Conspicuous Consumption: Holiday Uniform

It's already the middle of October and that means that the obligatory party season is on the way. So, yes, I'll need something to wear and wear again because the holidays are stressful enough, I really don't need to add to the load by having to worry what I'm going to wear.

Since I'm a big believer in knowing what you're going to buy, where you're going to buy it, buying it and getting out I've made a list to keep me on track.

1. I have to be able to wear it and wear it again.
2. I have to feel relatively comfortable in it.
3. I have to be able to buy all outfit components in the same store.

So let's take a pretend trip to the mall and see what my options might be.

Level 1: J. Crew

I like J.Crew even though they make those lobster print pants for men and sometimes the clothes are a little too preppy. When I saw this dress (Linda, $175), the first thing I thought was that J. Crew was designing the new habits for the hip wing of the Catholic Church to attract women to join nunneries. Even with the sassy pockets and buttons up to the neck, this dress is rather Amish. I like it, but it's not at all festive even with the addition of cheery red flats (Lucia, $135). Still it's a contender merely because it and the flats would annoy the husband, especially if I wore it with my hair scrapped back and under simple white linen bonnet and no make-up. But just maybe an outfit like this doesn't say pahtay the way one from...

Level 3: bebe

I don't usually even bother to wander into bebe. Why? I think the clothes are just this side of slutty. I can say this relative impunity because when I eloped I wore a bebe sweater set and pencil skirt and see where that got me? The husband has remarked of late that I've been a bit lax in the dressing up department and what man isn't into seeing slutty clothes on the mother of his child, walker of the family dog and the maker of sure there is always toilet paper in the bathroom? This little concoction of runched wool (and nylon and spandex) from bebe ($89 of pure fun) is paired on the site with red fishnet stockings. Let's pause a minute to let that sink in. OK since there is no way in hell I'd wear a dress with a healthy amount of spandex and nylon along with red fishnets, I went scouting in the shoe department to compromise on red shoes. At a half in short of five inches, and in embossed snake skin ($139), these would be a big hit and my husband would be the talk of the break room the next day if I showed up in full slut regalia.

Perhaps this would be an outfit more suited for the anniversary where I wouldn't have to wear it out in public since anniversary night always means pizza delivery (x-large) and then a midnight trip to Foster's Freeze for a Butterfinger Twister (large). I'll keep looking...

Mezzanine Level: Banana Republic

Who doesn't like Banana Republic? Their jeans magically make me look leaner and taller, even in flats!, and that's reason enough to pledge my financial allegiance to them. It's no-brainer dressing and everything eventually goes on sale. Now this dress ($148) is black but has a tone on tone brocade patten, cap sleeves, pockets and a shorter length that might make up for the fact that it is a shift dress. This is the type of dress only other women can appreciate and since I'm already married and don't really give a rat's ass what the husband thinks, it's the kind of dress I'd be happy to wear. As I'm obsessed with red flats, and would need to add a little color to the outfit, I'd pair it with the Addison satin ballet flat ($68!) or, if I'm feeling generous, my beloved purple Delman heels. Still, I have to wonder how long this whole shift dress thing is going to last. Not that I care but it is something I have to think about.

Maybe I'll just call in sick this holiday season and buy some cashmere pajamas.

Note: Due to an impending deadline, blogging on my part will be sporadic until after November 1.


mdt said...

No, no and no. I'll get to work scouring the internets and get back to you with some links.

Margo said...

I knew I could count on you! Almost like that movie with Mark Ruffalo and Laura Linney but so not.

Margo said...

Now that I think of it, mdt, what is so no, no, no about my selection. Except for the bebe stuff which I'd never really seriously consider because I'm not on the prowl.