Sandy has shown me that I’m woefully unprepared for a major storm. Oh sure, I’ve got batteries, candles, food & water, provisions for family and pets, but my wardrobe has nothing that truly says “extended stay in emergency shelter.” I have no dignified lounge wear. Jeans might work for daytime, but who wants to sleep in denim? Not I. Denim in a sleeping bag, on a cot? I think not. And exercise clothes? I’d last 6 hours in a pair of compression leggings before tearing them off and unleashing my cellulite on the world. And don’t you think slouchy, mismatched sweats or pjs just scream “pick me up off the roof in your rowboat” ?
No thanks. None of these ensembles say, “This is an emergency, but I’m okay. I am a competent, adult who is coping in the face of tragedy. Do not pity me for I will endure.” Designers, we need you to mobilize and create stylish, survivalist lines. We will need things that will both inspire confidence and breathe nicely. Fabrics that will not cling excessively in rain or sweat events. Things that will pack compactly and unpack wrinkle free. I’m thinking bamboo crossed with merino. Are you with me so far? If you keep the lines elegant, they will flatter most everyone. A little empire waist on the shirts, some princess seaming and double zips on the jackets. Pants will need a slight bootcut to accommodate a wide range of footwear because many of us will not want to tuck our pants into Hunter boots and look like snowcones as we stare danger in the eye. We will need to feel fierce, and protected, so don’t forget to toss in a water resistant anorak with a hood. The possibilities are endless.
Here’s hoping no one beyond my immediate family will see the outfit I’ve cobbled together today – faded yoga pants and a bleach-stained t-shirt underneath a gray, zip-up hoodie. It fairly screams, “future Red Cross poster child.”