Prom Dress Luncheon

I haven’t made many devastating sartorial missteps, if you overlook my prom dress and, well… the ‘80s. But when April invited me to a fundraiser luncheon yesterday, I chose a summery garden ensemble only to find myself at a couture-and-stiletto event. So while all of the other lunch-y ladies were perfectly molded into their au courant fashions, I was wearing a tablecloth. It was a pretty tablecloth… maybe even a sort of adorably blue doily of a dress. But in a room dotted with Chanel bags and pointy, pointy pumps, my outfit called for a picnic basket and hair daisy accessories.

Certainly I’ve misjudged an outfit choice or two in my time. But aside from wearing jeans to the fancy school Book Fair (everyone else in fabulous skinny leather things or wretched-but-appropriate pantsuits), I’m usually the over-dressed gal. Pearls in Gross Anatomy lab. Lily Pulitzer at the soccer field. Jimmy Choos at Church. Fur at the Star Market. I have a deeply ingrained twirly girly sensibility. But when I found myself surrounded by sleek Robert Plant ladies baring yoga toned abs under crop tops, suddenly a dress with a crinoline (just like my prom dress!) seemed more ridiculous than whimsical.

Damn you, Anthropologie, with your moody photos depicting ambiguously French stunners wearing un-place-able period costumes as formalwear! I will not be duped again!

To be honest, I didn’t really dwell on my window-treatments-as-outfit gaffe. I had a delicious cold salmon lunch with lovely people who appear to make gobs of money for the obvious joy of giving much of it away. I’m drawn to do-gooders as much as I am to gorgeous clothing, and this event had both in spades (cards, not Kate… this was couture, friends). And when I got home, it was time to meet my true and trusted fashion critics at the curb. There was no time to change, so I was still wearing the ersatz prom dress when my little boys dismounted the big yellow bus.

“Where were you? You look like Cinderella!”

I can’t wait to wear that dress again.

I'm the one in the doily.

I’m the one in the doily.

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15 responses

  1. It doesn’t look like a doily! LOL! I like it and I think you are lovely…. But I can see how you would feel out of place with the other “models” around you. I certainly understand because I have been over/under dressed at more than one occasion. I have learned to kind of find out the “apparel” before going somewhere I KNOW there will be “upper class” people but I still may not always fit in. They do not intimidate me in the least but fitting in is the human condition. The trick is when you find yourself in those situations not to dwell on what you have on, but rather think to yourself “I like me, I like how I look and I LOOK AWESOME in this dress!” The people who matter don’t care and those who care, don’t matter! 🙂

  2. I can related. I’m in a book club with 13 women and I never get the memo! Holiday party– everyone in sequins; I’m still in work attire. Night out at the book signing- I’m in jacket and pants, everyone is in the summery frock. And your Choos??? My bookclub should just be renamed The Shoe Gurls. The husbands joke there is more cleavage displayed during book discussion than on date nights. Guess we dress for our friends and ourselves?

  3. I think you showed all those well-heeled pointy shoe ladies how stepping aside and presenting yourself with what you love to wear makes a bigger impression than a fancy fashion label. Your smile and heart are what we see – although it sure doesn’t hurt that you have an amazing sense of style, as well. Go Conquer, Britt!

    (Your kids rock, by the way.)

  4. I love the “twirly girl sensibilities”- that may be my favorite description of you ever!

    You look super fabulous no matter what you wear and I will argue that this is because you are kind and loving and smart on the inside, which is what matters more than anything. Your boys are lucky to have a cinderella mom who is articulate and beautiful. Thank God for the internet so I get to glimpse your life now. Makes me remember some of the best parts of high school with you.

  5. Honestly Britt, I couldn’t pick you out based on your description of your dress – they all look fine to me. But your smiling face (and the rest too) is definitely the most beautiful one there. Cinderella for sure.

  6. i had to look twice and three times before i saw a dress which could be described as a doily. i think your smile fits in with everyone else’s. so no harm done. really not.
     
    am actually reminded of the day i had a job interview for the company i work for. who takes along a second pair of pantihose with them, just in case? that was in the days when pantihose were part of regular office attire, but i may be dating myself. 🙂 in any case i certainly didn’t carry an extra pair with me. and believe it or not, i managed to get two gaping runs in mine, in the back, no less. one in each leg. urk!
     
    at least i had dressed appropriately for a job interview.
     
    anyhow, i needed to take an escalator upstairs and i told myself, just hold up your head and don’t cringe. keep smiling, and maybe nobody will notice. i don’t know if anybody did or not, but i managed to find an extra pair of pantihose in the local gift store and on top of that i survived. and i think that may have been the last time i felt embarrassed about a wardrobe malfunction. it’s part of life – it just happens.
     
    that was more years ago than can be possible, but i can laugh now. 🙂
     
    anyhow, just hold up your head and don’t cringe, and all will be well 🙂 and seriously, your dress looks very summery and i am sure the others were quite envious of how comfortable you looked 🙂

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