Thursday, October 27, 2005

Old Lady

So I just got around to reading the indomitable Sarah Bunting's weekly Tomato Nation post, and this week she writes about stuff she likes. The yogurt Cheerios sound good (if cereal wasn't $6 a box I'd buy some and try it) but the one thing that caught my eye was this:

And now, a weird segue into socks. (Or maybe not so weird, depending on how you feel about hard cheeses.) I have spent a month searching high and low for a proper knee sock -- not a sock that calls itself a knee sock, but only by dint of not being an ankle sock. An actual, touches-my-knee knee sock. I would not call myself freakishly tall, either, but every time I thought I'd found the perfect sock, the picture would tell the truth, namely: calf sock. Come on, world of hosiery. Then I thought of the Lands' End catalog, and hallelujah, knee socks that come up to my knee, stay there, and aren't going to fall apart after two wearings. Which reminds me: does it happen to anyone else that, when one pair of socks goes, they all go? Socks and underwear? Because I sprang a hole in my favorite pair of Old Navy stripy socks last week, and the next thing I know it's the Heaven's Gate cult and I'm the crime scene unit standing over my sock drawer all, "What happened here?" Toes bursting out, heels giving way, it's madness, and never mind the knee-height element, it is really hard to find a non-argyle sock lately. Anyway: Lands' End knee socks. Best $22 I've spent in a while.

Now I know I am not alone. The Whatever looked at me with great concern when I stopped at my apartment one day to get my mail, and a slew of Land's End catalogs were in my pile. "Land's End?" He asked. "Wow, look at this fetching number," he said, pointing to a dress that resembled a red cotton potato sack with holes for the arms. He then showed me a pair of high-waisted jeans paired with a frumpy cardigan set on the MILFish model. I listened to him and laughed, but I pointed out the coats and shoes. I'm glad that Ms. Bunting has made it okay for me to come out of my closet-- I buy things from Land's End. Okay? I'm not a mom, I'm not a woman of a certain age, but I like well-made clothes. Their sweaters last forever, unlike the shitty ones at Old Navy that shrink the first time through the wash. I used to buy my swimsuits from Land's End when I was heavier, because their tankinis actually cover a midsection. And now, I find their knee socks actually cover a knee. For Halloween, I bought thigh-highs at Victoria's Secret, and I fear they will slide down all night since they were sold out of garter belts. If Land's End sold anything sexy, I'd have gotten them there.
Maybe I'm too practical. But I hate when I shell out nearly $50 for a pair of jeans (Gap, I'm looking at you) and they commence unraveling as soon as I wash them. I hate when my sweaters shrink when I follow the label directions. I hate when my new bra from Victoria's Secret that cost $45 unravels. I've taken to buying my bras at Target so when they inevitably sprout elastic fuzz I don't feel bad giving them the heave-ho. So, yes, I like things that last, so I will continue to buy some things from Land's End. I also love my LL Bean red wool coat and purple vest. I don't care if it's something my grandmother would buy-- it's warm and not fug, dammit. I know it's not trendy, but it'll last. I can supplement my good clothes with things from Old Navy and Gap (I'd say H&M here too, but I have good luck with their stuff lasting) to stay au courant. If you need me, I'll be shopping for a minivan.

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