Knee socks are a recent addition to my wardrobe -- my attempt at being fashionably youthful and keeping the doldrums away.
Marital Mess: What does a midlife crisis look like? I'm 36 years old, separated from my husband, headed for divorce, mom of a 2-year-old, and I have a sudden desire to dress like Rachel from Glee. A preppy high school kid whose signature look is comprised of knee socks and short skirts. WTF? Am I fashionably cute or just pathetic?
Coming out of a predominantly sexless marriage where I became like a mother to my husband (ick, who wants to f*** their mother?), I am feeling the unadulterated need for male attention. It's like a drug to me. I want to be girly. I want to be taken. I want escape from the day-to-day of 2-year-old tantrums, overachieving snack moms, and my divorce, to experience the attention I got in my twenties but never felt comfortable enough to enjoy.
A simple accessory like knee socks peeking out of the top of high boots gives a sufficient kick of schoolgirl-ness to a plain dress without descending into costume. I've also rocked thigh-high cashmere socks (J.Crew sells them) with low booties and the same black dress and scarf. It's slightly suggestive without being garish -- playful but still subdued. I like to think I'm claiming my sexual power, on my own terms ... but I could just be fooling myself and actually look like I'm trying to stay Forever 21.
For frame of reference, I e-mailed a picture of my new knee-sock-outfit to my best friend from high school. She laughed out loud. The scales tipped ever so slightly toward pathetic. In high school, BTW, my signature look involved oversized collegiate sweatshirts, leggings, and matching socks. Not sexy. Does not merit revisiting.
The verdict? The knee socks are staying for a little while. They seem to be working on my male friends. Who knew that a schoolgirl reference on a grown-ass woman could incite such delight in men? Plus, it's nice to put on a skirt for a change and get out of my jeans. Be brave. Try it. It's not as outlandish as you might think. Fashion should be fun, and we all deserve a little more fun. Plus, at least your knees will be warm.