Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Life's Lost Little Luxuries #5: Playing Dress Up

We practiced a lot

New Year's Eve I had the opportunity to channel my inner Ida Lupino and attend a 1940's-style dance complete with swing band and request to dress "in the mood". I agonized over what to wear as I wanted to be a respectful homage to that era and not appear as if in costume.
The glamorous Ida Lupino
 I found a red jersey dress on the racks at TJ Maxx with interesting seaming around the torso and enough stretch at the shoulders to insert 1970s-era shoulder pads. Seamed stockings (ok they were pantyhose), some vintage costume jewelry and a feather fascinator with veil (thanks to the Royal Wedding for making that easy to find). A dainty evening bag. Red lipstick of course. Heavy on the perfume and pancake. A thrift shop persian lamb chubby with mink collar that has miraculously survived the decades intact. 

I had the most fun getting ready and spent an inordinate amount of time doing it. I couldn't stop thinking how nice it must have been to treat going out with such care. Nowadays we seem to vault from one activity to another and actually relish the idea of quick-change outfits that go from day-to-night and maybe back again. I changed into a "wrapper" (aka my bathrobe), stripped all the day's grime from my face and started spackling afresh. I used lots of eau de parfum, the Good Stuff, sprayed on to tickle my senses as I worked. Note to self: Use more of the Good Stuff on a regular basis. It's only going to evaporate, right? 

As I traveled back in time I thought about the night ahead. I know going out in the evening was a rare treat for my mother. It was impossible to pull my dad off the couch after dinner during the week. Weekend days were either chores or family events, then back to the couch. But sometimes my mom would have the opportunity to transform herself into another personage. I was excited to see how I would look as the star of my own B movie. In the end it was a bit like my mother, whose name was also Ida. But I also felt very Glamorous and ready to usher in a beautiful New Year.

And I wish you the same.

1 comment:

  1. http://www.cnn.com/2012/01/06/living/fashion-tips-look-younger-rs/index.html?hpt=hp_bn8

    Sorry to mess this up with irrelevancies, but I did not know how to post this -- and in case you did not read it today, thought you'd like some of the ideas -- some seem as if they stole them from you!