This post is appearing on my Gazette blog today. For readers here, I will be creating a photo gallery of impractical clothes (when I have a chance).

Why do we do it? You know what I’m talking about. Just look at the picture accompanying this post. Why do we buy clothes and footwear we can’t wear in public, at least to our day jobs, anyway?

Jillian Page, June 2011
Jillian Page, June 2011

I can generalize by saying “we,” because I bet most women have at one time or several times in their lives bought totally impractical clothes that never saw the literal light of day in public afterward. I bet the closets of the nation are filled with impractical clothes and shoes that have never actually been worn. I know I am not alone in this, because the impractical-clothes-and-footwear industries are thriving. And because female friends have verified it. One friend showed me her shoe collection — at least 60 pairs, half of which she has never worn and never will wear and probably couldn’t wear even if she tried. “We all go though this,” she told me. “You gotta get it out of your system.”

Hmm . . .

Soooo, about those boots in the picture. Why did I buy them? Well . . . they were on sale, you see. Half price at a Sears store in Ottawa about 2.5 years ago. And, yes, they are so sexy. I pictured myself as Julia Roberts in the movie Pretty Woman. Yup. So, how many times have I worn them in public? Answer: once. And they sure did stop traffic when I set stiletto foot onto the pedestrian crosswalk on Metcalfe St. downtown. Cars came to a screeching halt, which is rare at crosswalks in downtown Montreal. (So they’re good for something, yes?)

As for the mini-skirt, well . . . I bought it on a whim — for $15 — about eight years ago in a boutique in St-Jerome. How many times have I worn it in public? Answer: none. Sure, I’ve worn it around the house for appreciative admirers, but even I wouldn’t dare wear it downtown — and I do like to be a little scandalous with my attire sometimes. I have several short dresses . . . Yes, yes, I’ve gotta get it out of my system.

Then there’s the top in the picture, which isn’t really all that scandalous, but it is rather impractical because it keeps sliding off one shoulder. I didn’t know that when I bought it. But I discovered its impractical nature at work one hot summer day, while I was editing a story. One of my colleagues — a guy — kept giving me a funny look . . .

These aren’t the only impractical clothes and footwear that I own. There’s more . . . umm . . . let’s just say there are a number of pairs of shoes with very spiky heels that hurt like hell when I put them on. They have never been worn in public, but I will wear them out there some day. Yes,  I will, I will. I must, no matter how much they hurt my feet, because, goodness me, I don’t want to waste my money.

Oy . . . yes, I know I seem hopeless at times, but I am actually “getting it out of my system,” albeit a little bit at a time. My g/f — who could play a munchkin in The Wizard of Oz — talked me into wearing flat shoes when we go out together so I wouldn’t tower over her (and make her look like a munchkin). Lordie, I hadn’t worn flat shoes since I first learned to walk all those years ago (don’t ask how many). I’ve been wearing heels all my life.

So, why did I take a picture of myself in that outfit? Smiles . . . Answer: So I could look back at that time of my life some day and have a good giggle. Yes, it’s all very juvenile, and I have already outgrown that stage. But I was a latecomer to my femme “teenage” years — and it has been a hoot. Now I mostly dress respectably . . . except for the times I don’t. Cause, you know, the rebel still remains . . .

Maybe that’s part of it . . . maybe we buy such impractical clothes as a way to rebel . . . Yes, that must be it. These boots are made for rebelling!