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1 posts from January 2011

01/07/2011

Sartorialist.

(This blog post is late. It's been a busy few months. Resolution for 2011... fewer excuses.)

It's party time. November, December... the two months of the year when people throw parties. And galas. And fundraisers. Live auctions. Art fairs. Clothing swaps. 

November, December... the two months of the year when I am painfully reminded of the fact that my wardrobe is not cut out for this many parties. 

I work from home. This means that I wear gym clothes all day and only change into proper attire when called out to do something exceptional. This is why I'm forever bumping into an ex-boyfriend while sporting Lululemon. (Girls tend to think they look much better in Lululemon than they actually do, btw. A sad truth.) 

When you only occasionally dress yourself, you can pare your wardrobe down to 2 or 3 good outfits since, if they're strong enough, nobody will tire of them, and you can alternate them effectively enough to avoid repeats in repeat company.  It's all about accessories, ladies. 

But black tie events are different. And there have been an inordinate number of them lately. 

I have one green dress. It's a go to. Sometimes I belt it. Sometimes, I do not. Really, it's that versatile. There is not a single person I know who has not, now, seen me in this dress. I busked in it when we were shooting publicity photos for the tv show, and I've worn it to every wedding I've been invited to for the last two years. A lot of my friends have gotten married. That said, the crowd changes widely enough, wedding to wedding, that ol' Green's weathered the barrage in fine form and without complaint.

But, black tie events, galas, fundraisers, these things for which I am forever a "plus one" and never a "one", are attended strictly by the people who can afford them. And, in this city, that is a small, highly critical, and unchanging group.

A friend recently gave me a dress because she'd tired of it. It is covered in feathers and, although it makes me look like a Muppet, it is not green, nor has it been worn, by me, like, 1100 times. That makes it fucking perfect. 

A few weeks ago, this same friend spoke at a black tie event, for which I was, natch, a plus one. I planned to wear the dress. It occurred to me about an hour before the event that I needed nylons to go with the dress and that these nylons had to be understated and sexy and very anti-Muppet. I was at the office. We were moving -- offices, that is -- and I had 5 bags of clutter to carry home. Maybe seven. You pick up a lot of random stuff over two years in a cubicle. The bags were heavy. I needed a nylon shop within a three block radius, so that I could walk there without losing a bag or an arm. 

There is a sex shop up the street from my office. I figured it probably sold sexy, understated nylons -- the kind with the line up the back. I believe they're called "French".       Or, "Available". 

It is an awkward maneuvre, slipping into a sex shop around the corner from your office. Many, many things can go wrong. I was lucky. 

There's a parrot in the sex shop. An African Grey. I bet she'd make a spectacular lover. If her wings worked, she could fly to Malawi and make some other parrot very, very happy. 

The woman in the sex shop shows me to the nylons and hands me a package.

"These ones are gorgeous," she says. "You won't be disappointed."

I ask if I can look at them. She tells me, "we don't open the packages at Miss Behavin'".

Makes sense.

She suggests another pair of nylons with red bows on the...

No, no thank you. Not for me.

So, home now. I'm running late. I throw on the dress. Grover. It's also a little big in the chest. If I hold my breath, it stays up. I continue to hold my breath and slide the nylons on. One toe, five toes, ankle, calf. One toe, five toes, ankle, calf. The nylons catch on some jewelled bit on the dress. Small knick. Barely noticeable. I turn to examine it. Larger knick. I'm out of time and, surely, nobody will be staring at the back of my thigh. Find a chair and sit on it.

I lick my hand and run it up the back of my leg to straighten the line in the back. Repeat. I won't wear mascara. Muppets have long lashes. I'm actively fighting the obvious. 

Did I mention I have called a cab? I have. Because now I'm quite pressed for time. And the cabs are running slow, because sometimes that happens when you're in a rush. Of course, now he's honking outside, and calling my cell.

He rings the doorbell. Twice. Jesus Christ. I'm coming.

I throw on my faux fur jacket, which a Briton at a bar recently called my "Sewer Couture". Lipstick on. And, lipstick off. I need mascara. Muppet or no. 

Quick spritz of Static Guard to tame the feathers.     And, dress is down.     Hoisting up and  BREATHING IN.

I will spend the evening like this. No exhalations.

And, one more glance in the mirror. Check, check, check. One quick inspection of the lines up the back of my calves to make sure they're straight.

And, yes, they are... but, what is... no. Surely not. Good God. No. No. There's no time for this. CRITICAL OMISSION from the salesperson. Critical. Omission.

There are two foot tall penises rising up the back of my calves before a velveteen line continues up each thigh. 

Somewhere, an African Grey is smiling.