...seems to be pretty unavoidable, actually, if one combines a penchant for flowing, ground-trailing skirts and riding a bike. Well, either a little disorder, or (which has not YET happened, but I can see how it might) a full-scale magnificent crash off the bike in a welter of velvet and greasy chains.
Thus far I've avoided the issue as far as possible by knotting up my skirts on front and wearing bicycle leggings underneath. The trouble is that somehow it seems indecent to oik up or unknot my skirts in public, and wearing only the cycle leggings I feel naked! (I do NOT. DO. trousers.)
This is only going to get worse, I feel; a kind lady pointed out to me today in the market, after I'd gone to buy flowers and vegetables, that my dress was knotted around my thighs and looked a little strange... Bless her! I'd cycled in and completely forgotten to normalise myself.
At least, however, it just feels like a practical problem. The people here, thank goodness, don't seem to give a damn what anyone wears. Sure, most of them wear jeans and T-shirts all the time, as far as I can see, but they don't bat an eyelid at whatever I've chosen to wear, which is gloriously restful. I indulged in a daytrip to Wiesbaden last week, because I'd heard it was gorgeous; well, my main impression was, it felt exactly like one of those hyper-snob Italian spa towns (what is it about spa towns? something in the water, maybe...) (incidentally, the photo is of the Schiller statue in front of the opera house). Lots of extremely thin ladies in skinny white jeans, eyeing me disdainfully due to the lack of designer clothes and superabundance of flesh! Luckily I managed to confuse them with brilliant Italian earrings and matching hair flower... but I have to admit, I felt so much better coming back here!
Today the theatre had a Theaterfest, where the doors were flung open to the public. There was a costume fashion show, guided tours, scene painting for children, brilliant jazz concerts, enough unexpected sunshine to *really* enjoy beer and sausages in the open air, a wonderful opera highlights concert... oh, I had fun! Most of all, though, I appreciated the way the town and the theatre interreacted. The entertainments were all free. The costume show I attended was packed to the roof, and I was next to several entranced children, being instructed by their parents or grandparents, and evidently close to getting hooked on this idiotic art. People wandered in and out. Catching up with some singer friends later, they were assailed on all sides by friendly supporters. Evidently the town is proud of, and feels part of, its theatre. (I need to do a bit of thinking as to how one could extend this to, say, England, but it's a nice example to follow.)
The clothing dilemma can only get more complicated as the seasons close in; but I have to admit I'm actually enjoying it! The worst options are endurable; all I need now is a waterproof cape, and I'm Superwoman!