Archive for the ‘Clothes’ Category

One of These Things is Not Like the Others

Imagine that you’re attending a fancy wedding.  Everyone is dressed up in suits and dresses…and gowns and tuxedos.  Photos are being snapped.  A nice-looking crowd is kicking it on the dance floor.

Out of the corner of your eye, beyond the stemware and centerpieces…

IMG_4764 IMG_4732

…you see one of the other wedding guests…


…dressed in a coral sweat suit.

You think….you believe…you KNOW that that wearing a body-hugging, split-to-the-knee, mid-drift showing, yoga outfit to a wedding is just plain wrong.

And, it irritates you because this girl looks comfortable and you’ve got a blister from doing the hokey-pokey in heels.

Do you…

  1. Ignore it;
  2. Think you’re out of touch with the fashion scene.
  3. Gossip about her outfit with the other well-dressed guests;
  4. Casually touch her arm to discover if the fabric is velvet or velour;
  5. Get drunk and ask her to dance; or
  6. Get confused, go to the hotel gym in your formalwear, and start running on the treadmill.

I usually try #1, then ponder #2, then do a little of #3, then blog about it.

Have a Happy Monday Everyone!

Excuse me….but I think there’s a hole in your underwear

Labor Day was dreary and rainy here in Pittsburgh. 

With some time to kill, no sunshine to be found,  and no laboring to be done, I headed to a trendy section of the city to window shop. 


Some of the stores were closed for the holiday, but many were open.

Victoria’s Secret had panties on sale….


…and it was hilarious to watch people walk past the sign shaking their own badonkadonks.


I don’t shop at Victoria’s. 

I USED to shop there…but then along came the moment when I realized that 1) their product line might be TOO YOUNG-STYLED for my age; and 2) the big “secret” is that Victoria is laughing the entire way to the bank.

I’ll risk embarrassment and share the exact moment of this realization…


Laundry is the household chore that I hate the most….because laundry never ends.  Just as soon as all the laundry is done, you change your clothes, and POW, there’s more laundry.

So, it was laundry day.  The dark cycle, to be exact.  Trying to beat the laundry demons, I slipped off the shorts I was wearing and threw them in the washer.  “Smart thinking,” I said to myself, “one less thing to wash next week.”

Mr. Backbone’s eyes were glued to The Golf Channel and I could easily sneak past him without ever being noticed…or so I thought. 

And just as I was starting up the stairs…

Mr. Backbone:  Hey, there’s a HOLE in your underwear.

Me:  Yeah, I know. 

Mr. Backbone:  Just checkin….didn’t know if you knew.

Me:  They’re VICTORIA’S SECRET.  It’s a DESIGN.  The hole is SUPPOSED to be there.

Mr. Backbone:  Huh?

Me:  I said it’s SUPPOSED to be there.  Can’t you TELL?  It’s ON PURPOSE.  There’s a cute little BOW on the top.Undies

Mr. Backbone:  Oh, I didn’t know.  Usually when your underwear gets a hole, it’s time to throw them out.

Me:  It didn’t GET a hole.  It HAS a hole.  There’s a difference.

…and that, my friends, is how this story ends.  Any smart husband would do exactly what mine did…turn his attention back to the TV and pretend the HOLE conversation never happened.

#2 – Go Out on a Date

On Saturday night, Mr. Backbone fulfilled his promise to take me out on a date. 

It almost didn’t happen because I got sick…on date night.  Urg!!  I pulled myself together by popping 2 aspirin, stuffing Kleenex into my evening bag, and sticking to the plan. 

Most of the husbands I know are clueless about how to prepare for a fancy date with their wife, so here are some tips…

Step One – Plan ahead and extend an invitation for the date.  Give  enough advance warning so that she can secretly try on every outfit in her closet.  We do that.


Step Two – A few hours before the date, leave the house or remove yourself entirely from her “getting ready area.”  Privacy is the golden rule in these critical pre-date hours, especially in the bathroom.  Nothing special is happening in there that you need to know about. 

We go in looking like this…


(in five seconds, this image will self-destruct)

…and POOF!


…after a few short seconds minutes hours…we’re ready to go.

Step Three – While she’s in the process of the magical in-bathroom transformation, practice your best “you look amazing” facial expression.  We want to see this look on your face the second we appear in front of you.  If you don’t successfully accomplish the glassy-eyed look of being mesmerized by our beauty, we might disappear back into the bathroom for a few more seconds minutes hours and start over.

Step Four – Be a gentleman.  Open car doors, pull out chairs, say please and thank you, and don’t abandon your date to catch the sports report on TV.  Don’t call for the waiter by saying “hey buddy, over here.”  Ask questions and pay attention to what we have to say.  Use your napkin for its intended use…which does not include waving it over your head like a lasso on the dance floor.  Most importantly, make sure that you are within the legal limits to drive us home.   Oh, and if along the way you see a kitten stuck in a tree, pull over and save it.

Funny Flirting Ecard: I'm not comfortable dating someone who isn't perfect.

Thanks to my man for being a terrific date and for suggesting the #2 idea for Beating the Feeling of UnGo Out on a Date.

When was the last time you did something fancy?  How long does it take you to get ready?  Do you think women set their expectations too high?

If you liked this post, you may also like Oh Deer…What’s She Wearing Now.

G: Glitter & Glam Giveaway

In honor of the Letter G, there is a Giveaway at the end of this post, so be sure to read to the bottom for your chance to enter and win!

Warning:  the following image may cause temporary blindness.  Tell me the truth…what do you think of this shirt?

Dad's70s Shirt Pretty snazzy, huh?

My father wore this shirt in the 70s.  My mother went to the store, made the conscious decision to buy the two fabrics, a pattern, and make this one-of-a-kind wonderment of 1970s fashion.   The red really glitters in the sun…

Shirt Collar

I like a bit of glitter in my own wardrobe, so I’m wondering if the like of glitter can be inherited in the genes?  My parents definitely dressed the part in the 60s and 70s.  Maybe that’s why I like Elvis and the Rolling Stones, too. 

If you haven’t been shopping lately, glitter is in this season.  Shirts, skirts, scarves, and accessories.  They all glitter…

Shirt Shirt 2

If you like glitter in your clothing, people might take notice.  You might draw some attention.  What will attract people to you even more, however, is the glitter in your eye. 

When your eyes sparkle, it’s attractive because others are drawn to your soul, not your scarf.   What causes the sparkle is increased tear production, which reflects light.  Your eyes tear when you show emotion, either happy or sad.  Instead of (or in addition to) glamming out your closet, think about glamming up the twinkle your eyes.

The Glitter & Glam Giveaway

The one women in history who I respect for both her Glitter and her Glam was Coco Chanel.  Born in 1883 in southern France, her mother died with she was 6 and she was raised in a convent.  The nuns taught her to sew…and the rest is history.

BookTo win a copy of the book “The Gospel According to Coco Chanel,” leave a comment on this post telling me how you glitter or glam, or if you liked my dad’s floral shirt (click on “Comments” at the top of this post).  All e-mail addresses will be kept confidential.  If you win I’ll contact you by e-mail to find out where you’d like the book to be mailed.

Contest Rules:  One entry per person.  U.S. and Canadian residents only.  The only way to enter is to leave a comment to this post.  One winner will be selected by random drawing on Monday and announced on The Chameleon’s Backbone next Tuesday, April 12.  Good luck!

Swimming in Snow

It seems like every news reporter in America is obsessed with the recent snowstorms along the East Coast. 


Newsflash:  It’s winter.  There’s snow.

The much more important news came in my mailbox.  Hold onto your snowboots, because the Victoria’s Secret 2011 swimwear line is now for sale…


Okay, I know that the chemistry of snow is H2O, but I’m not going swimming in it.

Shopping for swimsuits in the dead of winter seems odd to me, for several reasons…

First up is the extra layer around my middle that started to take form sometime during the holiday cookie-baking and candy-making season.  Remember Twas the Week Before Christmas?  The cookies are gone, but the aftermath remains.   

Also, a bikini, tankini, or one-piece of any color (Pink Leopard, Cobalt Paisley, Neon Coral Zebra…) aint gonna be flattering on my winter white, tan-long-gone skin tone.

But, the more I thought about it, ordering swimwear in January might just lift my mood. Knowing that the suit would be in my closet waiting for its first ray of sunshine would keep me looking forward. 

So, I did it.  I logged into cyber-shopping and did the unthinkable.  In 7-10 short days, the bandeau top with skirted bottom will arrive on my doorstep…in turquoise blue.

Research says that having things to look forward to is good for the psyche.  If those things in your life seem a little too far out of reach, do something to make them feel closer.  They don’t need to seem as unrealistic as swimming in snow. 

  • If you’ll be seeing someone, hang up their picture.
  • If you’re going on vacation, browse through the travel brochure.
  • If you want to reach a goal, write it down and post it in a highly visible place.
  • Or, if you are Mr. Backbone, put your golf clubs in the middle of the bedroom floor for your wife to trip over and AGHHH!

A simple question today…

What are you looking forward to?

Have a great weekend everyone!  If you liked this post you may also like Now is Not Forever and Picture Your Future Self.

Oh Deer…What’s She Wearing Now?

Welcome to November.  I hope everyone had a Happy Halloween!  I sure did…

Mr. Backbone dressed as a hunter and I let him chase me around in the smokey night air with an axe.  I know.  I’m an amazing wife…

I bought the deer antlers at a State Forest gift shop last summer.  I always buy stupid things just because they are…stupid. 

I usually dress for Halloween, even if it’s only to pass out candy.  One little girl told her mom that I was a reindeer. Awe…..Obviously, the axe was put safely away by then.

The cool thing about Halloween is that you can be practically anything or anyone you want to be, temporarily.  Conceal your identity, disappear, take on an alter ego, have fun in masquerade.  When I’m in costume, my personality does sort of change based on my appearance.  Last night, my animal instincts were in high gear.

Does the same concept hold true on a regular day-to-day basis?  When you dress like a professional, do you feel more business-minded?  When you lace up your shoes for a run, do you feel more athletic?  In formal wear, do you act more grown up and serious? 

We live in a society where we have the freedom to dress…pretty much…any way we want.  And…we do…some to greater extremes than others.  Look in your closet – what’s in there?  Like it or not, your wardrobe is an expression of your personality.  I just took a peek into mine.  Yep…it certainly says a lot about me.  It’s also telling me that my collection of clothes needs to grow up a little.  Too many tank tops.   Too many printed tee-shirts.  Not enough outfits that say I’m a professional woman making a mark on the world.  It’s time to start making a change. 

What do the contents of your closet say about you?  Is it right?