While everyone was focused on the biggest inter-galactic wedding of the century this weekend, I was having a fashion emergency of my own. My husband's co-worker was having a Christening for his baby at an Italian Restaurant and I had absolutely nothing to wear. I always find it tricky to dress for non-South Asian (non-desi) functions. I've seen either the guests at these parties dress up with fancy gowns and jewelry, or they dress like it's business casual day at the office. My problem is, I'm so used to attending dinner parties and functions thrown by South Asians, I tend to overdress. And wear too much makeup. I've learned the hard way that at non-desi functions, a good rule of thumb is to pretend like you're dressing up for a desi function, and then tone it down by two notches. Three, if you're like me.
Of course, when I did this and looked at my closet, I realized I had nothing to wear. I had some nice dressy black pants that I could probably squeeze into if I put on two pairs of Spanx, but the one green twinset I had from Ann Taylor had been seen too many times by my husband's co-workers at other events, and there was no way I was wearing the sparkly white twinset my Mom bought me last year with black pants. I didn't want to be confused with the waitress.
So I forced the husband to watch the kids and headed off to Lohemann's to find something decent to wear. Loehmann's is one of my favorite stores to shop for designer clothes, right up there with TJ Maxx and Marshall's. It takes a little work to find what you're looking for, but you really do end up saving alot of money.
Now the last Christening I went to, everyone was dressed up in fancy gowns and lots of sparkly jewelry. Despite reminding myself I had to tone it down, I got carried away and started trying on party dresses. I'm super self-conscious about my boobs (trust me ladies, bigger is not better!), and I didn't like how most of the dresses for women my age were cut. Too low, and too sexy. This was a Christening, not a dance party. After trying on several outfits, I came back with this dress that was hung under the "Mother of the Bride" sign at the store. It was the only dress I could find that didn't have a V down to "there" and looked modest. Yeah, I'm a prude when it comes to dresses, I know.
When I got home and tried it on to show my husband, he took one look at me and said, "God damn, you look like Driving Miss Daisy, what were you thinking?"
"What's wrong with it?" I asked. I thought it looked pretty cute.
He said, "First of all, this is a Christening, you're too overdressed. Second of all, this dress looks like something an older lady would wear, like Queen Elizabeth for tea. Just wear something normal."
So I returned the dress and headed to Marshall's, which on Saturday was BCBG heaven. I love anything by BCBG, especially when it's on 65% discount. I found a blue twinset with crystals on it in my size (XL baby, I live large) and wore it with the black pants I already owned (I actually only needed one pair of Spanx) and in the end, thought I looked presentable for both a fancy and not-so-fancy party. The husband agreed.
When I went to the Christening, guess what most of the women were wearing? Black pants with sweaters. Some of them twinsets, some of them pastel cashmeres, and some of them in Christmas motifs with snowflakes and reindeer on them (OMG!). Despite trying to dress down, I still managed to wear a sweater that was a little more than what everyone else was wearing, but at least I hit the mark with the black pants.
Oh well. My motto is, you live and learn. Next time I'll just be one of those pests and call the hostess to ask her "What are you wearing?" instead of playing the guessing game. If I had known that it would've been acceptable to wear sweaters with reindeer on them, I could have saved the shopping trip altogether, but I do love the new twinset. My closet can always use a little extra BCBG.
dress photo via, smartbargains.com