By TINA WILSON
A margarita can be very inspiring, two of them can really get the lime juices flowing. I was at my local “Cheers” for only the second time in 13 months, Santa Fe. Not the city but the Mexican bar and restaurant on 71rst street and Columbus Avenue in NYC. It was the most glorious evening and I had not quite dealt with the fact that I had no subject for my next blog, when Laura Bird one of the managers, came over to our outdoor table to chat for the first time in a long time… we started to talk about life and business, as they are two very different things. BTW I was unmasked as were my drinking companions.
Laura is co- founder of Chantillybird along with Cynthia Nielsen. She started talking about their line of Slipsters and how and why they chose to focus on what to wear under your dresses and that they are produced in Texas. Check out their story on Chantillybird.com. That is when the second cocktail kicked in and I decided to write about Life After Sweatpants, vaccinations and brands made in the USA. I love dressy dresses with ruffles or 3 tiers; utilitarian dresses with multiple pockets or a soft floral mini dress like Reformation’s Linen Winifred Dress that is perfect with the Midrise Slipster. For some of us the possibility of our dress blowing up and into our face as we stand above a subway grate is too horrific to chance. Chantillybird is the answer.
While we are on the subject of dress, I have nothing but admiration and awe for Only Hearts and its founder Helena Stuart…Helena has been bridging the gap between intimates and sportwear long before it was popular. Her Leopard Tulle dress is a fabulous example of revealing and comfy.
The morning after Santa Fe I headed Upstate to a friend’s 60th birthday party to an outdoor Brazilian themed feast that included an entire roasted pig and 25 plus guests, all vaccinated and mask-less. Conversation bliss. One of my first discussions began by spotting a woman in a pair of very familiar leggings. I asked what brand she was wearing; she had no idea. I knew immediately from the quality of pebbly sueded fabric and the raw cut hems that it could only be Commando. “I wear leggings all the time, but they must be “comfy” proclaimed my new friend. “All I know is that they were expensive” she continued. “And do you know why, because they are made in the USA?” I replied. She had no idea but appreciated the fact. When I meet people for the first time the conversation inevitably shifts to their choice of undergarments and this was no exception, so the conversation shifted to panties. Someone declared that most thongs seemed to be made for young teenage girls with tiny vaginas and not for women who have given birth (I’ll stop there as the conversation got more titillating by the second). My Commando friend then pulled her pants slightly down and to the side to show me her Hanky Panky thong (this is a regular occurrence for me). “You know these are also made in the USA?” I added. This sparked my other new friend on the other side of me to reply, “so that is why they are so expensive, now I know why, I can stop buying these!” she then pulled her pants slightly down and to the side to show me her private label knockoff pair. Knowledge is always power.
If you can’t quite shed the oversized sweats and legging look, I highly recommend PJ Harlow’s Rock Cotton V tunic. It’s a little bit t-shirt, a little bit sweatshirt and a little bit sexy dress; all rolled into one. And I love the natural colors all made in the USA.
I am a firm believer in dressing up a casual look with sexy underpinnings. Taryn Winters’ Made in NY brand has gorgeous lacy bras, bralettes and camisoles. Can’t think of a better way to make that big oversized, washed and wrinkled men’s shirt look provocative, it’s the perfect conversation starter as we venture out to chat with total strangers once again. There are so many fantastic brands making that sexy look in the USA, such as Nevae, Anya Lust and one of the pioneers of lace bras in inspiring beautiful fun colors and that is Deborah Marquit.
So please consider the next time you make a purchase, note that made in the USA will almost always be more expensive, but that is sometimes a small price to pay to support your community and your fellow Americans. Now is the perfect time to splurge, if you are financially able. You are also more likely to find these treasures in a small specialty store, they need our support too, make an in-person visit, let’s get back to browsing! We have all learned we don’t need a ton of material things, but let’s make a statement when we do buy….
So, here’s to being vaccinated and conversing and getting touch with the world again, mask less. It feels so good.
Peace, patience and good health to you!