As a child, I really absorbed that whole “you can be anything you want to be” line — too many shiny participation swimming ribbons — which is why I am now pursuing the absurdly impractical dual occupation of writer/comedian. My berserk confidence has actually helped me more than hurt, but one area where I’m starting to accept it’s led me terribly astray is fashion. I have worn an unironic basketball jersey dress. I have left the house in a Hannah Horvath on coke-style see-through mesh shirt sans bra, and I went through a three-week period in Montreal where I insisted on wearing a bright purple shoulder-padded snowsuit everywhere. Including a Lil Wayne concert, where I was very sweaty.
I convinced myself that those paper-thin Forever 21 black leggings did not require underwear for a two-year period, during which I can only assume 12,376 people (approx.) saw the outline of my labia. It took a friend intervention to convince me that wearing jeans with two giant holes opposite each other from my thighs rubbing together was less “grunge” than “disgusting.”
I did not look good in any of these outfits (except maybe the snowsuit).
Now, I have profoundly failed to make substantial professional progress in my mid-20s, but somehow the sartorial gods opened my eyes around age 23 by tapping me on my metaphorical shoulder and saying “Kate, all of your clothes are terrible.” I have thus realized that the following clothing items are not for my ilk, and I also advise others from wearing them and accruing the atrocious fashion karma that I did:
High-Waisted Booty Shorts
I call them “long-butts.” They make your ass look like an oblong, limp piece of dough.
I understand wearing harem pants if you have a very long vagina, but otherwise they just make you look like you’re trying to hide something terrible, like a very long vagina.
Thought I was achieving a “Britney Spears-circa-2007” look but was actually achieving a “Read ‘The Game’ and now I think I’m a pickup artist” look.
I call these “trip shoes” and they are responsible for two of my most delicious scabs. Just kidding. That was a scab-eating joke. What I mean to say is these shoes will make those of us who are not elegant, delicate swans fall over like we’re a klutzy romantic comedy protagonista, but minus the improbably awesome job in publishing, the slutty best friend, and James Marsden as our roguish love interest.
At one point in my life I had a very politically incorrect party, and the theme was “Pimps and Hobos.” I recognize now how that is an offensive choice in theme parties but I cannot change the past. I oversaw this insensitive soiree wearing a garbage bag with holes cut out for my appendages. Then I got exceptionally drunk and went to a club. They let me in, but they probably weren’t happy about it. The garbage bag is not actually the worst look for me on this list but they do not provide good insulation and are thus banned during winter months. They’re also banned during summer months because plastic will melt mercilessly into your flesh.
Lacoste Polo Shirt, Pink
On the other end of the spectrum from “garbage bag,” the pink Lacoste polo shit is an item of clothing I used to wear that did nothing good for me, though I treasured it during my time as a terrifying Catholic schoolgirl, as it was a status symbol during my adolescence. This item is actually not particularly unflattering but it misrepresents my political affiliations. The only time I’d wear this again is if I could take a picture of myself in it and then send it to the Obama campaign to get them to stop sending me e-mails. Dude, you already won the election. Tell David Axelrod to cool it.
Louis Vuitton Bag I Found at a Thrift Store
You might think that happening upon a genuine Louis Vuitton bag at a thrift store is a great thing, and that one should certainly wear such a rare fashion find. That’s what I thought when I was 17, too, and so I wore it everywhere, even though the only reason it was at the thrift store and not a high-end consignment boutique was because it was riddled with massive holes, the strap was totally frayed, the inner lining had been ripped out and apparently replaced by sawdust, and it stank of cat piss, rotting fruit, and sadness. My mom threw it away one day when I was at work. She did the right thing.
I call them “cameltoesies.” My term is more accurate.