Here’s a post from Dec. 3, 2007, just in time for the holidays. BTW, I mis-typed the title as Dress Definance just now. Is it a message? I still feel the same way.
The constant shopper is also a contrarian. Conventional wisdom tells us to dress conservatively (hold all things sexy!), act with decorum and basically show restraint at our holiday parties, particularly when it comes to the office. Bah humbug to that.
Defying convention and popular taste has its adherents. That’s what fashion is about anyhow – pushing boundaries, challenging the status quo.
Baudelaire said: “The intoxicating aspect of bad taste lies in the artistocratic pleasure of giving offence.”
Here are some rules from the etiquetticians that brought on a fit of pique:
Don’t go sleeveless if you’re past 40, said one stylist. (Give me a break!) Hems must be below the knees. (Ugh.) Go for colour. (More ugh, unless it’s a little fuchsia satin top. The little black dress rules. Also black pants, black tops, black eyeliner, black jewels.) Remove that last accessory, Ugly Betty’s effete little brother quotes Coco Chanel on last week’s episode. And watch that boozing.
Well, here is my plan for our office party. I will drink like a fish (three, maybe four glasses of wine), hog the canapés, and wear a sleeveless, backless dress. I, and everyone else, will talk nothing but shop – ooh, did I say shop? – and I don’t mean what’s hot at Banana Republic (where I got the sweetest little cashmere cardigan in pale aqua).
I will wear one too many bits of glitter – none of it real.
My hair will be its usual mess, and I will not have my makeup done. If I do, I will go for both the red lip and the smoky eye, as well as the shimmering foundation. I will not wear mascara. And I will wear clouds of perfume.
I will eschew the clutch – how the heck are you supposed to drink and eat holding a large envelope with no shoulder strap? – no matter how stylish the fashion pundits declare it to be. I will wear high-heeled sparkly tango shoes and be somewhat off balance, especially after glass No. 2.
One thing I won’t do: drink and drive.
Happy holidays, everybody. And remember, just be yourself, whatever that means – even if it’s too short, too skimpy, too young, too old, too too.