One hundred and sixty-four

“Dress like a total hussy!!!!” (suggestion from Leah) while shopping and having lunch in Yorkville

Photo by Josh Rachlis

I felt like a cross between Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, Olivia Newton-John in Grease (at the end) and Mimi Marquez from the musical RENT.  Walking in to a designer store in Yorkville (for those of you who don’t know – exclusive shopping district in Toronto known for its upscale stores, restaurants, hotels and very conservatively-dressed people) wearing shiny black tights, high-heeled shoes, a bra, a see-through lace top and too much make-up was an experience out of a movie.

I wish I’d had someone filming other people’s reactions, because I could only see glances of them when I walked by.  Canadians are often too polite to stare and comment, until it’s behind someone’s back!  But here are some of the reactions I did witness:

  • I biked there and a truck driver honked at me twice, each time he passed me.
  • An older businessman stared at me with his mouth open.
  • Quite a few double takes and some evil looks from a few older women.
  • A woman in Yorkville turned to her friend as I walked by and said “oh, wow”.
  • A “hello” in a drawn out manner and a turn of his head from a young guy walking by me.
  • A man with his son, stopped what he was doing and said “oh yeah” to me.
  • The store clerk while I was trying things on counted how many items I had more than once to make sure I wasn’t stealing anything.
  • I went for lunch with the Eco-comedian and I didn’t remind him that it was ‘out of my comfort zone’ month.  He looked really uncomfortable (his words are “scared”, “is this the same person”, and “what?!”) until he figured out why I was dressed this way.
  • The server wouldn’t stop glancing down at my boobs – and it was a girl!
  • And my very favourite: a girl working at one of the designer shops told me she loved my outfit and said that it’s very “in” right now!

I am generally a fairly conservative dresser.  I like to wear clothes that are a little bigger and comfortable, although still look nice.  I wear a lot of dresses or jeans.  I won’t even wear a bikini.  Before yesterday, I wouldn’t have been caught dead in this outfit (even though I’m sure it could have been a lot worse).

I found out quite quickly that it’s all about confidence.  I just strutted around like I owned the look and no one questioned me.  Women obviously wear stuff like this and according to the store clerk, it’s really not that far from what’s in fashion right now.  And I only spent $10 on my outfit!  Despite appearing confident, though, I actually felt a mix between sexy and totally uncomfortable.  As I was cycling I wanted to cry – to crawl up in a ball and not let anyone see me.  My back-up t-shirt that was in my bag kept calling to me.  I just wanted to blend in with the crowd – I always have, being an average height and weight, brunette, white girl.  It took a lot of energy to have people notice me, and it was fun for awhile, but I’m happy to go back behind my computer and my summer dress and become anonymous again.
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18 thoughts on “One hundred and sixty-four

  1. Awesome:) Love the different responses and YES it would have great to capture experience on camera.
    WANT to do it again so we can get a film crew on board???
    Cheers!

  2. Awesome idea Schweitz!!!! You look great!!! I bet that was difficult to do but I would have loved to be a fly on the wall in those boutiques after you left. I think most people are a little envious of very boldly dressed women strutting their stuff around town. I know I am.

  3. Lindsay, here is a truth: you’re an attractive young woman. Hell ya, the obnoxious starers and whistlers can go, but be proud and happy that you got some more tasteful glances… and heck, I’d do a double take, regardless of what you were wearing!

    Boy, this month is a month of serious bravery!

    Good job.

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  9. This was a funny one! Congrats on 366 days! And Congrats on being Freshly Pressed! You’re an AWESOME Aussie. Incidentally your country is awesome … was on my Bucket List and I went out there to visit Sydney, Ayers Rock, and Cairns. Whew!. Best trip ever!

    • Thanks! I’m actually Canadian, but I did live out in Melbourne for a bit. It’s beautiful out there and I consider a lot of the people out there my family. I miss it dearly, as I’m sure you can understand. It’s an amazing country!

  10. OOh is that in front of Anthropologie? I can’t wait to be back in Toronto just in time for spring. I feel very Carrie Bradshaw in the sense that I truly believe I have a relationship with Toronto and being away from the city itself really gets to me after more than a week!
    FYI – You may be more ‘hussy’ than your normal self here, but I’m sure you saw some prize pieces that day that looked more cheap hooker than you 🙂

  11. This whole blog is so charming, but this post in particular has caught my eye! You were insanely brave to do this, I don’t think I’d ever have the confidence to be able to do it, even as an ‘out of my comfort zone’ challenge!

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