Après Pool

Residents of Cemetery Village, FL sunning themselves by the pool
I haven’t watched morning news shows in some several years mainly because if I wanted to see two middle aged women sitting around getting drunk, I’d invite a friend over. Also there doesn’t seem to be any news anymore. Yes, I love hearing about every step Wills and Kate take, but occasionally I like something with a little more substance. Call me a stick-in-the-mud, but I like my morning news to tell me if we went to war with North Korea overnight or if Greece still exists. KIDDING! Seriously, the only reason I don’t watch all 17 hours of the Today show is because the TV is inconveniently located. If there’s an important news story, SVU will do a storyline about it within a few weeks. Also I really like knowing the latest in alcohol-delivery technology which is really what Hoda and Kathie Lee do best.

I recently watched a Today segment on what to wear poolside this summer. Admittedly, I might not have been the target audience for the piece. I don’t dress to be seen poolside. I dress to be invisible. The surest way to do this is wear a swimsuit with a skirted bottom and have your cover-up be something like a t-shirt from a 1991 SAE mixer. Or, in my case, any number of formerly-white peasant-style blouses covered in paint and live bait stains and a nylon fishing hat from Eddie Bauer. I no longer have to time or energy to stage a fashion show to get in a pool, and certainly not a lake or ocean, but I was intrigued by the spot on Today because the Style Expert they had on was costumed, and the first outfit they showed involved a blazer.

Maybe “costumed” isn’t a fair term. She had on a little Pucci-inspired shift and giant white glasses on her head. She looked like what you’d want to look like poolside. She looked cool, pulled-together, color-coordinated. She looked like a woman who would neither sweat nor cuss like your Uncle Leroy while trying to haul four beach chairs, a cooler, and three toddlers down to the water’s edge. Obviously, I hated her immediately and watched the rest of the segment strictly to mock her.

So, shorts and a blazer poolside is a thing. Because you’ll be wearing a “pleat short” you won’t need jewelry, OBVIOUSLY. Jewelry with pleats? Sure, with pleated mom jeans! Okay, first? No. Second? A BLAZER? BY THE POOL? It’s the Poolside Collection by JP Morgan Chase! Her reasoning was sound. You have the shorts as a swim coverup and then you toss on the blazer for–get this– what she calls “après pool”. Just like après ski. You know this because she says, “just like après ski.” I don’t know what skiing has to do with being poolside in the Brooks Brothers Pool Bound Business Collection™, but I am out of the fashion loop.

Nowhere was this more evident than in showing a great poolside outfit for pregnant gals. The model had on a cute maxi dress with an incredibly unfortunate print that looked like an abstract crayon resist done by an unmedicated ax murderer. The model wore a fabulous wide-brimmed sun hat. You know why? If you guessed to keep the sun off her face, you are so wrong you’re probably still wearing high-waisted sailor jeans from last summer. No, when you’re pregnant–I’m sorry. When you, “have a nice, beautiful belly to celebrate,” you’ll want to “counterbalance proportionally” with a hat. Also the maxi keeps you cool because, “it’s very breezy. It almost creates an internal whirlwind inside.” DUH. Everyone knows maxis with wings keep you cooler and drier and also make your business feel like it’s being touched by the chilly breath of a thousand angels. WHEE!

They also showed a cute little strapless shift. I say “little” because it was from Banana Republic and their entrances are decorated with pressure-sensitive doormats so if you weigh something ridiculous like a triple digit, this giant spring shoots up and catapults you over to the food court. But they give you a BOGO coupon to Auntie Anne’s, so there’s that. The look was ruined by a hairstyle of a sort for which the only explanation could be they ran out of time before finishing and had to get her on set. Rather than have one bun or even two pigtails, they had her in an unholy combination of the two. One side of her head sported a low side ponytail. The other side was festooned with a top-knot placed at a jaunty angle. Like a fascinator made of hair. The only thing I know to compare the look to is that Rachel Dratch character who has a baby arm growing out of the top of her head. It was most unfortunate.

I’m sure if I had to sit on set and come up with three minutes worth of descriptions for swim cover-ups, I’d be a blithering idiot and come up with phrases like “sassy, sexy, and sun-ready” and not use the plural to describe any article of clothing. Seriously, what is it with fashion people? You don’t wear pants, but a pant. You eschew panties for a panty. It’s not a pair of shoes, it’s a statement shoe. And everything is set off by a smoky eye and a nude lip. This is why models are so thin. They’re trying to lose body parts so the descriptions are accurate. Damn you, fashionistas!

I was, however, inspired. I was at my favorite little boutique (i.e. Target) yesterday and I bought a maxi dress. I KNOW! Here’s the thing. I have to go to New Orleans the end of the month. If you’ve never been in New Orleans the end of June, you can recreate the feeling by standing in a bathroom with your shower on full blast hot. I’m looking to create an internal whirlwind to keep me cool. Also I think a maxi will cover my ankles up since they tend to stay the size of watermelons from April to October. I am undaunted by the fact that my arms have seen neither tone nor tan since cellphones came in bags. I’ll celebrate a large, pale upper arm by counterbalancing with a jewel-toned strappy wedge sandal and a gimlet eye.

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Susan Wilson

Susan Wilson

Susan Wilson decided to be a writer in 6th grade upon winning a creative writing contest with an entry defying both logic and basic rules of grammar. Leaving behind a career in retail and training, she launched Yeah, And Another Thing after coming to the astounding conclusion that real writers need to write. A native of Laurel, Mississippi, she now lives in Memphis, Tennessee with her husband and stepchildren. When she is procrastinating mightily, she can be found on The Twitters and The Facebook.