nothing to wear

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.Β  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!

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17 Responses to nothing to wear

  1. Ok, love the shoes. And LOVE the dress! I’m sorry you didn’t get to wear it, but I know you’re glad you weren’t overdressed… I’ve been there and it’s weird. I request that, whenever you wear this dress, that you post a photo of you IN it!!!

  2. Jenny says:

    bummer that you didn’t get to wear the dress!!! but CUTE shoes πŸ™‚ i’m glad you didn’t stick out… i don’t like sticking out like that either!

  3. Kelly Cole says:

    Even just hanging over the best post, I can tell I like that dress. Perhaps you can find an occasion to wear it in NYC? πŸ˜‰

  4. Jodi says:

    Very cute shoes! And I love the color of your new dress!

    By the way my blog went private so email me if you would like an invite! πŸ™‚

  5. sue says:

    not that i get invited to tons of cocktail parties – but i’m glad to know the friday vs saturday etiquette. thanks! the color of the dress is beautiful! and i agree, when you do wear it, we need pictures!

    ps love the shoes!

  6. Erin says:

    *chuckle* I would be the same way. I would have no idea what to wear and would rip apart my whole closet.

    I’m glad you asked your co-worker!! she seemed to know what to do in the nick of time.

    Nice shoes btw.

  7. Emily B. says:

    I laughed outloud at the picture of your room with the dresses and shoes all over. That is exactly what my room looks like when I have to dress up. I am super grateful I can wear jeans to work or else I would be a complete mess every morning. Glad to know I am not the only one. πŸ™‚
    PS – the new dress looks super cute!

  8. Robin says:

    I totally relate to the not liking to shop feeling AND not wanting to stick out in a crowd. I often find myself in this position- two or three days before an event and wondering what to wear. That is great that you were able to talk to your coworker to get some insight.

    I LOVE the purse and your wrap must have looked great, too. I think Craig needs to take you out for a night out on the town now to celebrate your new dress πŸ™‚

  9. Dale says:

    What did Craig wear?

  10. Zoe says:

    Love the shoes and the bag. And from what I can see of the dress, it looks fabulous! Hope you find the perfect occasion to wear it — or just create one!

  11. Brandi says:

    The color of that dress would look fantastic on you! Tell Craig to take you somewhere nice to wear it. πŸ˜‰

    LOVE the purse!!!

  12. Christine says:

    Oooo – I love the dress just from the little I see of it! I hope you find an event to wear it to now! And, I think it’s a really good thing that I don’t go to cocktail parties very often… wow – who knew there was Friday vs. Saturday attire!? Yikes.

    I also love those shoes. Love love love them!

  13. Mary says:

    OK, well now you just have to post a picture of the whole dress, ’cause I love what I see already. And the shoes are super cute!!

    Hmmm, makes me want to go shoe shopping. . . . πŸ™‚

  14. live2roam says:

    The dress looks so cute! And I love your new dress=new shoes theory. Famous words to live by. And what an education regarding the Friday vs. Saturday attire. Such great info!

  15. CatherineD says:

    I had to smile when I read this post. I have totally been there (obsessing over what to wear). And of course – new dress ALWAYS equals new shoes!

    Cute dress, shoes and love the bag!

  16. angela says:

    I love your shoes Kelly. I also would have wondered what to wear and probably would have played it safe with a little black pants suit or something. Sorry I missed the fashion delimma post. Darn it! I love stuff like that. Glad you made the right decision. BTW, your dress looks pretty.

  17. Krista says:

    How frustrating! But I do love those shoes – very cute!

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