Dress hunt success?

I must have tried on at least 30 dresses in the last 72 hours. That does not include the various pants, skirts, tanks and sweaters and shoes. Going to George’s company holiday dinner at the Greenhouse Tavern in Cleveland tomorrow night. LOVE this place. The food, the decore, the personality…it’s just great. And one could easily wear jeans, but a) this is a “Holiday” party, b) it includes some people that I have not yet met, and c) it’s sponsored by his new employer, and I feel sort of obligated to be at my dressy besty.

All this holiday season I’ve been somewhat casual, sticking to the Jeans & Heels thing. Got a really cute buttonless mohair and sequin black cardigan on clearance from Limited. Wore it with a black tank and a set of super long black beads. Just the right amount of sparkle, but I had no issue plopping down on the floor and getting cozy.

Dresses can be hard. Frankly, you don’t want to be totally tailored if you’re going out for a yummy dinner. Also, it’s snowy here, and I want to be comfortable moving around. I love the stretchy fabric dresses that are popular now, but it is best to find one that has more than one layer. A single layer can reveal too many sins, where a tighter fit with a sheer overlay can be incredibly flattering.

To my great surprise, I actually did find quite a few “almosts”, but to my chagrin, with all of them it seemed that my assets were put a little bit TOO far out on display. If it was’t the front, it was the back. I don’t want to look boring. I want to look stylish, but not tacky.

Oh yeah…and I DON’T WANT TO LOOK PREGNANT! Why on earth are there so many “babydoll” cut dresses on the market these days? I looked anywhere between 6 and 9 months along in some of these tents. Fooey.

I did buy one dress because it was only $30, and it ALMOST was perfect. Max Studio. Tan colored base stretchy fabric with a black, sheer lacy overlay. The front is sweetheart-ish, and the cap sleeves rest just barely over my shoulders. It’s pretty fitted, but it grazes my hips to create a very slight a-line so that the skirt doesn’t hug my bottom at all. And as I mentioned before, overlays create a nice¬†silhouette, hiding many bagels. Problem was the front was really, well, busty. I got it anyway because it wasn’t as busty as the others, and it was just plain too good to pass up. Maybe I can wear it when I lose a little more weight.

I had pretty much resigned myself to the fact that I would need to just wear what I’ve been wearing, and swap out the blue jeans for black jeans (dress slacks with the baggy cardigan just looked way to matronly). I gave it one more try tonight at TJ Maxx, tried on 10 dresses, 3 skirts, 4 sweaters and 2 tanks. No dice on the dresses, but I did find 2 little cardigans that I brought home with the thought that maybe that lacy dress would look good with one, but I doubted it. All previous attempts at dehoochifying dresses with cardigans (dehoochifying or hiding flabby arms) resulted in a very cheap or matronly look.

So I got home and pulled out one of the sweaters. Very fitted, slightly gathered shoulder, and an unusually wide and low boat neck decorated with shiny black beading. The buttons are slightly oversized and covered with the sweater fabric. If it didn’t look good with the dress, it would look ADORABLE with jeans.

TO MY GREAT ASTONISHMENT AND JOY, the cardigan, when buttoning the top button, conveniently covered excess cleavage without making it actually LOOK like I was hiding anything. I let the rest of the buttons open to show off the dress, but because it is so fitted, it laid flat on my back and waist rather than billowing and therefore hiding the good curves. And to top it off, the sleeves are full length, which is a hard thing to find right now with 3/4 being all the rage. I’ll be warm! With a nice pair of really high suede heels, this looks precisely how I wanted to look. Trendy, but sophisticated.

So, with all of this talk, am I actually going to post a photo? Maybe later. I don’t feel like taking one now, and honestly, I’m having a “feeling really fat” day. Yeah…another great time to be in dressing rooms with multi-view mirrors, right? Ha!


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