We had a family wedding to attend this weekend and I’ve had the question of what to wear niggling at the back of my mind for quite a while. As I confessed earlier I did naughtily purchase a fab dress last year and its already seen me through 2 weddings and a selection of parties.
I’ll be wearing it for a couple more weddings this year but my family have already seen it several times and it’s such a noticeable dress that I really didn’t want to trot in out again again this week. It’s tempting to get a reputation as that cousin who refuses to take off her pink frothy petticoat but on reflection I feel its a role more suited to my 5 year old neice.
Time was not so long ago that people would have one or two “best” outfits which would do them for every occasion – the majority of us left the parade of high fashion to the rich débutantes as they raced round the country being married off to the richest suiter if their parents had their way, or the cheekiest attractive scamp if their chaperone was snoozing on the job.
Actually I’ve no idea if that is a particularly accurate version of the past but I do think it was pretty normal for us lowly proletariat to make do with one fancy frock. Nowadays, the rise of cheap fashion with all it’s inherent environmental and human harm makes it more difficult for us ladies to sport the same frock more than once without looking a little out of it.
Gah! Now I’m thinking the grown up thing to do is to consciously and obviously remove myself from this pointless and wasteful folly. So what if my chosen threads are so loud you can see them from space. I should be proud to say that I liked this dress last year but I’m loving it just as much this year and you know what? I’m going to freaking love the bejesus out of it next year too. If I were braver then I would use my showstopping number to advertise the fact that I’m wearing exactly what I wore last time, and the time before that and I’m happy to do so until it starts falling apart. To be honest, it’s pretty much like that with the rest of my wardrobe but sadly where posh do’s are concerned I’m weak.
My lovely mate Emily kindly offered to lend me a dress and that’s an idea I love. By sharing things about, especially things that only get used a couple of times and which sit around being neglected the rest of the time we can really reduce the resources we waste.
Power tools are a perfect example if this and I’m smugly going to point out we do lend our drill out quite a bit. Frocks are a little more fraught however. What if your mate is taller or skinnier or fatter than you? What if you hate their style and can’t tell them so? Even worse what if you drip chocolate sauce down the front of their favorite dress? Or what if, as in my case, you are too lazy to pop round to try on the dress they kindly offered you? Yes I confess I am a bad bad person. Now can we swiftly move on!
Well in that case you have to make some last minute decisions about what to wear on the night before the wedding after all shops are shut, eBay could never deliver on time and you’ve had a couple too many beers. Perhaps the beers aren’t strictly necessary but they do make the whole experience even more unpredictable.
In my wardrobe I discovered the Bridesmaid dress given to me for my mate Eve’s wedding. Its made by Vivian of holloway and its a similar style to my dream dress however I simply couldn’t get over the fact that I felt I looked like a bridesmaid wearing it.
Then I caught sight of an unworn impulse buy and it all clicked into place. Wind back time to a day several months ago. I was running late on my way to a clients house. More at home cycling I accidentally got on the wrong bus and in an attempt to find the right bus stop wandered past a charity shop.
Despite being horrifically late a huge petticoat caught my eye and I couldn’t stop myself nipping in to gaze longingly at it and sigh at the predictably high price tag. To my surprise it was only a tenner and without thinking I bought it there and then only to spent the rest of the rest of the day desperately trying to keep it crammed in my bag without any colleagues or clients noticing it. Easier said than done! It exploded out at even the tiniest opening of the zip to look for a spare pen or find my phone.
I had assumed the giant petticoat was truly to large to fit under the Vivian of Holloway dress but in drunken desperation I decided it was perfect. I packed my case and headed down to my parents.
The next day I was less confident, convinced that I simply looked like a rogue bridesmaid who had stolen the brides petticoat. My family convinced me otherwise and I decided that the only thing to do was to enjoy my massive dress. Add some favourite Irregular Choice shoes and a foolish question to Chris, “I don’t look too Tim Burton do I?” “Surely that could only be a good thing you fool!” was his obvious reply.
I probably now have a reputation to rival any 5 year old for never being seen without a petticoat pink or otherwise but I had so much fun spinning about all day It was totally worth it. Plus since the wedding was by the sea we even took a still down the prom in our finery which added to my 1950s look. The moral if this story is that there is probably more than enough in your wardrobe to keep you going. Even if it takes a few beers and a chazzer shop miracle to discover it.