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Posted: April 15, 2011 12:00 a.m.

Seasonal challenge to looking fine

If there were a Vogue magazine for cities, Covington would have been on its cover Wednesday. There couldn't have been a finer day for showcasing our little burg to 50or so state officials, downtown professionals, developers and foundation representatives who arrived for the Heart and Soul bus tour.

 

Covington was one of 10 towns on a three-day tour of this region.

Main Street Director Josephine Kelly, the peerless producer of the day's events must have put Mother Nature on the planning committee: The sky was as blue as it ever gets; a gusty breeze pushed at the backs of the tourists; the sun poured down like melted butter.

In full bloom, our dogwoods, azaleas, newly-leafed trees and freshly planted annual beds around the Square dressed up the day as if Easter had arrived when we put on our best and newest apparel.

Let me tell you, we looked fine.

With these warming, sometimes even hot days, of late, we face the seasonal challenge of how to look fine ourselves as we transition from a cold, hard and wet winter/early spring to the awaiting summer.

Would that it were as simple as to tuck dogwoods in our hair, pin on a bouquet of azaleas and fashion a leafy green skirt.

My neck is seeing the light of day for the first time since, oh, about November. It has remained turtleneck-ed or wrapped in tightly wound scarves until now.

The same goes for legs that have worn nothing but opaque black tights since winter's onset. My husband gaped at my bare legs when I donned a dress earlier this week.
Yes, they're still there, I told him.

Turning to my summer closet, I find not much there.
Spring/summer clothes don't last from year to year like winter's wools and sweaters.

Cotton washed often wears out, and linens lose any shape they had between one spring and the next.

Replacement shopping seems inevitable, but rising prices -have you noticed? - put the brake on.

We're all learning to live with less in almost every area of our lives; so will it be in this season's wardrobe.
Changing out closets from season-to-season is no big deal in my husband's world. He trudges upstairs with his long-sleeved shirts, comes back down with his short-sleeved shirts, and it's done.

There are no style questions to be addressed, no concern that it either is or isn't current looking or faded.
It is, of course, far different for females. The whole process may take a week to move out winter and install summer.

Winter clothes have to be scrutinized for what needs to go to the cleaners before being stowed. Then there's a critical appraisal of what's in the summer closet, what needs to be replaced, what needs repair, what needs ironing and, most crucially, what still fits.

If it doesn't fit, the choice then is to send the offending garment off to re-sale, denying the truth it speaks, or to face the ugly truth head-on with something like the Mediterranean diet and a bit more exercise.
There is perhaps less to the whole question of style than we might admit. I've heard it said that the best way to retain a with-it look is to maintain an updated hairstyle and wear shoes in the current style. I certainly "buy" the advice about a good haircut and fresh color. Even my friends who've gone gray on purpose look great with cute haircuts.

I need no encouragement to go shoe shopping. Shoes for me are a guilty pleasure.

Even if I don't buy anything, just looking at shoes - aisle upon aisle of them - is relaxing and de-stressing.
I imagine all the places I might wear a particularly fabulous pair of needle-pointed, ice pick heeled models before I resign myself to the fact that they're better suited for sitting around and looking cute rather than striding, standing or dancing.

And let me honest here. I'm one of those who've often bought shoes before ever thinking about what I would wear them with. Just looking at them on a high shelf in my closet - never worn - gives me pleasure.
Someday the outfit will come along.

Barbara Morgan is a Covington resident with a background in newspaper journalism, state government and politics.

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