Sunday, 9 April 2017

Dresses

I own two dresses. One grey. One black.

Both are remnants from my previous lifestyle. Both are chosen to be long-term money saving items.
Both are bought no less than ten years ago and used no more than ten times each. I have no memory of what I paid or even where I bought them, but they have saved me much concern and bother.
Both have saved me a lot of money.

Let me just add that I do not like dresses and skirts are possibly the only other piece of clothing I detest wearing more. I do not wear dresses and skirts unless I have to. That is why I only have two dresses and two skirts and wear almost neither. But most people are different. Many of them ought to learn some new tricks.

In my previous lifestyle I often needed to wear dresses. Cultural and professional reasons mostly. I really would struggle not conforming by wearing a dress. So I wore dresses for work when I had to.

However, since I wore dresses for work, nobody really cared what I wore as long as it was appropriate. It was a cultural uniform. A professional tool.

Sometime in the mid-2000, I simplified the dress-part of my life. I got a simple dress, used it every time, dressed it up differently every time, wore my hair differently and always looked professional.

For example, a simple good-quality, fitted knitted black dress, knee-length, demure, easy to clean, easy to stretch and easily forgettable.
The dress is also very easy to dress up and to change with accessories. I still own it.
And last night, the black dress saved my life.

We were invited to a fancy 50-year party with dress requirements. I could possibly force my way through the event in trousers but with the dress in my wardrobe, I did not have to force anything.
With the recent weight decrease, the dress fitted very nicely too.
An extravagant, dramatic glass-bead necklace the man gave me for a birthday, a pair of nice-lady office shoes, and a pair of silky pantihose from the sock drawer bought more than ten years ago and still in it original packaging, completed the ensemble.
A black and gold shawl picked up in a metro-shop as an emergency-buy before a cocktail party in 2009 for €5, my mothers clutch bag from the 1950s and my regular three-season jacket from last year was added.
With washed hair, some hairspray, some foundation and a lick of shimmering eye shadow (no mascara as I don't have any) I was ready for my close-ups, Mr DeMille.

(That I was coughing my lungs out every five minutes was not part of the plan.)

The man put on his grey designer suit from when he was a fashion slave, ironed a white office shirt, polished his daily shoes and added a vintage bow-tie I bought him from a dingy second-hand shop some years ago and that matched my neck-lace.

Together we looked exceptional.
We photographed ourselves extensively before we left for the party.
(The pictures do not show that we were coughing every five minutes and had to cut the party somewhat short.)

I can not repeat this miracle every month but I was very happy to pull off last nights "performance" without too much concern.
If I have to dress up with these people the next time, I'll wear the grey dress.

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