We had a fancy cocktail party to attend last Friday evening. It was a friend-raiser for the animal shelter, an event to introduce potential major donors to the shelter. The party was held at a fancy house mansion in the wealthiest neighborhood in the city.
I had known about the event for several weeks, but I never gave any thought to what I would actually wear until Wednesday, just two days ahead of the event. Of course, at that time I realized that I had absolutely nothing to wear. I figured fancy cocktail party = nice dress. So, in a bit of a panic, I made a quick trip to the mall to look for a dress during the hour I had between work and book club. I am generally not a big fan of shopping, but I went in on a mission and was pleasantly surprised to find a dress that I really, really liked, and that looked really, really nice on me. (I wondered if it was just me who thought it looked good, but when I showed Craig at home, he agreed!) As a bigger girl, I know that I need to follow some rules when picking out clothes (I’ve seen quite a few episodes of What Not to Wear), and the dress I found was quite flattering.
So, I got all excited about my new dress. I even went out the next day to get some cute new shoes to wear with it. (Because a new dress requires new shoes, right?) However, I then talked with a few people who thought that a dress like this might not be appropriate for this event. They thought something more professional would be the right choice. My biggest concern would be showing up underdressed; I mean, I didn’t want to be the one wearing pants and a sweater if others were wearing nice dresses. I wasn’t sure, so I posed the question on FB, and got some great feedback (all of which said I should wear the dress, which is what I wanted to hear). I just kept thinking that it would be better to be overdressed than underdressed. But, in hearing what some others were wearing (because a girl’s gotta talk about this stuff!), I then started to really worry about being overdressed. Sigh.
What to do, what to do?
At about 3pm on Friday, I finally asked one of my coworkers what she thought. She comes from a wealthy, well-known local family and I know she goes to a zillion events like this. And she said, without skipping a beat, that the attire would be more professional because it was on a Friday, and that cocktail attire would only be appropriate on a Saturday. Hmm. Consider me educated on appropriate cocktail party fundraiser attire!
So, I left work a bit early on Friday, because now that I wasn’t wearing my new dress, I again had absolutely nothing to wear! I ripped apart my closet and tried on a zillion things:
[BTW, the teal, patterned dress hanging over the foot of the bed is the new dress!]
In the end, I settled on a black skirt with a blue sweater. It wasn’t anything exciting, but it worked. And it was the right choice; at the party, most people were in professional attire. If I had worn the dress, I would have looked nice, but I would have stood out, and I am not one to want to stand out in a crowd. In fact, I quite enjoy blending in.
With my simple, boring outfit, I did add the cute new shoes:
and my favorite special occasion silk handbag (a fantastic souvenir from Thailand; I think it cost $3):
I didn’t think about it ahead of time, but I grabbed my new wrap on our way out the door since it was a chilly evening. It was fun to wear it for the first time. I got quite a few compliments on it, and then even more when I told the complimenters that I had knit it myself!
I’m definitely keeping the dress, but now I need a special occasion so I can wear it!