Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Clothing Organization part 5: Dress-up clothes

To me, one of the funnest parts of being a woman is being able to dress up. I thank God I am not a man, forced to wear a suit and tie as the only socially acceptable way to celebrate. So even though the life of a housewife might not seem as glamorous as the life of a socialite or executive, I enjoy having some nice things in the till for a night out on the town. And even Sunday Mass, that weekly celebration of a more celestial sort, provides time for adornment.

So, continuing on with the organization, my job was now to cut down my fall Sunday wardrobe to seven pieces of clothing. Fortunately this wasn't too hard this time around: staples for Sunday dress-up for me include my black wool suit (Talbots and going strong!) which fortunately still fits a pregnant figure, and a white silk blouse. I'd purchased a blue print skirt-and-blouse set on clearance (mostly to match a favorite vintage purse) and I can mix and match the suit and that set quite nicely. I also included a brown 80's suit that I pulled out of a giveaway bag which I thought I'd have fun wearing this fall. And it matched the boat-neck print shirt I still had from high school.

Since taking this photo, I can no longer fit into the brown suit, (third trimester pregnancy kicking in!) so I'm having to overhaul the Sunday wardrobe yet again... Actually I find I'm borrowing items from other categories to wear on Sundays because I'm just so big...

For *real* dress-up, I keep a couple of shiny, glitzy things on hand. I'm the type of person who's always thought that velvet was the most beautiful fabric in the entire world, and I've been enjoying the recent comeback of sparkly fabrics to the fashion scene. My dress-up wardrobe includes two long gowns - one for pregnancy and one for being much thinner :), both of which I have packed away, since there are no glamorous occasions in my near future. For the occasional night out at a nice place, I rely on some basic pieces that I can match with black.

My mom handed me down the blue-and-brown glittering cardigan (a pressure purchase, she admitted, that she's never worn, which is now my boon) that matches with the brown nursing dress from the Everyday Mass category. And the silver-trimmed black silk cardigan (luxury) and velveteen maternity top I pulled from a friend's giveaway bag. The cranberry top will probably come in handy for Christmastime too. I found the shiny sleevelss cowl at a thrift store. It's see-through but easy to layer over camisoles and under suits and sweaters.

To round off this category, I have a nice little black dress of a modest length, which didn't make these pictures, plus a brown dress (also unshown), plus some black maternity pants, which I'm relying on these days. Since I'm an accessories girl, I also rely heavily on some glamorous sequined scarves and jewelry to dress up a basic outfit. To me, that's more fun than storing several ritzy dresses in the closet.

To tell the truth, it was due to my husband's adamance several years ago that I finally gave up and cleaned out the bridesmaid's gowns and leftover college dance dresses that I had stored for years upon years, a process that was as painful to me as having a tooth extracted. But the reward was being able to buy fabric for and make the gown I mentioned earlier, which is my standby should I ever be invited to the White House Christmas party or something similarly magnificent. :) Although I can't fit into the gown now, I truly adore it, and one of these days I'll post a picture of it.

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