We're going to a black tie event on Saturday night. It's an Academy Award event honoring, among others, Roger Corman and Lauren Bacall. Government issued id required at the door. And don't wear orange.
I really didn't have anything to wear, so I set off looking for a formal gown. I've experienced a lot more of mall life in the last three days than I'd ever want to otherwise.
Things I learned along the way:
- In spite of Michelle Obama, department stores are still pushing the Betty Ford look in formal wear: big bows and bigger collars.
- If the dresses don't look like Betty Ford wore them, they look like 1940's swimsuits with big skirts and glitter. The lampshade look is everywhere.
- Another option is a dress with one strap only, ala Tarzan.
- Every single dress I saw was made in China, every one.
- Don't imagine the dresses you see online will be in the stores. Too much of a risk that they won't sell.
- There are no velvet dresses to be had. Maybe they forgot how to make velvet in China.
- Nearly everyone working or shopping at malls in the middle of the day has a middle eastern accent.
- Formal wear is freaking UGLY!
Getting desperate, I ordered a dress from the Neiman Marcus catalog, sent overnight, and when I tried it on all that was missing was the pink bunny slippers. A combo design of nightgown and mummy outfit, with wrapping bands all around the top that added to its ugliness.
Ah but I was inspired. I remembered I had a velvet dress from the 1920's. I haven't worn it in 20 years myself. Pulled it out of the costume trunk, tried it on, miracle it still fit. Now I am mall free! You don't tell people you pulled it out of the costume trunk, you just say it's vintage, right?