Fashion on Parade

July 6, 2009 · 0 comments

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There I was, minding my own Fourth of July parade business, snapping photos of monster trucks and juggling pirates on the village insurance guy’s float when I saw him.

He couldn’t wait to see what was coming next, but as a law abiding citizen, he wouldn’t step out into traffic to see, preferring to keep his feet planted and lean into it instead.

That’s why I zeroed in on his feet… and those shoes.

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In case the significance of this fashion statement might elude you, let’s review a little basic parenting math, okay?

1). By law, you must feed your children.

2). When children are fed, they grow.

3). Children’s feet grow faster than any other part of their body.

This means that this little guy didn’t save these puppies to wear, year after year, in the American celebration of Independence Day. These were, most likely, the shoes he wore last week to Billy’s house and will wear three weeks from now to Gramma’s, except maybe he’ll put socks on.

They’re just his shoes, as in “… Jared, we’re going to be late for church, AGAIN!  WHERE ARE YOUR DANG SHOES??!”

Jared’s shoes: red, white and blue, spangled with stars and covered in post-modern stripes.

Now, I’m not from around here, so no doubt you know better, but this strikes me as an astoundingly patriotic fashion choice.

I took a second look around the crowd.

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The children of Idaho demonstrate the most remarkable “haute couture de Americana” fashion sense of any ankle-biters I have seen across This Great Nation. These little goobers were the most profound proof I’ve seen yet that I have chosen to live in a land of the Free and a home of the Brave.

Plus, they can make a hat brim out of darned near anything.

Not that they all sling ’em low and/or locked. Any jaunty angle, if worn with confidence, will do.

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Wouldn’t you love to share the paint station in kindergarten with this little charmer? I’ll bet she can and would flick paint at the class nose-picker without a moment’s hesitation.

She looks like the pint-sized Idaho version of my mom.

I loved her. I loved her saucy sweet face, the flags (she had one in each hand and was shaking them like maracas in time to the high-school marching band), her hat, and baby… those beads….

Of course, accessory confidence and flag skills weren’t isolated to the girls next door.

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The handsome tater tots were just as expressive in their flamboyant fashion sensibilities.
And, as in all communities, there was a wide range of tastes in evidence. Some were satisfied with a more refined approach.

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This elegant red-white-and-blue ensemble, set off with a modest yet decidedly “there” map motif and single strand of beads, was representative of the more demure side of the street. Simple, understated, yet bold enough to eschew a hat altogether in the hot July sun….

Again, check the shoes.

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I almost mommy-bit those wee calves. I didn’t, though. I could see he was struggling.

A flotilla of bead-tossin’ beauty queens had driven past and his well-meaning older sister had snagged and re-gifted unto him two additional sets of beads.

Not all gifts are warmly received.

Personal fashion sense will always have the final word, and this dude was definitely not a triple-strand kinda guy. However, when the necklaces are longer than your arms, plus you have a candy as big as your fist in one hand, paring down can be tough going.

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Of course, there will always be a place in the world for women of big hats.

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With this kind of flair, there will be no sun damage in this punkin’s future.

And, there will always be beach blondes with mothers who understand the value of a good set of scrunchies and bows.

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When was the last time I wore a scrunchie? I used to love the big fat ones. I don’t recall ever sporting patriotic ribbonage though. Not my fault. Not my mother’s fault. It’s just not the Canadian way. We feel somehow it’s slightly unpatriotic to be overly patriotic.

I do, however, respect and admire the unabashed American-ness of American pride.

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And in about eight years or so, when this little sweetie has traded in her Fourth of July head gear for the flippy skirt and pom-poms of the high school cheer leading squad, I plan to be among the admiring crowd cheering her on from the sidelines.

You’ll recognize me easily enough. I’ll be the one wearing red, white, and blue.

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