This week Liz Dawes is cringing at the memory of turning up to a social event in completely the wrong outfit
If your kids were (or are) anything like mine, they don’t tell you a thing about what’s going on at school. That being the case, the first I heard that my son’s class had spent the term making a film was when I was invited to its premiere in the school hall.
The kids dressed up for the screening (son sporting bow tie and shades) and there was much cheering and asking for autographs as they sauntered up the red carpet. Parents were encouraged to dress up too, my boy insisting the night before that I turn up in “Very Posh Clothes.” I dutifully turned up in a frock, silver heels and bright red lipstick, with a feather boa casually strewn over my shoulders. Alas other parents didn’t get the info, since they all turned up in jeans and flip flops (that or I am way behind on what constitutes red carpet chic these days.)
I was so embarrassed that I had visions of my coping mechanism being to down a bottle of gin, then wrap the boa round some granny's neck whilst belting out “My Way” at a one-person, after-screening party of my own invention. Not so much styling it out as ruining my street cred forever; but you'll be relieved to know that in the end I managed to hide the feather boa in my handbag, and behave myself.
BF’s sister, Michelle, had a similar incident, when she was invited to a 70s themed party. Of course she assumed that the guests would be in fancy dress, and duly arrived in flares, a tight silver blouse and a huge red afro wig. Unfortunately no one else had dressed up, so when she burst into the room and shimmery and big-haired, there was quite a bit of laughter at her expense. Awkward though this was, she did note that as the guests got more drunk, so her wig got more popular, until it was being passed around the room and worn by almost anyone who was plastered and about to shake their booty to the Jackson Five. Turns out that in the end she WAS the best dressed girl at the party.
Turning up wrongly dressed at any event is always cringe-making. Some of my friends have effortless style, and seem to just know what outfit an occasion requires. Whether they are at a wedding, a gig or a party, they always seem to have exactly the right outfit for the moment.
Despite my advancing years I am far more hit and miss, and can easily completely misread a situation, and turn up dressed to the nines or casual to the point of rude, without any idea beforehand that I’m getting it wrong. I have attempted the Capsule Wardrobe approach so that I always have outfits that match occasions, but somehow I get distracted by shiny sparkly items, mid-closet cleanse, leaving me more Miss Piggy than Twiggy. So in order to save myself from social humiliation, these days I get considerable input from several girlfriends before I make any attempts to do more than throw on jeans and go to the supermarket.