Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The sparkly: a love story.

When I was little, the thing I wanted most out of all life was a pair of red shoes. And also to be Mary Poppins, which I think we can all agree is a contradictory set of desires. (Also to be Maria Von Trapp, both before and after she was a nun. Fine, novice.)

Red shoes are, of course, less sensible than a brown or a black shoe, just for the "what will this go with?" factor. So it was right that my shoes be brown or black, or perhaps a sassy navy blue. I'm pretty sure, however, that I remember trading shoes with a girl on the playground, and I'm pretty sure her shoes were red. You can imagine, I'm sure, my mother's bafflement-slash-horror when I came home with some other kid's shoes. But because you just didn't hop in your car for no good reason back in the day, I got to wear those shoes for one glorious night. At least I think I did. Maybe I'm making this all up. Either way a memory/fake memory of borrowed red shoes is a key dimension of my own narrative. I think you can see where I'm going with this.

Point is, colorful is better than not colorful. And better than colorful--better by far!--is the sparkly.

I remember sitting with some lovely women a couple of years ago, and one of them said to the other, "You can't find a sweater without sequins on it," making it clear that the word sequins did not describe a good thing. But I thought, secretly, because I wasn't prepared to out myself yet for the magpie that I was/am/always will be, How piquante et amusante, because I am looking for that very thing: a sequined sweater. A cardigan, to be exact, not just embellished but encrusted with sequins. I was looking not for a restrained sparkle but a full on bedazzlement, a cardigan that, were it hoisted into the heavens, would be capable of guiding ships home from the sea.

Did I find this cardigan? Why, yes I did. It was gray, merino wool, with the whole front covered in tiny little sequins. Did I pay a small fortune for this sweater? Possibly. It turns out that I was ahead of my time, as is true in so many fashiony things.

I have, since the Great Sparkling Cardigan Acquisition of 2009, bought many, many new sparkly things. I talked myself out of rainbow colored sequined ballet flats, and then talked myself back into them when they were on sale. These shoes are absurd and they are glorious. It tickles my soul to see them in my closet, and it makes me feel like a ballerina princess from Shinyland when I wear them. I also have several sequined shirts, and a sequined dress and, recently, I acquired a sequined skirt. It is pink and fantastic. The sequins, they are everywhere, and I am laying in the shiny for the lean years, when I predict everything will be matte and we will all drown in our own gloom.

Most recently, I saw these and gasped:

Reader, I bought them. Obv.

It is better to sparkle than not to sparkle. Words to live by, the people.


  1. No fair! So cute! Wear something sparkly for Thanksgiving, Iw ill be wearing the new moccasins curt brought me home from Hawaii!!

  2. Time to watch Michael Powell's "The Red Shoes."

  3. Right now, I am imagining the tres, tres chic outfit that will compliment those sparkly shoes. Fab-u-lous, HTMS, as always!

    Well shopped, my friend. Well shopped!

  4. Phew! Thought this was going to be a post about vampires! Don't think I've ever owned a sequin. Maybe that's the problem.

  5. You always sparkle, my lovely friend.
    Have you read the essay in Next American Essay--Susan Mitchell, I think--called Red Shoes? It is awesoem.

  6. Girls love the sparklies

  7. Shinyland is my favorite place.

  8. YAY! Always buy the shoes!



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