I’m not going to beat about the bush, I’m in a panic and I really shouldn’t be because for one there are far other greater things to worry about currently and secondly this is what I’m supposed to be good at and all that, but time is running out and I have yet to find The Outfit. And the trouble is I don’t know what The Outfit should look like or what I should look like (an author yes, but what does that look like?) or even if I’ll know it when I see it. There is now less than two weeks to go.
It’s all my fault because I did have it planned. It was a dress I had never worn which had hung fabulously in my wardrobe for four years and ended up being in my book (‘Shopped‘ out 5th July!) by virtue of its designer status (Ralph Lauren), the enormously reduced price I got it for in TK Maxx (£99 down from £1700) and the fact that it looks rather as if it may be a wedding dress (albeit a short one you’d wear on a beach). All rather poignant and authory I thought. Awaiting the publication of your first book is not dissimilar to awaiting the arrival of your first baby; you’re excited after all the planning and waddling but simultaneously you’re terrified and well aware that once it’s out there’s no sending it back. That said, I’m sure Amazon would accept a return far more readily than you know, the supplier of said baby would.
Speaking of which, this is where I made the mistake. I proudly put on my Ralph Lauren number and sashayed into the bathroom with an attitude of “Ta-daaa!” and asked my son what he thought. That’s right, I asked a five year old for his opinion on my blinkin’ Publication Party Outfit. He looked me slowly up and down from his bath and looked thoughtful before announcing, “I like the shoes.” He wasn’t going to give any further feedback (bless ‘im, he was being tactful) until I insisted and he followed up with “You look like you’re in fancy dress”.
This is now a blog pause (a blause if you will) while you make an awks/yikes expression and laugh at my expense while wondering what on earth it was I had on. Consider the following dresses to be fashion tumbleweed.
Occasion dressing is tricky, much like sourcing swimwear or Easter eggs in November. Getting dressed up all smart and eveningy in June when probably in reality you feel a bit pale, fed up with the weather and therefore more casually inclined (linen, towelling or cheesecloth I’m sorry to say will not cut it for a cocktail party) is miserable. However the good news is that with the internet came the ability to shop for clothes and shoes without the restriction of the seasons. The even better news (yes, there really is some good news this weekend believe it or not) is that with regards to black tie and/or occasion wear there are fewer rules than ever. My mum recently had two weddings to go to – the first in a balmy Greece, the second in what turned out to be a rain soaked British countryside – she wanted to be summery but to have sleeves and a longer length. She also was keen to look age-appropriate. The obvious solution (to me at least) was a jumpsuit. “Oh but I can’t wear a jumpsuit to a wedding can I?” she objected. The answer is yes you can wear a jumpsuit to a wedding. Really, the only difference between a jumpsuit and a long dress is the tights/fake tan debate and a couple of seams up the middle.
In the process of writing this post I still have yet to make my decision about my party outfit but I have done a lot of research and pictured here are a few of my findings. So whether you want to cover your arms or your legs, you want floaty or structured, midi or maxi, I promise there is something out there for you. And if none of these float your boat, then consider a jumpsuit, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the absence of draught and the compliments you receive. Just ask my mum.
SHOPPED is published by September Publishing and is out on 5th July. Click here to pre-order!