Thursday, May 17, 2007

Overdressed in Seattle

I attended a... oh, let's call it a "party"... party with my husband last night. It was really a fundraiser, in the guise of a party. It would have been coarse to word the invitation that way, though.

It's Seattle, so showing up in a skirt or dress was clearly out of the question. So I put on black pants, a white t-shirt, the belt pictured above, the shoes pictured above and, well, the bag pictured above is what I use as a bag in the spring and summer (I got it on ebay). It fits juice boxes, cardigans, containers of crackers and the like, and has cute patent leather detailing. I also went ahead and put on some earrings my husband gave me that I am crazy about. I love them. Love, love, love, love. So I would say I wasn't slobby, but not super-duper dressed up. The shoes, I admit, are pretty obnoxious, in a fabulous Vegas-y way (the heels are covered with little orange plastic rhinestones. tasteful they're not). So, wham, bam, without a whole lot of thought, I was dressed. I smacked on some of my newly rediscovered Nars lipgloss, made sure my hair wasn't too out of control and I was all set. My husband looked at the shoes a little plaintively when he got home, so I asked if they were a little too much. It was his event, not mine, and it was clear right away that he thought they were too much, so I changed.

And okay, so I changed into 3" patent leather heels. But they were black pumps and far more appropriate. See?

Off we went, me with a cardigan (black, conservative, but cut in a boxy jacket-y sort of way) in my handbag that I put on, because it was freezing. And in we went, where we were promptly fixed up with drinks and introduced to a number of interesting people, who were all genuinely enjoyable to chat with. And yet the event somehow managed to be mind-numbing. I was glad to get home and eat fennel soup with my husband.

But of course, I was pretty much hopelessly overdressed compared to the other women (the men all pretty much wore versions of pants/belt/button-down shirt, some with sweater, some without). And when I said I wore a t-shirt, I mean, you know, a plain white cotton t-shirt (Banana Republic, on sale). And I was over-dressed. I do frequently love that Seattle is so informal. I have come to embrace polarfleece as eminently practical, and, showing that I drink the Kool-Aid more than I mean to, I even think it's cute sometimes. But now and then I think it must take work to dress in a way that I've come to think of as announcing: I Think Fashion Is Frivolous And Impractical And I Am Too Serious For That Kind Of Frivolity Although I Think It's Important To Be Suitable And By The Way, The Pearls Were My Grandmother's. Yeah.

Of course, a couple of weeks ago, I went to A Coffee at a friend's house. The kids had just headed off to school, and I was wearing jeans and a t-shirt and, yep, a fleece jacket... and everyone else had spiffed up in an outfit more like the one I wore last night as in: casual top, ironed pants, cute accessories. So clearly I've been on both ends of over/under-dressing.