Sunday, February 10, 2013

Kennedy Women + Rag & Bone Midnight Patrol Pants

I recently read the fascinating story of the Kennedy wives, “Jackie, Ethel, Joan” by J. Randy Taraborrelli. After only a few pages, I developed an admiration for all three women – for their strength, what they endured, and how they persevered – that I’m pocketing and taking with me as I navigate the dawn of adulthood and face the ups and downs common among humanity – American royalty or not.

Jackie stands out for her conviction, independence and poise.
“She wanted everything that was the finest in music, drama, ballet, opera, poetry . . . and set a tone that would encourage culture around this country.”

“She had her own life, she made her own interests, and she created this atmosphere about herself.”

“She was a movie star without ever having made a movie, and the public was more captivated by her than ever.”

Ethel’s embrace of the Kennedy political machine, and enthusiasm for family and fun are unrivaled.
“She really wanted people to be happy. She set a tone for things, and wanted to surround herself and Bobby with a sense of gaiety. She was fun.”

Joan’s eventual triumph over passivity and a dismissive husband is empowering.
“I believe that private time is growth time . . . having a camaraderie and private time is equivalent to having a full life.”

In a time when I’m counting down days and constantly looking ahead to the next thing, Jackie’s holistic perspective on experience resonates with, comforts and encourages me not to wish time away. Good and bad don't occur in isolation; there will never be prolonged existence of one without the other.

She said, “I have been through a lot and have suffered a great deal. But I have had lots of happy moments, as well. The good, the bad, hardship, the joy, the tragedy, love and happiness are all interwoven into one single, indescribable whole that is called life. You cannot separate the good and the bad. And perhaps there is no need to do so, either.”

There are profound truths to be taken from the Kennedys, but they were merely mortals. And like all women, Jackie, Ethel and Joan wore clothes. So along with the life lessons, I absorbed a bit on fashion. The context above serves to convey that my respect for the women – and Jackie in particular -- is based in something deeper than a superficial adoration of her signature oversized sunglasses. It is because of this appreciation that I am giving any attention to her manner of dress.

The fact that Jackie wore harem pants made me reconsider slouchy trousers. Rag & Bone’s Midnight Patrol Pants have a loose fit that hints of harem, but aren’t excessively baggy or hoodlumish. Floral silk-georgette feminizes the edgy pair, demonstrating versatility and suggesting that beneath a hard shell is a soft center. Pajama-inspired pants are trending right now, so seize the opportunity to be simultaneously comfortable and cutting-edge. Pulling these off shows confidence worthy of the First Lady and will send your fashion cred soaring.

In the spirit of Jackie and living a well-rounded (level-headed but at times lavish) life, I assembled both dress-down and dress-up looks. No matter the hour, you’ll be photo-ready and regal, just as the Queen of Camelot always was.

dress down.
one. // two. // three

dress up.
one. // two. // three

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