The Reclaiming of My Pizazz

25 Mar

You know what? I’m going to start dressing ridiculously.

I want to wear daring things.  I want to express myself through my clothes, even if it’s not very well.  I want to make people wonder what the hell is going on.

When I was in the 8th grade, my favorite outfit was a pair of leopard pants an electric blue t-shirt with a bright yellow picture of Buddha on it.  I kid you not, my friends.  I wore it about once a week.

You know what the real beauty of that is?    You can’t just go around wearing easily recognizable pieces like that.  When you’ve got an article that makes a statement, you have to sprinkle it.  But I didn’t care.  I just simply did not care.

When I was in the 3rd grade, Reebok came out with this shoe line that was all one color.  The bottom, the laces, the tongue – everything was the same.  It came in red, orange, and bright green.   I thought the bright green ones were the coolest things I’d ever seen in my life (you can check out the 2011 version here).  I couldn’t imagine my life without them, so I got them and wore them every day until my mother made me get rid of them because my toes were wearing through.

I was also a little choir geek when I was in school (one step in the grave of theater into which I later fell) and my mom used to take me shopping for a new outfit for the annual choir concert.   I remember we were in Kmart – like the fine, classy white folk we were – and I found this bright purple silk (read: polyester blend) skirt with a crazy paisley design on it.    I was so in love with it that I left the store cradling it in my arms, dreaming of the perfect key lime blouse to go with it.   Mom and I raked the sands of every store in town until we found one.  She gently suggested other options – reasonable ones.  But I forged ahead telling her I had an artist’s eye like dad and if she could just see in her head what I saw in mine, it would be glorious.

God bless my mother.

I showed up to my choir concert in the most out-of-this-world outfit, lined up next to my friends in their charming, well-accessorized dresses.   And I felt like a million bucks.

I don’t know what made me stop.  I don’t think it’s that I started caring what people thought because well into twelfth grade, I was still glamming up my gym outfit with matching knee socks.   Maybe it was college.  Maybe I moved out for college and lost some of my pizazz.

Yeah.  I want my pizazz back.

I can’t recall a single truly daring thing I’ve worn since high school.  I’m not talking plunging necklines – I definitely did plenty of those in college.  I’m talkin’ straight up ridiculous.  I believe that doing so will reinstate whatever amount of pizazz I once had that has been beaten down and lost somewhere in the unspoken rules of society.

And so I shall.  Let it be effective immediately that I shall save a portion of my earnings each month to contribute to the Wacky Jackie fund.  And shall use the contributions therein to go on a shopping spree of daring and pizazz.

It will be most glorious.  



23 Responses to “The Reclaiming of My Pizazz”

  1. Louella March 25, 2011 at 9:13 am #

    I once wore long sleeved checkered pyjamas and big fat orange bird feet slippers to the ‘hookers ball’.

    The only reason I got into the club was because my boyfriend of 5 years was a bouncer on the door – and if I wore anything else, he would have sent me straight home.. lol


    • Jackie March 26, 2011 at 11:43 am #

      I love everything about this.


  2. misswhiplash March 25, 2011 at 9:44 am #

    I absolutely love the illustration that you used. I can just see myself with slinky black dress and purple hair. Oh WOW! what a hoot. There is only one small problem…I am 72 years old and I weigh 14 stone. It would not look the same.
    In my younger days ( when I was 45 ) I did wear outrageous clothes and I loved it but there is a certain time of your life when you have to conform and I think that I have reached it.

    happy hunting


    • Jackie March 26, 2011 at 11:43 am #

      Again – I would argue that 72 years old is all the more reason to make it happen. 🙂


  3. The_Observationalist_NYC March 25, 2011 at 10:14 am #

    This post made my morning. I haven’t even dressed for work yet, and I now feel the challenge has been put out there.

    I feel like I lost my daring too; in elementary school, I was known for wearing overly long sweatshirts (that would hang to my knees). I could have tried belting them, although I can’t remember if I did. I tended to wear them with short shorts.

    P.S. I’m a guy. My father was a little bemused by it.


    • Jackie March 26, 2011 at 11:44 am #

      haha thanks – And thanks for sharing. I laughed out loud at this.


  4. Lori March 25, 2011 at 10:46 am #

    Surely Pittsburgh has good thrift stores. Getting your pizazz back shouldn’t be that costly 🙂


    • Jackie March 26, 2011 at 11:47 am #

      Haha – Yinzer style isn’t exactly what I had in mind. But I see where you’re going with this.


  5. Jules C March 25, 2011 at 11:32 am #

    Check out sartorialist(dot)com
    Lots of great euro style in there that might help you get the pizazz back. Pull it off right and you’ll achieve that “out there” style. Not because it’s just crazy looking, but because the trendsters haven’t caught up to it yet.
    Good luck with your inspirations.


    • Jackie March 26, 2011 at 11:49 am #

      Thanks for this site! I find the old lady in the bright purple lipstick pretty darn hilarious – but there are some groovy digs on there.


  6. deenie12 March 25, 2011 at 2:44 pm #

    This post was so great! I loved the stories of your daring outfits. Reclaim that pizazz! Life is just too short.


    • Jackie March 26, 2011 at 11:50 am #

      Thanks a lot! I fully intend to build my funds and return to the crazy child I once was.


  7. Don't Make That Face March 25, 2011 at 4:02 pm #

    My Reebox were pink and gray hightops. They went great with my Dirty Dancing cut-offs and Def Leppard t-shirt. I also used to wear moonboots in the middle of Spring because they matched they neon pink in most of my wardrobe perfectly.

    P.S. You did not ask for permission to use my picture for your blog post today. 🙂


    • Jackie March 26, 2011 at 11:51 am #

      You sound like you were an awesome little kid. We should have hung out at recess.

      The P.S. seriously had me concerned until I realized what post this was a comment on 😛


  8. Meanwhile, back at the ranch... March 25, 2011 at 6:45 pm #

    Well, you remind me of me…I used to wear my dad’s giant ridiculous sweatshirts over stirrup pants with two pairs of mismatched socks…and then I had a pair of my older sister’s multi-color tap shoes that looked like tennis shoes she wore in a flashy performance–I removed the taps and wore them as shoes for as long as my growing third grade feet would allow.

    Long live the 8 year old in us all.


    • Jackie March 26, 2011 at 11:51 am #

      That would have been such a great title. Where were you when I wrote this!?


  9. SlackjackAastha March 26, 2011 at 1:59 am #

    Hmmm… I’ve always been the kid who’d try a different look (not outrageous though)… Maybe an accessory that stood out or a pair of cool shoes… Different hairstyles (I always set the trend in my class lol) and all that. You should get that self back once in a while – I know how great that feels! 🙂 But please don’t compete with Lady GaGa 😛


    • Jackie March 26, 2011 at 11:52 am #

      Sometimes I’m thankful that I stopped in college. Things could have gotten out of hand and I’d have skyrocketed to weirdo fame.

      We couldn’t have that, now could we?


      • SlackjackAastha March 27, 2011 at 10:00 pm #

        Hahaha… It gets really awkward after a while… I remember, once a friend of mine wore a proper fur coat with black gloves (with a ring worn OVER the gloves) on her birthday. Now, we have bad winters, but it’s not about Santa, Sledges and the Snow in my city. Poor girl became the laughing stock instead of the ‘diva’. I’m a weirdo and I think it’s actually kind of cool. But let’s not be Lady GaGa Jackie. Btw, I think your combo of the blue t shirt and leopard pants was really out of the world! Yay! 😀


  10. Sharon J March 27, 2011 at 8:42 am #

    I think this loss of pizazz thing happens to most of us as we grow older, but reading your post has inspired me to be a little more daring, too. Sometimes you just have to move outside your comfort zone.

    Can’t wait to see some photos of the stuff you’ll be wearing 🙂


    • Jackie March 31, 2011 at 10:24 pm #

      Thanks! If you try something out of the ordinary, mosey on back and let me know about it – I’d love to get some inspiration 😉


  11. Renee Mason March 30, 2011 at 7:46 am #

    Your post makes me sorry that I already donated my favorite 80’s dress. Crazy chintz floral green and pinks, with a balloon skirt stuffed with tissue paper (so it would crinkle when you walked!), and huge linebacker, Joan-Collins type shoulder pads. Otherwise, it could have been your first purchase toward the newly reclaimed you!


    • Jackie March 31, 2011 at 10:37 pm #

      LOL I love that you said it crinkles when you walk. You should have kept it – I would make its fashion debut a post in itself. lol


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