Queen of Fashion: What Marie Antoinette Wore to the Revolution by Caroline Weber
la garde-robe (gard rohb) noun, feminine
(The plural is garde-robes.)
La personnalité est la garde-robe du moi. Personality is the wardrobe of ego. --Louis Scutenaire
I pledge allegiance to mud, soot, and moss. Open up my garde-robe* and you'll find my meld-into-the-earth safety net--colors that aren't colorful and shades that don't shout. For flamboyant, I might wear rust. But rust isn't my color, I soon learn, and square is not my cut. Such country bumpkin camouflage (even French country bumpkin) will not work in the Big Apple,* which is where I'll be
in one week's time.
Recently, an English friend of mine offered to pull me out of the swamp-colored clothing bog I've thrown myself into. While the French aren't known to regard the English for their sense of style, my friend Michele, from London, is beating them at their own game.
Michele brought Bright to our rendezvous: bright blue, bright green, and bright pink. "Try them," she said, taking my brown sweater, brown jacket and brown purse, piling them over her arms and shoulder. "I'll be the clotheshorse," she joked, and we both laughed at one Brit's self-effacing double-entendre.
"What do you think?" She said, of the bright sweaters.
"They're bright!" I replied, reaching for my muddy security blankets.
"I'll hold those for now," Michele said, tightening her grip.
"I think I like what you have on," I said to Michele, who wore dark slacks, a dark sweater and a long beaded sautoir.* I even liked her hair; a smart, shoulder-length carré.*
There we stood, in front of a wall of scarves in a discount clothing warehouse, comparing fabric to face, working our way from washed-out to warm. I was excited to learn that gray is one of my colors, it matched my bog theme perfectly.
Michele had more patience than a country of French fashionistas in the days leading up to the government-regulated SOLDES* (a much anticipated event which happens but twice a year in France) and two-and-a-half hours later we walked out of the store, having added a few more shades to my wardrobe: ashes and coal. Depending on how you look at it, I was either halfway out of the bog or one foot into a fashion incinerator.
I opened the trunk of my car to store the silt that I would add to my cozy mud, soot, and moss collection back home. As I turned to faire la bise,* Michele handed me a small sack. Inside, I discovered the lovely sea-green scarf and, along with it, a goldmine of hope.
Listen to French:
All natural butter caramels from Brittany small size in Camembert box
Food grinder. MIU France Stainless Steel Tomato/Vegetable Mill
French Beret -- versatile, lightweight and easy to pack
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For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety