Does This Make Me Look Crazy?

rainbowskirt

I was recently packing for yet another trip, this one complicated by trying to decide what, from my limited collection of camera-ready clothes ("camera-ready," in this case, meaning 'having a pattern that doesn't induce seizures in any eventual watchers and is not white or black') would be suitable for both a taped interviewy thing and a taped rock concert, and as I was trying stuff on, I found myself asking the eternal question:

"Does this make me look fat?"

Luckily, I was only asking myself, not pestering my long-suffering husband. (He likes to make himself scarce while I'm packing; he doesn't need to increase his store of profanity.) We have a deal: I don't ask him if I'm fat, and he doesn't ask me where his wallet and keys are. (We break this deal, like glass, in cases of emergency.)

At the moment of asking, though, I stopped for a minute. Why is "fat" automatically the one thing that must be avoided? I'm not talking "need to be airlifted from house for medical attention," fat, I'm talking "fifteen extra pounds from a crappy winter" fat. (Not that the degree really matters.) Why, of all the aesthetic choices that can be made, is "slim" the one that has to be prioritized? Why am I not asking myself, first and foremost, "Does this make me look unhappy?" or "Does this make me look boring?" or "Does this make me look fashion-victimy?" or "Does this make me look like a visiting space alien, and not in the sexy lamΓ©-bikini-and-boots way?"

So I stopped asking the "fat" question, and started asking the "unhappy" one, and this is one of the things where the answer was "No, it doesn't make you look unhappy. Quite the reverse!" But: does it make me look TOO HAPPY, aka crazy? (I already know that it doesn't make me look slimmer, and that's okay.)

Here's a close-up:
rainbowskirt

It's a skirt that used to be a plain circle, without a waistband, and recently I got tired of skirts without waistbands, so I took it apart and added one. (With quite a bit of cursing and muttering, I might add.) The fabric is from Ikea; someday I'm going to walk into someone's house wearing this and match all their couch cushions. Then it WILL make me look crazy, but I'll be happy, so I don't care.

I'm NOT quite sure this is actually camera-ready (stripes might be bad, right?) but if it does end up airing (and yes yes I will give you all details when I know them) I'm sure they'll post some kind of warning.

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41 thoughts on “Does This Make Me Look Crazy?

  1. Me, I love it – I think it makes you look like you should give me your skirt!Agree re the ‘fat’ thing. And why do I find it easy to see my friends attractive at all sorts of sizes – but not myself?

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  2. It does look very happy!(Um, I think the photos are the same. Unless I’m missing something. Quite possible — I just woke up.)

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  3. I think it was someone like Erma Bombeck who said she once made a lovely evening gown out of some beautiful damask type fabric. When she showed up at the event to which she had been invited, the hostess looked at her extremely oddly and when Erma walked into the living room, she saw why. An entire wall of windows had been draped in the identical fabric. She said she spent the evening looking like a disembodied head.

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  4. I love the skirt. Though I’ve noticed when people on TV wear bright red or pink it ends up looking like a neon, glowing, fuzzy mess. I do love the skirt though. I say pack it anyway and wear it when off camera. Also you will look confident and have other women saying “I wish I could wear that skirt.” (even though they could and just don’t want to believe it πŸ˜‰ )~Amelia

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  5. for me it’s not “fat” per se-it’s do I look like a lumpy mess that should have known that this outfit didn’t fit the second I put it on. See also: hot mess. I do like the “do I look crazy” test. I don’t dress down well and I wind up looking homeless or worse…

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  6. I LOVE that skirt! It really did just make me happier today.And my personal number 1 question is “Does this make me look dorky; or dorkier than usual?” The answer, I think, is usually yes. I’ll have to work on that.

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  7. i had to dye a jacket, because it matched the couch in the play i’m working on.i ask myself the “fat” question too. i’m trying not to.

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  8. I’m fine with looking fat, but I really like the question of looking happy – should ask that one every morning! Apart from that, I also suspect that the stripes wouldn’t look very good on tv – if the resolution wasn’t super, or the color wasn’t perfectly adjusted, it could get grating fast. But I agree you should wear it live, it’s definitely happy :-). And it should be a good thing to find someone with a happy couch too, that’d be a person you’d want to talk to..

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  9. I’ll go w/ ‘does this fit?’ That’s my bugaboo and the fat thing is just too crazy-making for me. I read once that wearing clothes that don’t fit (too big or too small) is right up there on the stress chart. I can vouch for that.Love the skirt; love stripes and always have. I say wear what makes you feel good, because then you will look good.And remember, that old camera (still or motion)adds 10 or more pounds, so why bother worrying about being fat…kinda puts some of those ultra-thin girls we see on TV and in the mags in a new light, doesn’t it???

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  10. It does look happy, but I’d agree that it’ll probably look crazy on TV. Like, the pattern will combine to make it look like an acid trip crazy. But if you’re going to be interviewed sitting down it’ll probably be fine.

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  11. The question I usually ask myself, b/c I already know what makes me look fat, is “does this look contrived?” What I mean is, does it look like something I made, usually b/c the fabric is not the same as you’d find in RTW. I have a couple cotton things especially which give me this worry. One is a circular skirt very similar to this one. It’s in a sort of mod-ish quilting fabric that I could NOT resist. It makes me happy. But sometimes I am too spineless to wear it. I am a sap. Yes I am. but you are giving me confidence. Why should I care what people think anyway? sheesh. I love your stripes. Especially in this style. I hope it works out on film for you.

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  12. Forget the cameras, wear what you want. Plenty of guys wear glen plaid on the news and elsewhere, much to the detriment of my eyesight, and no one ever posts a “Beware of Random Eye-Crossing” warning on the screen.I say, let the eyes cross!Let the mayhem begin!I love that skirt.

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  13. I LOVE THAT SKIRT!!! I admit I’m usually fascinated by your fabric choices, Erin, but can’t imagine wearing it, but I adore this one! I’m just weak in the knees for solid colors right next to each other. This reminds me of a trip to an Amish fabric store and all the vivid bolts lined up next to each other. . . I just feasted my eyes! I’m always searching for a fix of pure colors side by side. Does IKEA sell fabric intended for interior decorating? Must have missed that section.As far as the fat thing, I never ask that question. I hone my instinct for what looks good on me and wear it always. I also like Anne Lamott’s advice to treat yourself kindly, like a slightly crazy old aunt. So, yes, I talk soothingly to myself.

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  14. What a glorious skirt! Wearing it would almost require skipping and twirling being incorporated into your walk — it’s so happiness-inducing.However, having worked in TV before, I have to say that this is not likely to translate well on screen. My advice would be to wear it on another occasion. It would be a pity to have something so lovely reduced to a migraine-causing mess of coloured fuzzy lines.

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  15. Very good point about fat vs happy – I think you have the personality to wear it anywhere…Now, I’d wish Ikea would make more of their upholstery fabrics into dress fabrics…

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  16. I have curtains in almost exactly this fabric (but less shiny)in my mexican-style kitchen! Bought the fabric at Ikea.Looks so fresh!

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  17. Very fun skirt and with a flattering and more subdued top, it is probably quite fetching. I do suspect it’d be tough on TV. Depending on the film, I’m pretty sure that the reds tend to jump out in a distracting sort of way. And while, I’m not expert, it’s also possible that those stripes my buzz or moire a bit. Don’t know for sure, but it’s probably quite a risk. I’d pack a backup skirt.

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  18. so glad someone is finally coming to grips with the torment we women put ourselves through every time we put clothes on…. it’s ridiculous! not a man in the world asks himself that. i think that unless you’re wearing a low cut dress, amply endowed at the top and witha short skirt, most men don’t take a moment’s notice of what you have on. or they like the way you look in a certain dress because it appeals to them on some level they can’t articulate. i like the idea of dressing to convey your mood or personality to the world. i am often told by other women, rather wistfully, that they wish they had “the nerve to dress like that.” i choose to take it as a compliment to my security in my own skin.

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  19. Oh indeed. I ask myself – does this make me look old and sad? Then it definitely goes out. But a better question would always be, does this fit, and does it flatter me. Fat – ugh, I’m sick of the question and sick of thinking about it. I just want clothes that fit. And I love the skirt, seizures and all πŸ˜‰

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  20. I think as long as what you are wearing would not get you noticed by the gofugyourself gals (ie wearing that skirt with red footless tights and a feather boa) if you were/are a celeb then you are doing pretty good in the crazy department.BTW I love that skirt and it is crazy happy in the nest way.

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  21. The skirt makes ME happy and unless you wore a matching striped blouse with giant sleeves and a ruffly collar, I don’t think you’d look crazy. Also it is a skirt so I doubt any cameras on you are going to be focusing directly on it, therefore any potential film blinding effects will be minimal at worst.I say wear it if it truly does make you both feel and look happy. I wish more people would do the same!

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  22. Oh, this post forces me to delurk! What does it say that “is this too crazy?” is indeed my go-to question when checking in with my partner on my outfits? This is after a co-worker commented several times (in passive-aggressive mode) on how I’m always in “interesting get-ups”. My other questions are “is this too costume-y?,” “is this too much?” and on the other scale of things, “is this frumpy?” Apparently I’m much more concerned with these issues than appearing fat.And I LOVE that skirt!

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  23. Why would you worry about looking crazy – is ‘crazy’ an aesthetic any more to be avoided than ‘fat’? :-PMaybe I’d rephrase it this way: if I put this on, will I look like I knew what I was doing when I got dressed, however wacky the effect?If the answer is ‘yes’ – and, being you, I imagine it is – you should absolutely wear it.There is one reservation: busy patterns can strobe on camera. So, maybe the skirt is great, but not on TV?

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  24. It won’t show on camera,….. unless the cameraman is so distracted by its beauty that he fixes the lens only on it, which would be an interesting Fellini-esque effect, but rare in modern television, I think.

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  25. Speaking of worrying about appearances… I think of Ugly Betty and her poncho. She always looks happy and optimistic and wears vivid colors (most of the clothes are designer) and puts things together differently than the Modebots. She almost always looks happy, they look miserable and hungry.So I’m thinking that fashion and style are like two perpendicular lines that any of us can, depending on our choices land in the quadrants of “boring to frumpy”, “well-played to classic”, “adventurous to wild”, or “her mirror has failed her”. Yesterday I observed a man with the bottom third of his abdomen hanging out of his shirt and pants, I am certain that he did not ask his significant other if he looked fat in that outfit– it never crossed his mind. I am sure it was not a fashion statement. I almost never ask my dh if something makes me look fat. Generally he will make a comment to me on my more adventurous days and I generally tell him I am dressing in my funky mood and I like it. Opinions not solicited.

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  26. I love this post (and that skirt!). There is a dress lying right here in my dining room (yes, clothes ARE everywhere here) that I bought to sell….had hanging by the computer and my 4 year old daughter Ava commented that the print looked like “buttons”. Buttons? She points to the buttons on the keyboard here where I’m typing madly. Indeed! The print on this 50s dress really DOES look like swirling, melting Dali-imagined computer keyboards! I realized it may fit as I looked at it with Ava and tried it on, and it does. But then I worried it would “make me look fat”, so set it aside. So long rambling story comes to a point…..you’ve inspired me to wear keyboards! Ang

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  27. I *love* that skirt!!! I covet it, actually.Could be too much for TV, but won’t they be focusing on your upper body most of the time, anyway?

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  28. You wore this at GEL and you looked wonderful!Besides, it made you very easy to find. So here’s another question to ask hubby “does it make me locatable?”

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  29. First off, if you match someone’s cushions….compliment them on their good taste! LOL.I don’t think the stripes are an issue in the usual way “horizontal stripes BADDDDD!!!”, at they don’t appear horizontal, but curved (I love the illusion!)I think that if anything they woudl emphasize your curves (maybe good, maybe bad…) and direct the eye up…..so wear a killer top with this skirt!

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  30. the question I ask is “does this show my fat?”I love this skirt. With a white teeshirt and some gypsy jewelry, I would rock this skirt! High heel brown leather strappy sandals, too, I think. And a red scarf in my hair.Now that I think about it, can you send this skirt to me? I need something fun to wear tomorrow.

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  31. What an excellent point. And I love the skirt.I confess, my thought is not “does this make me look fat” but “does this make me look under 21?” I know someday it will be a blessing, but there are times when I (a late 20s professional with advanced degrees) gets tired of being mistaken for a college freshman. Or high school senior. *sigh*

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  32. you *would* match the couch cushions in my house, and at one point, my closet curtains! I love that fabric and my eyes always perk up when I see it, which, luckily, is not frequently. I’ve often thought of making a dress with it – the skirt looks great!

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