Pretty with a Purpose

I don't have many occasions, on purpose, for getting all dressed up, but I do have a closet with some nice dinner/cocktail worthy dresses and separates...that I've never worn.

I'm going to attend the BFA (Bilingual Foundation of Art) 35th anniversary gala in a couple of weeks and since I've already shelled out for the tickets ($250 per couple), I may as well add yet another item to my closet that I may or may not get a chance to wear again before my body and metabolism go completely to pot. I'm excited about BFA for two reasons. One, they work in my community to bring the wonders (and woes) of the arts in theater form to the Latinos and schools. Second, location. The foundation's offices are located near where my parents' live and the gala will be taking place down the street at the Los Angeles River Center and Gardens (which will always be Lawry's to me). I could walk the couple blocks, but for $250, I think I'll save my shoes and my life by driving from my parents' house.

Anyway, here's a preliminary list of gala wear options I'm considering, all from Anthropologie.

It's summertime, even though it's gray and muggy outside my window at the moment, and nothing says I have money to burn more than on a simple shift dress in a vibrant print of watermellon red and orange. The only draw backs are that it is in cotton (which might be too casual) and I'd have to make an effort to find the right shoes for it. Still, it's a good go to dress for a spring/summer wedding, shower or lunch date with the hottie dad I've been eyeballing as we drop off our respective spawn at school. I mean, what kind of woman would do anything remotely naughty in a shift dress? Now, once she's out of it... (Tabitha, $168)

When in doubt, order the chicken and wear trousers. I have about three or four pairs of super nice black Club Monaco pants that mock me each time I open my closet. They are my "boy, you were feeling optimistic about the trajectory of your professional life when you bought me" pants. But, I've found that they work in a pinch for family dinners where jeans (even with heels) give off a "I'd rather be anywhere but here" vibe. So I have the pants, what I need is the top. One that says, "This night is special and I've been working on my triceps. Ask me to make a muscle. Ask me!" What I like about the Quince blouse ($168) is that it has ruffles, but they're not obnoxious and the deep eggplant color. And that I have to wear it with pants (or a skirt, but that's just a technicality.)

Two minuses...My beloved purple Delmans may not be the right shade (but the pants are long enough to cover most of them) and, sadly, it's polyester. I don't care how pretty or expensive polyester is, it's still polyester. Also the husband would bitch "I thought you were going to wear a dress?" To which I will say, "Bitch, I paid for your ticket and if I want to wear pants, I'll wear pants. And yeah, you are so putting out tonight."

I can't seem to help myself when it comes to going with my safety color of black. I've tried to ween myself from this habit, but it's--as W whined during that debate with Gore so very long ago--hard. But I'm making progress. I've resolved not to go completely black. Everyone is going to wear black, they always do. So when I clicked on this Anna Sui (for Anthropologie and $188) black and white flower print dress, I knew I could keep one foot in my safety zone while taking a little step toward fashion freedom. To make me seem more gutsy, I could wear some brightly colored shoes to make up for my tentativeness up top which, just thinking about it right now, makes me feel a whole lot better about the whole thing. That and that I'm supporting the arts.

Update: I couldn't help myself and went to to try and find the right shoes. Shoes so right that they look wrong in the right way. I could have went all matchy-matchy but the whole point is to pretend I have style. And since I know from experience that heels, no matter how cute, will rarely make it onto my feet, I decided to keep price in mind. And yes, this is the pairing. I had wanted green shoes but couldn't find the right shade so instead I went with a orange satin (Nine West, Argent, $83) for the black and white dress and turquoise patent (rsvp, Willow, $70) for the red and orange.


Mary Castillo said...

I vote for the shift and the turquoise patents. You'll be so edgy and cool that either (a) people will want to be photographed with you, or (b) they won't because you'll look better than they do.


Margo Candela said...

Hey, Mary! Unfortunately, the Anthro I went to didn't have the red/orange dress. I did try on the Anna Sui shift and it fit great, looked great...for an afternoon bridal/baby shower. The print is great but the material puts it this side of not cocktail enough. Maybe afternoon cocktails in Bridgehampton, but I'm going to a gala. Too make a long story short I found a long dress (yes, long!) at Zara. Major boobage, so I'll be pairing it with a wrap and it has just enough purple in it for me to wear my Delmans, and it's long so it covers them. I'll post a pic of it as soon as I shimmy it on my dress form (that's another story).