In spring a woman’s fancy turns to —

dafsI am somewhat obsessed with clothes. I recently packed away my winter woolies and discovered that my warm-weather wardrobe was down to three dresses, three wearable pairs of capris and a mess of t-shirts, where mess = stained and pilled.  (I must have done a thorough edit last fall.)

So I started shopping, looking to have my fancy struck. But in the process of scouting the magazines for spring and summer wear, I’ve become worried about Eileen Fisher. She is showing a wardrobe appropriate for a Chinese funeral –  white being the color of mourning.

Is she depressed? Is she physically ill and fading away?

There is something sad about all these asymmetrical grey and white pajamas. The well-cut looseness– her trademark silhouette – is starting to look like she’s given up on the human body. These are clothes made for the couch, if you don’t mind looking like an unmade bed after watching a single episode of The Unbreakable Kimmie Schmidt. Then again, Ms. Fisher favors linen, the most passive-aggressive of all fabrics.

I’m not asking her to go all Lily Pulitzer. Eileen has always leaned to the monochromatic – especially black. But at least black is de trop, the presence of all color, dramatic. Her whites, on the other hand, are absent all drama; they threaten to make a girl disappear.

I own a small collection of EF, mostly purchased from consignment shops. They are well made and last for years. My Eileen Fisher “pieces” (which is what you call a sweatshirt that retails for more than $200) include a pair of pants, four long sleeve silk tees, the aforementioned sweatshirt and a sweater.

Said sweater hails from the late ‘90s and is the color of an emerald in a jewelry case, where the lights are arranged so the gem seems to glow from within. I bought it at Bloomingdales in the days Bloomingdales sold clothes for women who work for a living. Whenever I open the drawer and see that green – like a daffodil stem before it flowers — I am encouraged. The glass is half full of springtime. Things are going to be okay.

Her new white togs only elicit a sigh of resignation.

Or maybe Eileen is designing specifically for brown and black women; women for whom a beige poncho isn’t camouflage but a yin that proves the power and pop of their yang.

But to what end? Lupita Nyong’o would look good in a brown paper bag. Or a white plastic bag. Or even linen sack by Eileen Fischer. But why on earth would she bother when the whole damn rainbow suits her so well.





  1. Zona Gale on May 5, 2015 at 5:24 pm

    I’ve dreamed of dressing in whites, i.e., cream, chalk white, tan, etc. I’ve also dreamed of dressing in loose, comfortable, pajama like clothing or tunics in soft linen pastels. So, if I should get a large amount of money, white it will be. In the meantime, I will search up-scale consignment shops for pastels in linen. I’m hungry after just finishing “The Boston Girl.”

  2. Shelly on June 12, 2015 at 10:15 pm

    Absolutely loved Boston Girl. Am recommending it to my friends. I’m a little slow on getting the latest read, but when I get to it, it’s so satisfying!

  3. Kris Eikelberger on August 11, 2015 at 11:14 am

    I truly enjoyed the Boston Girl. So I am now searching for more books and found many. So off to the library I will go to see if I can get more to read. Thanks for a great book.

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