May 25, 2018
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My overalls from Victoria’s Secret

Renee Ordway
By Renee Ordway, Special to the BDN

I’m in the market for a pair of overalls.

I last bought a pair about 15 years ago from Victoria’s Secret.

True story.

I loved them and I wore them out.

The best part was that my husband loved them, too.

“Oooh you’re wearing your overalls today,” he’d whisper provocatively.

Which would send our children dashing from the room in horror.

True story.

As my overalls wore out, the left buckle broke. I wore them anyway with the strap dangling down the front.

“That’s the ‘in’ thing,” my mother once said to someone who took notice of my sagging strap.

She clearly gave me way too much credit. I don’t think there was anything about my overalls that was “in.” My buckle was just broken.

Not many seemed to share my taste in shapeless, practical denim. But I didn’t care, and to be perfectly honest, I didn’t understand why. I think they can be quite sexy on a lady, but clearly most people don’t agree with me.

So I was not surprised when the cover photo accompanying Travel and Leisure magazine’s recently released story about the worst-dressed cities in the country featured a woman sporting overalls.

The article, in case you haven’t already heard, ranked Portland, Maine, as the eighth worst-dressed city in the country.

I’m assuming Bangor and Milbridge weren’t even in the running.

The article noted that Portland earned its place largely because of its “limited shopping options” and “one of the least diverse populations.”

Yup. Milbridge and Bangor clearly were not among the considered contenders.

Anchorage, Alaska, was voted No. 1 — the worst-dressed city in the country.

I suppose it’s pretty hard to pull off high fashion when six months out of the year, residents are bundled up in hip-length parkas and bunny boots.

On the day a reporter interviewed an Alaskan labor economist about the dubious distinction, the economist was wearing a bow tie that featured characters from “The Simpsons.”

Face it, if he also was wearing a pair of L.L. Bean slip-on boots, he would have fit in perfectly fine at a Bangor City Council meeting.

If you Google “Maine” and “fashion,” you get a Portland-based site that lets visitors know that Maine fashion is unpretentious and comfortable.

The second site listed is L.L. Bean.

The third site listed is also L.L. Bean.

Enough said.

When you do the same with “Alaska” and “fashion,” you hit on an Alaskan fashion Facebook page and the profile picture is of a Muck boot.

Another top Alaskan fashion site is Kozy Kuspuks Inc., which advertises a lot of Polarteck items, along with fleeces and camouflage “No-See-Um” jackets.

But for those of you who actually find Portland’s place in the poll offensive, take heart. Believe it or not, Portland residents and visitors apparently dress more stylishly than those in Salt Lake City, Baltimore, Atlanta, San Antonio, Dallas and Orlando.

In my opinion, Orlando should get a pass, since it is probably hampered by all those theme park tourists, many from Maine and Alaska, who still find it most convenient to sport a fanny pack while visiting.

Fanny packs probably lower the fashion bar a great deal, but truthfully, is there anything more convenient, comfortable, practical and unpretentious?

Sort of like overalls.

For reasons I can’t fathom, Victoria’s Secret doesn’t carry overalls anymore, and so I have been searching the Internet with limited success.

But I shall find a pair and the good thing is that when I do, they will have enough pockets allowing me to leave my fanny pack at home — thereby increasing my fashionista ranking exponentially.

I might just have to move to Portland.

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