18 June 2008

Long (not so) cool woman (in a black dress)

In the shopping malls, indeed. Ok, that was pretty funny...

Yes! It's shopping season! Again!

It's always shopping season. Because I avoid shopping like the plague.

Formal wear.


Ball gown.

I told my MIL that the only way I will wear one is if I find one on sale. Hugely, massively on sale.

(I am so not wearing a ball gown. Honestly, those of you who know me, or at the least have seen me...ball gown? Last week, when I wore a silk sheath to the son's graduation, he looked at me, and asked, "Can't you just wear jeans and a sweater?")

I have a minimal sense of style, and I'm the first to admit it. No one is ever going to look at me and say, "Wow! That woman has a great sense of personal style!" When I got married, I walked into the only wedding dress store I knew, went straight to the sale rack, and bought the first dress in my size. Granted, in the late 1980s, at my height (tall) with my frame (medium), it was hard to go wrong, and pretty much anything was going to be flattering, assuming it was long enough.

Most of what qualifies as "formal" wear in my closet is black. I have a black Anne Klein cocktail dress that looks vaguely asinine on me (too flouncy), and two long black skirts, one wool, one crepe. I have an assortment of silk sweaters, sleeved and sleeveless, that I wear with the skirts, though the sweaters get out to concerts more frequently than they do anything formal. I did wear one to my father-in-law's birthday dinner.

With jeans.

NICE jeans!

Periodically, I throw myself on the mercy of a sympathetic salesperson and usually end up with something I'm convinced I'll never wear.

(Yes, one pair made it out of the closet and onto my rear end. The spouse was really happy. He says I dress up for everyone but him, which is sort of funny since I don't ever actually dress up given the fact that I lack in the dressing up department.)

These days, there seem to be two flavors of women's formal wear: prom and MOB. Obviously, I'm not hip to either one, in part because I'm not going to the prom (ONCE was enough) nor am I an MOB. It doesn't help that I was raised with a very conservative Beltway view of what is appropriate attire. This precludes animal prints, obviously. And I don't want to get involved in the complicated underpinnings that some of these dresses would require. And I categorically refuse to wear weird satiny skirt suits.

(Full disclosure. I did find a beautiful Badgley Mischka cocktail dress. It's more expensive than my wedding dress was. It's really tasteful and lovely, and I'd probably look like a grown up in it, but I can always think of better uses for my money, you see. Like *cough* concert tickets...)

Maybe the thing to do is hire a tailor to make me a pair of silk trousers based on the pattern of my favorite jeans. Then I can wear the silk sweaters.

Or I'll just buy another black dress. And hide.

Go listen to some good music: "Long Cool Woman (In a Black Dress)" from the album The Hollies Greatest Hits by The Hollies.

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