While we’ve been traveling, we have spent a substantial amount of time in airports and in rather affluent areas of the West Coast. Both locations have offered my husband and I prime opportunities to take part in one of our favorite free past times: people watching.
In the cities and towns where the wealthy play, we’ve seen our share of what I’d call The Stylish People (S.P’s). For women, this means lots of short skirts, high pumps, thigh-high heeled boots, fun colors or patterns, and plenty of cleavage. For the most part, they all look great – thin, trim and young….I think folks who live in warmer climates stay more physically active year-round than those of us who go into a bit of hibernation mode in the northeast.
Their style is not just with their clothing – it is also in the vehicles they choose to drive. We’ve seen more Porsches, Jaguars, BMW’s and even Ferrari’s per capita than we ever see back home. I have seen more high-end shops and department stores than we have near home as well. I think the local S.P.’s shop at Nordstrom’s, Barney’s and Neiman Marcus more often than in my usual stops of Macy’s sale rack and Dress Barn.
However, perhaps because I’m on vacation, or more likely because I’ve grown comfortable with who I am at this stage in life, I’m fine with being comfortable vs. fashionable at times. Oh, sure, I feel that brief pang of “wow, I’d like to look like that”. But then I realize that even though I’m sitting there wearing my old Ked’s sneakers and long sleeve T both purchased at Target, I’m relaxed and content. And nothing I’m doing throughout my day on vacation warrants me to dress up as if I’m going clubbing.
The variety of styles is even more entertaining at the airport. As for me, I attempt to find some sort of balance between looking halfway decent, yet being comfortable for a day of travel. Slip-on shoes are important for going through security, and I opt for fairly loose clothing while crammed into the airplane seats. And let us not forget layers for the guessing game of temperature changes. I do see plenty of other women dressed similarly while traveling, especially moms with young children. Yet I have also seen those same S.P.’s walking through the airport with their trendy bags in hand. As I type this, as a matter of fact, one woman just walked by in a skin-tight mini dress and 5-inch heels. All I could think was “WHY?”. The story I created in my head about her (another important part of the Sport of People Watching) was that she was flying to see a hot man who she hadn’t seen in a long time and wanted to knock his socks off upon arrival. Bravo for her. But even when my husband and I were doing the long-distance dating thing, I never traveled several hours dressed like that. Perhaps I should apologize to him for not showing up on his doorstep dressed like one of the Kardashians.
In a few days we will be traveling back home to New England, and we will bid adieu to the West Coast S.P.’s. Rumor has it we will be returning to a major snowstorm. If that is the case, then I will not have this Style vs. Comfort quandary for at least a couple of weeks…because I will be blending in just fine with everyone around me – as we all look like penguins waddling our way through the snow, covered from head to toe in heavy boots, coats, hats and gloves.
Maybe I’ll be wild and crazy and add a bright pink scarf.