Put your casual foot forward

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Minnie and Mickey Mouse

It goes without saying that Mr. Wonderful was a man ahead of his time. I didn’t realize how far ahead until I read a recent article about “modern dating.”

This article, from the Wall Street Journal no less, opined that the modern way of dating is to show your true, basically unadorned, self. This generally translates into casual or athletic wear, messy bun or ball cap, minimal makeup if at all, and letting your winning personality shine.

In the time when the majority of people “meet” online first, the filtered and polished photographic first impression has led to a craving for a more relaxed first date look.

It really does make a lot of sense. It’s fine to want to put your best foot forward but there is also something freeing about being clean but not overly “done up.”

I probably just showed my age with that phrase. Better to let them know how things are going to be most of the time, right? If someone likes you with a clean face, unfussy hair and unpretentious attire, imagine their delight if the relationship sticks and they eventually see you try harder.

True self

It does seem silly to spend hours glitzing yourself up to look not at all like you might look most of the time.

Thirty years ago, on our first date, Mr. Wonderful showed up in sweatpants (they were blue). His reasoning: “I didn’t want you to think I was trying too hard.”

It’s funny because I don’t think I’ve seen him wear sweatpants since. Seriously, I’m not aware if he even owns a pair. Whatever the thought behind it, his theory obviously worked. He was adorable and charming (even in sweatpants).

I was also not misled into thinking I was falling for a fashion icon. I knew going in that I would have a mate who said “so what am I wearing?” before every dress up occasion.

In retrospect, instead of my fluffy circa 1992 big curled hair and cute crop top and denim skirt, I might have considered a ponytail, yoga pants that rarely see yoga, and a tee shirt — that would have been truth in advertising.

In other fashion news, Green M&M, the cartoon character who represents the iconic chocolate with the hard candy shell has also undergone a costume change. She swapped her cute white boots for white tennis shoes. Obviously, she got the memo about everyday being casual Friday.

Embracing comfort

It makes sense that after almost two years of pandemic, staying in, working from home and generally not having any reason to really dress up, people have embraced comfort. Alternatively, we have all forgotten how to dress up.

I’m guilty of this. I find that if I blow dry and curl my hair and put on a skirt, it is automatically assumed I am attending a wedding, funeral or job interview. Then again, even those are online via FaceTime or Zoom these days.  So it’s probably just the fact that I am fully dressed in a time when wearing “outside clothes” from the bottom up looks fancy.

Meanwhile, as the single folk are all dressing down for dates, Disney’s own Minnie Mouse is also going casual-ish.

We are told that Minnie, who has worn the same polka dot red dress (a classic!) since 1928, is now switching it up. She will wear a pantsuit designed by none other than designer Stella McCartney. So in case you aren’t sure where you are on the food chain, it’s a safe bet that Minnie Mouse has better outfits than you — or me.

I don’t know if anyone has told Mickey that this is happening. Is a pantsuit-wearing casual Minnie a sign that she is stepping out? Putting her best foot (paw?) forward by showing her more laid-back self?

The pantsuit is a nice step, but Minnie (short for Minerva by the way) still has a long way to go to beat some of her cartoon pals. After all, Donald Duck and Winnie the Pooh don’t even bother with pants.

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Kymberly Foster Seabolt lives in rural Appalachia with the always popular Mr. Wonderful, two small dogs, one large cat, two wandering goats, and a growing extended family.

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