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Playing Dress-Up

Playing Dress-Up Pic

As I opened my suitcase and stared at the stylish, modern dress I had carefully packed, I suddenly found myself doubting my wardrobe decision. What was I thinking?!? Could I really pull this off??

An out-of-town wedding rears its head at many a family, and mine is no different. So when the invitation arrived for a Florida wedding in November (no kids allowed), my husband and I thought…why not? We can turn it into a long weekend and really enjoy ourselves. Great food, endless drinks and adult conversation? Sign us up! Immediately after that thought, my mommy logistics started kicking in: check out flight prices, find a place to stay, let Grandma know my girl will be spending a couple of nights there, etc. After all those details were squared away, I was left to face the one detail I could no longer avoid: the dress.

This was going to be a family wedding, and I already knew most of my family would be there. They’ve seen the three cocktail dresses I own rotated countless times now, but I decided to try them on again anyway for kicks. As I suspected, they were too loose in some areas and too tight in others. I considered giving them one more showing and then suddenly had a light bulb moment: I deserved better! Seriously, I give myself all day to my family, my job, and everything else we all do as efficiently and reliably as breathing, and it was time to give something back to me. I knew this was going to be a trendy party, and I knew what I currently owned was not going to cut it.

So…where did that leave me exactly? With most of that month’s budget going towards travel expenses, I didn’t exactly feel like a giant shopping spree was the right answer (and who really has the time and patience for that anyway!). I whipped out my cell and called one of my closest friends, whose style and passion for clothes I am consistently in awe of. She always looks so put together and accessorized, even casually (and she’s a mom, so she gets even bigger props). She makes it looks effortless and perhaps for her it is, however to me it remains an appreciated mystery.

Being the gracious friend she is, she invited my daughter and me to her place one weekend morning for coffee, a play date and a closest raid. She opened the double doors into her clothing Mecca, and I became lost in a blizzard of material as dresses flung off the hangers and onto my body while accessories and shoes decorated her bed. By the end of it, she had pieced together two amazing outfits soup-to-nuts (or earrings-to-Choos) that I never would have put together myself, and probably would not have the cojones to wear had my girlfriend not insisted I go for it.

So I did. I packed everything up, dropped my daughter at Grandma’s and away my husband and I went – off to our adult weekend of indulgence and style (for us). And then the moment of truth had arrived and I stood there staring at my dresses like a dare to be taken. Do I really have what it takes to wear this with confidence and grace? Like I belong in them as much as my jeans, sneakers and hoodies? Would everyone at the party see right through me and know I was just playing dress-up? Or could I actually pull this off?

And in that pivotal moment, I decided to go for it full-force. I spent an extra hour on my hair and makeup (red lipstick is the best!) and when I zipped up the dresses and strapped on my sandals, I felt like a million bucks. And more than that, I felt completely comfortable – which surprised me. I thought it would feel so foreign to be in these beautiful clothes, looking polished and prettied-up, but it didn’t. I felt like this woman in the mirror is also perfectly a part of who I am, and I was able to dust her off and let her stand out.

As I worked the room at the parties and greeted everyone I knew, I felt like I was radiating. My glamour switch had been turned on, and the light was bright. I doubt I compared to Supermodels or true Fashionistas, but I didn’t care. It felt amazing. Some other guests responded and complimented me, asking where I was keeping the Play-Doh that was usually lodged somewhere in my hair. I smiled and said I’m keeping it at home safe and sound, to be re-lodged as soon as I pick up my daughter. They laughed at the joke, but I knew it was 100% true. And that’s perfectly okay with me because once upon sometimes, this Cinderella knows she gets to go to the ball and shine.

Author: Amy

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