cleaning up my act

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remember when i wrote about holding off on intensely preparing and looking ahead to fall? i was doing a pretty good job of it, but sadly, it now has to come to an end. i've got two weeks left in new york before school starts, and countless tasks and errands to accomplish before then. yesterday was my first full day at home since the cruise, and i spent the majority of it on my macbook, composing to-do lists, tweaking my course schedule, and marking up my iCal with upcoming dates and events. i'm trying out this new thing this year where i swear off procrastination and live efficiently on a daily basis. this is quite a tall order, seeing as how i've spent the past two decades doing just the opposite, but i figure change has to start somewhere.

to be perfectly honest though, the only things i knocked off my list yesterday were the admittedly simple tasks: keeping up with friends via e-mail and facebook, cleaning up my overflowing inbox, and catching up on two of my few small screen indulgences: project runway and mad men. though it pains me to say it, p. run isn't exactly blowing my mind this season, and i suspect that i'm continuing to follow the series simply out of habit. mad men, on the other hand, continues to keep me enthralled before the television screen every sunday night, not unlike sally and bobby draper during "people are funny".

though i've seen every episode of both seasons multiple times, i'm something of a latecomer to the series. with limited means and no time or desire to watch television up at school (outside of gossip girl, that is), i'd only heard snippets of praise here and there throughout the past year for mad men. i couldn't glean the exact premise of the show from what i'd heard, but i did know that it was set in the 1960's, which had me intrigued from the start, and that the costumes were apparently divine. by the time school had let out, however, in the days leading up to my trip to paris this summer, my daily schedule consisted of packing, meeting up with friends, and watching mad men. i'd finally made the leap and downloaded the entire first season on itunes, since i couldn't find a reliable source to watch it online. i rarely download anything on itunes, and simply buying on the basis of other people's reviews, i was running the risk of wasting my money, but it turned out to be everything people had promised and more.

i won't gush (too much) about my love for the characters, the unflinching portrayals of quotidian prejudice and sexual harassment, or even the details of the gorgeous garments that each and every character sports during each episode. i will, however, comment on something that i've seen in old photographs and been regaled with tales of by nostalgic old-timers, something that truly comes across on the show: the level of sartorial diligence exuded by nearly everyone who lived during that time, regardless of gender, race, or social status. it doesn't quite suffice to say that everyday was an occasion for them. one need only look to the differences between betty draper's household and evening ensembles to refute that statement. still, the words 'disheveled', 'messy' or anything of the like need not apply when describing mad men's characters' meticulous appearances. one can easily see the differences between don and his estranged brother, adam, but the former doesn't look sloppy. joan ridicules peggy's frumpy attire early on in season one, but she still always looks presentable.

when and where did this proclivity toward put-togetherness dissolve within the general public's consciousness? when exactly did it become okay to leave home in an ensemble indistinguishable from something that one might sleep in? despite my apparently judgmental stance, i speak from a practitioner's point of view. i spend plenty of my days carelessly dressed in yesterday's wrinkled cast-offs, without a second thought as to the image that i'm putting forth to the world. but just as i'm erasing my tendency to slack off in regards to responsibilities, i intend to shake off the doldrums when it comes to my daily dress, as well. will i eliminate jeans and tees from my wardrobe entirely, replacing them with wool skirtsuits and lace head coverings? not likely, but i do plan to get my act together and take full advantage of my wardrobe (which i'm constantly expanding, anyway) instead of just dipping into it on special days and occasions. easier said than done? i guess i'll find out; stay tuned for results!
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natalia grozina said...

that purple skirt looks so much like the fabric i just bought. i am actually making a ruffled skirt out of it, i'm going to link you so that when i finish it i will show you! :)

parmaviolet said...

thanks loads for the advice on the leggings.
i shall try and get a photo of him in them