When it comes to my wardrobe, I always prefer to arrive overdressed than underdressed. There’s something that changes my swagger and my state of mind when I get all gussied up for a creative meeting or an evening gathering. The holiday season is the perfect time to go pretty as parties abound. If you can’t get gorgeous for a Christmas party, when can you?
Monday was my birthday. I turned thirty-two in a relatively non-emotional way. The day arrived and, to celebrate, I put a sizable dent in my Christmas shopping. It was relaxing and fun. At thirty, I cried for something like twenty minutes, moped around the house for a small while in my fluffy robe, wondering what the rest of my life would look like, and then got over it and moved on with my day. Thirty-one was fine, and, now, so was thirty-two.
To mark the occasion, I had a lovely family dinner at Omaha’s historic (and now nationally known, thanks to the Travel Channel) Piccolo Pete’s on Sunday, the eve before my birthday. It was cold on Sunday and my outfit was already picked out: black Mary Janes, dressy jeans, a black cardigan and these fabulous, vintage-like floral earrings: black enamel over gold with tiny crystals in the center. Perfect for December in Nebraska.
Before dinner Matt gave me my birthday gifts, among which was a drop-dead-gorgeous, fire-engine-red dress by Bettie Page Clothing. We visited the Bettie Page shop in the Haight during our summer vacation to San Francisco earlier this year. I lusted after nearly every item in the store, always fond of clothing styles well before my time.
As I pulled the dress from the box and its wrappings, I gasped. My eyes grew wide. I was even a little speechless. I was so touched that Matt remember my reaction to the store nearly six months ago.
“You can wear the dress tonight to dinner!” Matt said enthusiastically.
As I held the dress, I knew I wanted to. Heck, I wanted to put the dress on right there and never, ever take it off. But I knew our dinner would be a casual affair, and I, very likely, would be the only one in a fancy red dress. I shared with him my thoughts.
“Who cares,” Matt said. “It’s your birthday.”
After much mental badminton – going back and forth in mind, back and forth, back and forth – I decided to put on the dress for dinner. My new vintage-like earrings would be perfect with the dress, as would my knee-high black boots. And what better color to wear than red during the holidays?
Of course I was overdressed for dinner, but the dress was stunning. It fit perfectly and I felt fantastic. Later than night, I reminded myself of my philosophy of always overdressing than underdressing. Not only will I (and you, when you wear your best) always look lovely, but you have the confidence knowing you took the time for yourself. Had I opened the dress from Matt earlier, I might have even applied a thick red coat (or two) of polish atop my fingernails to complete the look.
Allow yourself to be pampered this season. I can’t afford a manicure every week – something I would absolutely love – but I almost always make time to paint my fingernails. Shop your closet. Wear your favorite pieces and pair them with your most treasured accessories. Who cares if it’s not “matchy matchy.” What matters most is that the better you look, the better you feel. I guarantee you that my new red dress will make me happy and feeling wonderful for years to come.