Day 26 What to wear on a special occasion ?


Day 26 landed on our sixteenth wedding anniversary. Most of the day was not any different than any other Saturday: running the kids around to dance, Pokémon cards launch at #yourlocalgamestoreand a couple of play dates. So for that I sported my oh-so-easy static wardrobe. Simple choice for the routine.

I love-love Derby Day. Fashion, horses, big hats, and mint juleps … could there be any better combo of goodness? It’s hard to compete with all of that! I have never been to the Derby, but for sure it is on my bucket list. And even though I haven’t yet attended in person, I still like to dress up (hat included) and watch from our living room, ideally with some friends over (if time allows for a little party). Sadly, I completely missed it this year – we lost track of the schedule, and I was getting ready for the anniversary dinner when it came on (Tim was running errands). And our kids were sad too, since we usually read the descriptions of the horses and randomly pick our favorites.

Anyway, I was super excited to wear the dress I had rented from thRent the Runway for our anniversary dinner. It was a great maxi from Free People. We were going to a French restraint, so I felt the French bohemian look was fitting. The dress was super low cut so I did have to add a tank, since I am decidedly not walking a red carpet here in South Charlotte. I loved the dress, and they offered me 60% off if I wanted to purchase it. I did consider that, but it was super long – even with my platform sandals it dusted the floor. The length created a problem when I stood up from the dinner table. I thought I was safe after I cleared the dress from under my shoes. Well, not so safe after all: as I started to rise from the table I was yanked back down by the hem. So I cleared it and tried again … 3 times. I’m sure I looked like I had had too much to drink and was losing my balance every time I stood up. Our waiter had fun laughing at me too. Since we already paid the bill, his inhibitions were down. Then I gracefully floated out the door making sure not to trip on my platforms and make a greater fool of myself. So that was an easy decision: even with 60% off I am not keeping a dress that has a mind of its own and is determined to humiliate me. But this is where I often get into trouble: the joy of some aspect of clothing can bring me to an unwise purchase. Thinking back on it, I loved the feel and the weight of the fabric; it was voluminous, yards and yards of silky fabric that felt so luxurious as it brushed against my skin. It had gorgeous butterfly kimono sleeves that show just the right amount of skin. It is a huge temptation not to buy a dress that makes me feel like a princess, especially deeply discounted. I will stay strong in my minimalism: even though it was a great deal and felt beautiful on my body, I will resist because in the end, it just didn’t work.

I love special occasions … the chance to get all dolled up, wear something special and push the limits of acceptability just a little. This is not a big surprise, since one of my favorite things to do as a child was going into my mother’s closet and trying on her old dresses. Since she came to adulthood in the 60s she had some great bridesmaid dresses, all frilly and giant with layers of toile and organza. She also had some maxis very similar to the one I wore, as well as platform sandals with ribbon ties at the ankles and cherries on the front. Wow, did I love playing dress up in her closet! At a “Mothers’ Day brunch” I went to for preschool, the speaker asked us what we liked to do for fun and relaxation when we were 8. At the time I really could not think of anything other than trail hiking in the woods behind our neighborhood in northern New Jersey. But now that I am thinking about it, some of my most fun times I had as a kid were playing dress up from my mother’s closet in the guest bedroom. I guess that says something about my desire to dress and go to balls or costume parties. It’s not stressful for me, it’s just pure fun.

That night when I got home I was a little sad to take off the dress. I actually did consider sleeping in it. Kind of like when I wanted to sleep in my wedding dress: the day was so fun and the yards and yard of silk felt so good I just did not want to take it off. Adulting can be hard, like making rational decisions to transition to the next day and not walk around in your wedding dress all the time no matter how good it feels. My kids have asked if I could try on my wedding dress. I am about the same size, so when I told them I would I was reminiscing on the beauty of the silk and how good it felt. I wanted to do it but then the day slipped away … maybe I will next year. Or Maybe Tim and I can get married again, just so I can have another amazing wedding dress! A girl can dream, can’t she?

Day 27 … winding down the static wardrobe experiment.

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