Project Runway…Island-Style

I think there’s a race during the months of March and October as to which month can make human beings dress the strangest in anticipation of some form of inclement weather. It is only during October that you may meet your normally smartly dressed neighbor in a getup similar to; a tank-top covered by a loose sweater over shorts with ankle boots. On initial view, it may seem like she’s 1) Been a victim of Project Runover vs. Project Runway, or
2) Got dressed in the dark, or 3) Had too much Bailey’s Irish Cream in her morning coffee again. But no, none of these are true. Chances are she watched the weather channel this morning and has now dressed for that most dastardly of weather predictions: The Wintery Mix!

The Wintery Mix—the be prepared for anything clarion call of fashion challenges. The only advice you get is “wear layers.” Well, unless you are a wedding cake, there’s a limit to the layers you can add without looking like you’ve added rolls as well. It’s difficult to hit the balance between hiding the real rolls while attempting to sculpt some resemblance to a female form.

Whenever I go for the layered look, I always wind up looking like Venus—if she were wearing a brightly colored serape while carrying two canned hams. Sometimes I try to comfort myself by imagining Heidi Klum in the same outfit, but even in my imagination she ends up looking like a Picasso painting during his “I have so effectively conned the world, I could paint dog vomit and call it art” phase. For a while I thought it was the L.L. Bean green rubber boot that made my appearance look so bizarre as reflected back to me in the window of the IGA, but no, I must admit boots could not have made my wintery mix outfit work.

Now March is here. And we will open our front doors, hear a spring bird, but see some snowflakes blowing by, and we will pause to layer once again. Perhaps a hideous new Christmas sweater over a new short-sleeved cotton top with Easter eggs on it. Or go for the trifecta of terror—a horrible combination of something from Christmas, Easter and St. Patrick’s Day.

I know that on days when wintery mix is the forecast, TV fashion consultant and stylist Tim Gunn pokes his head out of his front door, and if anything around him sparkles back with holiday beading he goes back into his island home for another six days. I love Tim Gun—without him, I would never have believed what I’ve heard so often through my life: “Oh, there’s definitely a limit to sparkle.”

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