A Minute to Myself (124)
A Minute to Myself (125)

I Have Nothing to Wear: Shirts that Stay Ironed

Why is it that some people still look sharp at the end of the day and me, five seconds after putting on an ironed shirt I am already rumpled? Is there something in my skin that causes wrinkles? Is it my constant movement that stresses the fibers so that they cannot keep at attention? Is my constant internal fussing being transmitted to the fibers? And (no mocking of my ironing ability) this happens if I iron and use starch or if I spend $5.00 to have someone wash and iron for me. And it even happens in no-iron shirts (which seem to have been sprayed with some kind of slimy stuff that my skin repels). It’s just one of the things about me that sets me off from the well-to-do.

I think that the difference between the haves and the have nots is not determined by intelligence, trust funds, or even sheer arrogance, I think that the world is divided between those who always look good and the rest of us, those who wrinkle in starch, whose “long last” lipstick fades with one air kiss, whose hair products succumb to the elements, and whose pants always have unsightly wrinkles in the crotch area. (Shouldn’t the “crotch area” be called something else for women? Maybe it should be referred to as the “reproductive region.”) This wrinkle-ability has had a huge impact on my self-esteem, which we all know is critical for success in life.

What would life have been like for me if at the end of the day I looked as sharp as I had at the beginning, and if I knew in the morning that no matter what I did, short of sitting in an open convertible in the rain (that would have been another story), I would be looking perfect all day long? Would I have held my head higher as I went about my business if I didn’t think that I looked like someone who has just spent the night under an overpass? What would life have been like if I always looked as if I had just stepped out of my boudoir? 

The potential is breathtaking. I truly think that this inability to stay starched has handily hindered me. They say the suit makes the man. Well I say the shirt makes the woman. Who wants a woman who is un-ironed, who looks like she can’t put herself together, who looks like she doesn’t understand the most basic aspect of getting dressed—staying neat.

Am I the wrinkle equivalent of a stainster, you know, those people who always seem to be dropping on themselves. Have they, too, been discriminated against, and have they, too, been relegated to the lower echelons of society because they cannot breach the simple code of ethics—staying clean.

Oh, the horror, the horror. It wouldn’t be so bad if everywhere I looked there were rumpled people and just a few of the impenetrable. But no, there are so many potential ladder-climbers—people who seem to modulate their bodies just so.

This has even dictated my fashion sense, because at a certain point you just have to give in to your own elements. I have become a sweater girl, and I wear tee shirts under them. I have put the iron away. I have resigned my fate to being one of the clothing wrinklers.

Interestingly, this ability is external. So far, it has not been transmitted to my face and things there look, well, as if I just stepped out of a botox boudoir.

So, I guess, I still have some potential. For what, I’m not sure.


Liz A.

Laura, you crack me up. I think growing up in the Deep South changes your outlook on life. I went to a huge party school where you take a date to football games (Seriously, it can seal a relationship.) and of course you iron napkins. How will the napkins lie flat otherwise? Atleast that's what we say in public.

As far as taking over the non-wrinkled, I think it would take a major campaign in the state of Georgia, but I'm willing to try!! Can we get rid of pantyhose, too? Oh, and girdles.

Laura of Rebellious Thoughts of a Woman

Liz, we have Michelle Obama to thank for the "Just Say No--to Pantyhose" campaign. She has eschewed them. Regarding girdles, covered already in my "Yes, I Wear Underwear" post. They're called Spanx now, which I think is just a naughty name, hence, perhaps, their popularity. By the way, even in NYC women waste their time ironing napkins--my mother used to, as I mocked her for it. So many conventions just need to go when people realize that time can be spent doing other things and there is no one to whom you can relegate those tasks.

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