Happy Friday Fashionistas!
Ah I’ve missed you.
I had this whole six part installment ready on fashion trends that I started LAST November, and then life hit.
But I really want to get back to writing Fashion Fridays because I love them so. Plus, if you’ll recall, I’m on a discretionary spending FREEZE which means I’m not buying anything. Nada. Zilch. Zipo.
So I need to live vicariously through you. Send me your fashion dilemma and let me shop for you. I’m free unlike these subscription services, and based on one of my best work buddies recent experience, I’ll be a whole lot more spot on than they are. (A series of 15 minute voxes this week describing her woes with not one but two different services!)
However, today, I actually am dusting off my own dilemma from December to report on for your Fashion Friday enjoyment.
I knew I was going on a spending freeze in January for a full quarter and I also know I had my kids school gala to attend.
I have about three gala dresses in my rotation, but I’ve worn them a number of times and they’re pretty memorable dresses so I wanted to buy a new gown but didn’t want to spend a fortune.
My best momma friend from the kids school and I started talking about what we envisioned. She wanted a neutral dress with really bright and bold accessories. (She has achieved this with a smashing navy gown from Nordstrom’s and spectacular bold heels and jewelry. Plus she’s been working out way harder than me and is going to be the belle of the ball. Love that my friends are not only gracious and smart but also have fabulous fashion insight! This is her gown. Everyone should own this dress. Just don’t wear it to our gala.)
I wanted a bold gown. If you haven’t noticed, I enjoy color. Pattern. Unique styles and fun accessories. I rarely do pattern on a gown (save for the above) because it’s hard to pull off if you’re not super slim, which I haven’t been in quite a while. But I like color. And sparkle.
I had a hankering for green but was willing to do blue or red too.
Then I fell in love with this gown. And found it on sale. I ordered it. The gown looked lovely on. From the front. When I turned to the side, it looked like we were expanding from a family of five to a family of six.
I stewed and wondered and hemmed-and-hawed, but eventually decided to return it. I would have to lose at least 10 pounds, in my middle, which wasn’t going to happen during the month of Disney and trial.
While at Nordstrom’s, I tried on over a dozen gowns. Most I pulled, but a few the saleslady pulled for me. I liked them okay. But as my darling momma friend said as I texted her from the dressing room (seriously y’all, how did mommas shop before cell phones – your besties are always one “phone a friend” away), the other one was better than these.
I left Nordstrom’s empty handed.
Dillard’s had an amazing selection of evening gowns this season, a far better selection for me than Nordstrom’s (a rarity), but they never run sales.
Regardless, I marched into a dressing room with another dozen+ gowns to see what I could find.
By now, you guys know my limitations on dressing. I’m 5’10 and a size 12. I carry the bulk of my weight, now, in my middle. (Pre-kids, it was all hips and thighs.) When I look for a special event outfit, I like to feature my neck and clavicle. I have pretty skin and a long neck and I’m not remotely afraid of color.
So guess what I ended up with?
Hahahahaha. Life is funny.
Here’s what happened.
I narrowed it down to the below three gowns.
My friend liked the red because it had the bold color I was going for and the bow feature was a pretty and modern fashion feature. I liked it too. But. There was so much gathering in the pleats of the skirt that it made me feel thicker. This is a night out with my man and I was going for something a little sexier (not we’re-dating-sexy, but hey baby you look great!, and a red bow dress won’t get me that reaction).
I loved the Badgley Mischka full skirted metallic striped gown. Hand’s down it was my favorite. Here were the hiccups. One, it was $300. Not in my budget. Two, it was low cut and I wasn’t sure how much old cleavage you can show. Three, while my friends gave it the green light, they said I’d need to go get a fake tan because I was too pale to pull it off. Sigh.
This left the black. It definitely hit the mark on slimming. That’s the beauty of solid black, right? It had a little peplum around the waist which worked to my advantage (those can go either way). It had a cool neckline. Plus, while I had none of the appropriate undergarments in the dressing room, I knew with the right bra and Spanx as well as sparkly vintage jewels and high heels it would look good. I would feel good as well as comfortable which isn’t an expectation for gala wear.
So there you have it.
My advice when shopping for special events: be willing to release preconceived ideas of what you envisioned and try on a wide spectrum of gowns. You may surprise yourself. Or you may get exactly what you’re looking for. And always, always, have a buddy on text standby.
Don’t forget, send me some fashion fodder for the weeks ahead!