White, button-up body suit, Moda Intenational. Red, silk skirt with gold embroidery, Thailand. Indian brass earrings, World Market. Red pumps, X Appeal.
This skirt is gorgeous, but tough to wear. First of all, even though the skirt is adjustable to accommodate different sizes, you have to be thin to wear it. Otherwise, the fabric puckers and pulls. It isn’t meant for Western bodies. Even my modest curves tend to pull the skirt from its columnar shape. I spend a lot of time checking myself out in full length mirrors and windows to smooth errant bulges. Second, what do you pair it with? I’ve only come up with two options: white shirt or black sweater. The skirt is so flashy that a simple top is best. I originally bought matching fabric to make a blouse, but that would be much too costume-like. Instead, the extra fabric is now a hanging on my living room wall. Finally, the waist is a little strange. Because it fastens with a wrapped length of fabric, the skirt has a “paper bag” waist. (Remember when that was cool? Big baggy jeans cinched in with a tight belt so that the excess denim flared above? I’m dating myself here.) It may be retro, but I’m not a fan of the “paper bag” waist, so I try to disguise it by blousing my tucked-in shirt or covering it with a sweater. Again, maintaining the look requires constant adjustments. Ultimately, the skirt is more a conversation piece than a wardrobe basic, but it’s a souvenir of my deployment to Thailand in 2002.
Quite fittingly, I'm having Thai for lunch!