By Lindsay Eckert
[friday] editor/ I was a 5-year-old fahionista
It was the night for glamor, the season’s peak for the perfect outfit and my attire had been carefully chosen for New Year’s Eve. My 5-year-old self spent the weeks leading up to the last night of the year - when my family annually gets dressed up for a nice dinner out before going back to my uncle’s house for a night of playing cards, singing karaoke and watching the year transcend to the next - designing the outfit I would don and after much preparation my evening wardrobe was complete and, in my young mind, radiant.
The elegant outfit? A hot pink bathing suit top, black jazz pants dotted with 1980s-fabulous neon circles and a side ponytail.
My parents reaction? Speechless, jaw drop followed by “No,” “Not a chance” and “You can’t be serious?”
As all 5-year-olds know, 5-year-olds know best and I interpreted my parents’ ‘no’ as a ‘yes’ and their disapproving shock as just an initial reaction I’d later transform to prideful joy. So, I went ahead and executed the plan I started developing as soon as I heard them utter the word they thought put an end to my “super cool” style idea.
I cracked my bedroom door so I could hear the slightest step that could potentially lead to my plan’s destruction and, even worse, be left without a bathing suit top and dance pants for New Year’s Eve! I slipped on my dance pants, then wiggled into my summer-faded hot pink bathing suit top as hints of chlorine remnants tickled my nose. I admired the attire in my mirror and, oh boy, was it glamorous. I jumped at the faint sounds of steps coming my way down the hall, pausing my admiration for my attire until a later time.
I stepped into my dress, pointed my toes into lace-topped socks and then slipped on my red coat outwardly smiling as I thought how I would debut my real New Year’s Eve outfit later that night.
As the final hours of 1991 ticked away, my excitement for the outfit’s reveal increased exponentially. I didn’t even want to order dessert, I wanted to get back to my uncle’s house so I could toss out the curtain that was the dress hiding the real fashion show: My unconventional New Year’s Eve outfit.
The night wore on and the wearing of my fabulous fashion creation in secret was coming to a close, as the family walked into the house I ran to the bathroom (unlike bathing suits in December, subtlety was not my style) to get down to the layer of clothing that actually mattered to me.
I waited for everyone to file to the basement, I didn’t want anyone to miss my outfit’s debut - to this day, my family says they’re sure glad they didn’t miss it either - then the moment happened, and another moment and then a series of unfortunate moments:
I swung open the door, “Haaaapppyyy Neewww Yeaaarr!” I joyously exclaimed from my little set of lungs as the basement’s winter chill brushed my arms while the room of family members faces looked frozen in shock.
The ice in the room quickly melted as my parents’ temper heated, quickly, in response to my blatant disregard for their child to refrain from wearing a bathing suit on New Year’s Eve.
Before I was scooped up to return to the bathroom to the lecture of a lifetime (that’s an understatement) and put winter clothes on, my aunt was able to capture the picture perfect moment I had envisioned in my head with her camera:
My hair was tossed into a side pony tail, my arms were raised in delight as the crowds (my family) cheered on my creative choice of clothing while I basked in the glory and festiveness of New Year’s Eve ... in my bathing suit ... by a Christmas tree.
I’m pretty sure my mom and dad definitely yelled about 1,000 words in my direction that night, but that picture said 1,001 words.
Wishing you a Happy New Year with festive fashion and pictures that say more than you ever could.