6 Things I Envy About Other Women

It’s the end of a long work-day and I’m caught in the thick of the rotisserie chicken panic at Whole Foods, where moms like me scramble for dinner redemption.   Scorching hot chicken in one hand, groceries, purse and gym bag in the other, I hop on the escalator to escape, when suddenly I find myself mesmerized by the skinny sequined belt on the woman in front of me.

Style/Photo Credit: Fashionbananas.com

Wrapped twice around her waist, it held together an otherwise ordinary bulky, cable-knit beige sweater.  I thought to myself, “man, I could never get away with that” and allowed myself to fantasize just for one minute what it must be like to nonchalantly throw a shimmery belt over anything in your closet.


This wasn’t the first time my mind has drifted aimlessly into the covet zone, but I don’t like thinking of myself as an envious person.   Thru the years I’ve consciously used lust to either change my circumstances or accept them.  But it’s when I catch tiny glimpses of things I realize I will never have, that I take a deep sigh and longingly wish, even if just for a minute or two, about what life is like on the other side.

What can I say, the grass is always greener and I have desires, I am weak.  So if you’re having a bad day and find yourself with one of these qualities here, just know that if you cross my path, I’m wanting a little of that magic you’ve got.

1) Tiny waists that showcase the perfect belt.  Even over bulky things (above).  I’m too short waisted for this to look good and for the love of God, can’t even think about bulky sweaters with or without the belt.  That doesn’t mean I didn’t try;  I have about twenty of them hanging in my closet – neon, animal print, sequined, gold — unused but not unloved.  Thankfully, this trend, which peaked in 2010, is waning, but it would be nice knowing I could get away with this if I wanted to.

Photo credit: AP


2) Legs that can wear shoe booties and ankle straps. Oscar de le Renta is a cruel monster for designing these shoes that I don’t understand yet desperately want but will never be able to wear.  While my legs usually work in my favor, I’ve learned after years of being 5’2’ that there just isn’t enough body real-estate to carry this off without looking like a well hoofed pony.  I will forever be serving a life sentence of leg lengthening stilettos in nude, black, metallic or leopard.

Photo Credit: Mario Testino, British Vogue 2011

3) A great back  There is nothing sexier than restraint coupled with the element of surprise and this case that means revealing a swath of skin that no one sees coming. On a woman with a great back, people are left glancing, staring; on me they’re left with “I think you forgot to zip your dress up”.

It’s one of the most elegantly sensual looks a woman can sport, but not everyone should.  Now my back is just fine, it doesn’t hurt, it holds me up, but it’s just kind of there.  A woman with a great back has length, shape, muscle tone and great skin.   It’s actually a tough look to pull off well, but one of the most under-estimated assets a woman can have.

I actually think back is the new butt.

Photo Credit: AP


4. Naked arms  If I had great arms, my closet would be crammed with sheath dresses in every color.  I would make full arm gestures in meetings.  Every day would be an arm party.   A great arm isn’t too skinny (looking at you Angie) it’s not too muscular (hey Madge), it’s shapely and supple like Michelle’s or Halle Berry’s.  Mine offset narrow shoulders and tend to be a fat magnet, so if I’m 5 pounds over my fighting weight or haven’t planked in a month (who am I kidding, I don’t really plank) they resemble little Jimmy Dean sausages.

The test of a really great arm?  Being able to hold your arms high and wave without having your upper arms do the same.

I dream.  Or maybe I should just plank.

5. Women who can wear creamy beige neutrals.   Color is my prison.  While I am a huge advocate of color and think it’s one of the easiest ways to look prettier, for me it’s my only choice, especially as I’ve gotten older.   Largely it’s my skin tone.  I’ve got that Irishy, freckled thing going on with yellowy undertones that drown in creams, beiges and just about any neutral.  And neutrals look so sumptuous, and rich.   Don’t even get me started on the glories of a white crisp shirt worn with nothing at all.

None of it can be mine in this lifetime, I will forever be dressed like a rainbow.

6. Women who look great in wear stripes.  There is no sign of this trend going away, especially if you’ve seen the collections from the spring 2013 NYFW.  And why should there be?  Stripes are awesome and classic.  But no matter how many interpretations of the Breton shirt I’ve tried, they just look terrible on me (see arms above).  I wrote about my stripe lust over the summer after yet another failed attempt to wear stripes.  But for you girls who look wonderful in stripes; enjoy them, love while I live my striped fantasy life thru you.

Ironically, when telling my mother-in-law (she who all things South American beauty savvy) about this post, she said,

“You know what I envy?  People who really don’t care about what they look like”. 

Well said MIL, well said.

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