Tomorrow evening I’m taking my 14 year old daughter to see One Direction, the British/Irish boy band sensation that’s sweeping the nation, and I thought I’d take a minute to share my outfit selection criteria for the other moms who are generous or insane enough to do this for their children.
Now, normally when I see a show, I wear what I consider the mullet of concert attire: business on the bottom, party on the top.
No one can see what you’re wearing from the waist down at a show, so comfort is key. Maybe in college I could have worn high heels or flats for a general admission show, but that ship sailed with the simultaneous onset on my 40s and podiatric problems. So I always go with Dansko clogs, which I possess in a vast range of colors from black to black. It’s the only way to stay upright through the second encore.
As for pants I am a purist: jeans. Jeans with enough pockets to hold keys, lipgloss, tickets, money, and the ID for which you won’t be asked. Pretty soon I’m going to break down and buy reading glasses, at which point I may switch to cargo pants. But for now, jeans will do.
On top is where the fun starts. I like to choose a shirt bright enough so that there’s a tiny hope that a shoe-gazing bass player might spot me that one time he looks up from the mic stand for eye contact. Is it so much to ask to break the 4th wall momentarily, for what I’ve paid for my tickets? So I pull out the fuschia pinks and turquoise blues. If my seat is way back in the room, I’m not afraid to throw a little bit of leopard at the problem.
But as any mom of a teenage girl can tell you, there comes a time when you start to fade into the background as she takes her rightful place at center stage. Nowhere is this going to more apparent that at a One Direction show, when every single hormonal teen girl is going to be trying with every fiber of her being to attract the attention of Zayn, Niall, Harry, Louis and/or Liam. You can fight the encroaching invisibility, or accept the inevitable like the Queen Mum with her daily cocktail and a fabulous collection of hats and handbags.
My role at One Direction night is to be unseen beside my daughter, to be that uninterrupted visual field so she’ll stand out, like the mat in a picture frame. Maybe that’s what Justin Bieber means when he sings “I’ma make you shine bright like you’re lying in the snow.” I’m being generous. I don’t think anyone, least of all Bieber, knows what he means.
So this is what I’m wearing: Dansko clogs – I’m going with the black. Black jeans. And a black shirt I bought at Target 7 years ago. It has sort of a sexy pirate lacing situation going on, but I’ll be sure to lock that down before I get out of the car. That’s probably when I’ll put in my earplugs too.
The overall effect should be French mime, ninja, anarchist, or one of those Broadway tech crewpeople who scurry around the stage feigning invisibility while the actors with lines get all the attention.
Oh, one more thing. Does anyone have a black balaclava I could borrow?