL LIFE
FASHIONISTA FUR-SHIONISTA ! Why the heck would I let that go to waste? I pleaded with Gilda to help me up my style game by dressing me however she wanted for the day. To my surprise, she obliged.
The ground rules:
1. I’d let Gilda choose my clothes, shoes, hairdo and make up for 24 hours. Since she can’t TELL me what to wear, she would choose “via snout” and coy looks.
2. I’d wear the clothing pieces in the way Gilda dictated.
3. I had to wear the outfit for the entire day.
The first item of clothing Gilda set her sights on is a horse sweater I stole from my mother’s closet my sophomore year of college. I love this sweater and used to wear it often while living in NYC, but haven’t had a ton of use for it while in Los Angeles due to…
But, the rules of this day dictate I keep my trap shut and go along with Gilly’s wishes, so I do.
Next, Gil picks out a pair of purple tights from my hamper. Ideally, I wouldn’t wear dirty clothes… but again, what Gilda says, goes. If I’m being honest, I think she wanted me to wear these tights because I’d spilled canned cat food on them the day before and she likes stinky things.
So now I’m wearing only a sweater and tights. Not leggings, actual tights — and these bad boys are not opaque in the least. I know the rules dictate that I am supposed to go with the flow, but rules are meant to be bent, so I casually suggest pants/shorts/anything to cover up the not-so-subtle underwear situation happening on my lower half. It’s Granny Panty City over here, population 1.
Gilda mulls this over for a sec, then makes her way to my dresser to do some literal digging. Instead of going the traditional route (something Gilda rarely, if ever, does), Gil sniffs out a bright button up flannel, a staple of my closet that I snagged from a thrift store in the East Village six years ago for $2.
As I start to put the flannel on over the horse sweater, she stops me by banging her snout into my hand. That’s when it hits me: she wants me to find a way to wear this flannel as pants. We wind up messing around with the styling of it for a good 5 minutes before settling on an “adult diaper” look. At this point, Gilly seems super pleased with herself. I, on the other hand, am more like:
Onward we forge. Gilda trots over to my underwear/sock drawer. I’m slightly nervous about where this is headed. She roots around for a bit, then turns to look at me. I realize she is indicating a Hawaiian bikini top that I haven’t worn in 6+ years. I pull it out of the drawer and slap it on over the horse sweater, half expecting Gilda to stop me as she probably meant for the swim top to be a hat, but she doesn’t.
Wearing a bikini top might make Gilda feel all:
But it usually makes me feel more like:
But hey, today isn’t about stickin’ to my comfort zone.
Next it’s time for shoes! Gilda’s favorite thing in my closet! She makes a B-line to a pair of light gold, sparkly heels I had to wear in a production of a Sign o’ the Times Prince musical while in college. They’re another item I haven’t worn in years. There is a reason I typically opt for sneakers:
True, I’ve gotten the green light from doctors to start wearing heels again, but wowza they’re even MORE uncomfortable than they used to be. Not only do I need focus on trying not to look like a newly birthed baby giraffe learning to walk, I now have to worry about not bustin’ up my dumb-dumb of an ankle again.
But hey, what Gilda says goes. BRING IT ON.
Next it’s time to figure out what to do with my hair. I’m not sure how Gilda is going to relay to me what she would like me to do with my mane, but then a light bulb goes on. I’m a sketch comedian with a closet full of wigs. Why not let Gilda explore the prop closet for inspiration? She immediately chooses an old colonial powdered wig.
Next it’s time for make up. I’m normally a concealer, mascara, blush and you’re good-to-go kinda gal, but today Gilly’s in charge. I dump my makeup out on the living room floor and let her go to town. She touches her nose to an eye shadow palate with bright, vivid, matte purple colors. And that’s all. No mascara. No blush. No lipstick. No contouring kit…
Now it’s time to get dressed. I put on the horse sweater, dirty purple tights, flannel diaper, Hawaiian bikini top, gold heels, powdered wig, and do my make up. I try to read Gilda’s expression as I reveal my ensemble. Her face tells me something is missing from this outfit. I slide open the closet door and begin indicating to things at random, not even checking to see what I’m pointing at. As I land on a faux fur/suede vest she rears back her head in agreement.
Stepping outside in this outfit was a NIGHTMARE.
I mean, don’t get me wrong, I looked fly as hell… But YOWZA it was warm. Looking back, I think Gilda might’ve been a little passive-aggressive in her choices for me. I can’t say for sure, but a thick sweater and a warm vest in 90 degree weather?! I think she was trying to have me take a walk in her furry little
shoes paws for once and perhaps teach me a lesson about how she feels in this heat. Message received, Gil. Message received.
People out in the real world did stare at me a lot, though. Maybe that’s because I looked crazy. I like to think it’s because they couldn’t help but be drawn to me and flirt with their eyes due to my cool, aesthetically pleasing ensemble. Based on these reactions, would I wear this outfit again? You betcha. 10/10 times – yes I would.
All in all, it might’ve seemed as if Gilda didn’t have a game plan for my outfit and was just getting distracted by items in my closet and being all like “ooh yeah throw this weird thing in there, too,” but honestly, does that really matter? This experience taught me I can literally wear whatever I want and it doesn’t even have to match or make sense or look like an outfit that a grown woman should be wearing. How liberating! Thanks, Gilda!