03 December 2009

13 Rejected Holiday Outfits

What comes to mind when I say holiday traditions? Eggnog, carols, exchanging gifts, watching for snow? Families have as many winter holiday traditions as there are snowflakes, and most of them are anticipated year-round. Most of them are remembered with great pleasure for years.

Some of them--not so much.

In my life, a new and rather horrifying holiday tradition has taken shape: finding an appropriate grown up party outfit. Not the party I have with my writer friends--they love me no matter what I wear, which is a good thing, because I show up in some weird duds. No, this would be the hubby's office party, where I have to dress to impress my husband's coworkers and boss, and I can't spend a lot of money doing it. (The party budget gets invested in my hair.) Since I've been in and out of maternity clothes and up and down the numerical scale these past ten years, I haven't had any go-to outfits I could rely on. No classic little black dress. No magic pants and sweater. One year I even skipped the holiday party because the thought of shopping just made me too cross.

But this year, I'm happy to say this torturous new holiday tradition morphed into something less miserable when I found I was no longer alone. My younger sister, whose involvement in the field of environmental education didn't exactly require designer duds, has several parties on her schedule that require fancy dress, or at least dress that's fancier than jeans and hippy shirts. They're her fiance's parties, and so she's in the same uncomfortable shopping boat I've been in alone for ten years.

We just finished a marathon session in my extensive vintage collection, trying to find attractive yet unique outfits for her various party needs. Since my sister never reads this blog, I thought I might share some of the rejected items she will not be wearing to be glamorous at her holiday parties in 2009:

1) The dress that someone probably wore to a funeral in 1965. (I have no proof of this. It's just a feeling.)

2) The pink shiny mini with the ripped out armpit. (I told her I could fix it before her party, but the fact it barely covered her underpants was a bit of a deterrant.)

3) The black go go boots that were a size too small. (I thought you were supposed to be miserable when you look that good?)

4) The polka dotted 1950's taffeta party dress that was made of awesome. Too big of awesome. (My sewing skills do not extend far enough to remedy bigness, though they could probably ruin awesomeness.)

5) The crispy cotton dress that wouldn't have looked out of place on a cub scout den mother. (A wise choice, as her fiance sort of resembles a cub scout.)

6) The grey wool cape circa 1973. (Even though I told her it would probably be COLD and she only has a rugged barn coat for winterwear.)

7) The black tank top that did not match the black shrug at all. (That was just her excuse. It looked great, but she worried about being cold, and it really didn't match the shrug. It *did* match the cape, a fact she didn't appreciate me bringing back up. She wouldn't be caught dead in that cape. But do you think she might wear it to a funeral? Because that dress in #1 fit her pretty good.)

8) The muppet shirt. (Don't ask. And shut up--I *like* it.)

9) Anything with a turtleneck. (She has a bit of an obsession with freedom of the neck area.)

10) The black and red kimono missing all its snaps. (What, the matching gold safety pins weren't good enough for her?)

11) Striped knee socks. (Actually, she already had these on, and I made her take them off. They really soured her opinion of some of the garments. Honestly, I think if she'd taken them off before she tried on the cape, it would have been a winner.)

12) A jaunty neckerchief. (See: turtleneck. Also see: Dude, I'm not Rizzo, I'm not wearing a neckerchief.)

13) The green and gold lounge dress from the 70's I can't even believe I got her to try on just by pointing out it was mostly a Christmasy color (green) and would match the gold shoes she didn't hate. (But she took it off before I got back with the camera.)

***

What are your lesser known and least favorite holiday traditions? To suffer through them, I recommend proper companionship--like sisters willing to try on green and gold dresses from the 1970's and dance a jig. At least until the camera shows up.

As for me, I'm wearing black pants and a red blouse. I suspect the muppet shirt will be taken.

Jody W.
So much cyberspace, so little time!
www.jodywallace.com / www.meankitty.com
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