I never owned a little black dress. I might have when a little girl, but I doubt it. Little girls did not wear black dresses in the 1950s.
By the time I was old enough to own a little black dress, I was no longer little.
The idea of one ubiquitous dress hails back decades. Coco Chanel, an icon of women’s fashion, formalized and popularized the concept of the ideal dress that could go anywhere. The year was 1926.
The little black dress became a uniform women admired and duplicated. Accessorized with jewelry, shoes, an over garment – sweater, blazer, vest, jacket, shawl – the garment could be dressed up or down.
This child of the sixties moved into the seventies attending college, grad school, getting married and having two babies. My wardrobe tilted towards jeans rather than dresses. Jobs through the years required what is now termed casual business attire, and I favored pants and skirts.
This deliberation concerning dress and dresses is a result of getting ‘dressed up’ twice – two times! – last week. I cannot remember the last time I dressed up at all. Twice was tough. Perusing my closet for something to wear – suitable for the weather (it was very warm), with matching shoes that fit and did not hurt my feet when walking (a near-impossible task), that was not ridiculously out of style (eliminating some outfits), and actually fit (more outfits thrown into the Goodwill bag) – there was not much left to choose from.
I am at a stage in life when wisdom should override concerns of fashion and fads. I should not worry or care what hangs in my closet. But the agony of choosing when nothing seems appropriate proved an exercise in frustration.
To avoid future problems I need to buy myself a not-so-little black dress. Then I will have at least one outfit to whip out of the closet, regardless of the occasion.
I also need matching shoes. My black heels, ages old, beginning to wear, but more important, are too tough on my feet. Walking from the parking lot to my destination required time, patience, and tiny steps.
I am not really looking forward to shopping for a black dress sans little. Clothes shopping can be fun at times, but too often turns out to be frustrating, deflating, and hard on the pocketbook.
Sometimes I enjoy clothes shopping. I like looking for sweatshirts, for instance. They are large, comfy, warm, and roomy.
While shopping I may as well buy a new pair of much-needed black jeans.
Black jeans are part of my usual ‘dress up’ outfit. Comfortable, figure enhancing, matching any top any season of the year…Coco Chanel, where are you now? How about a stamp of approval on black jeans, the one garment that will take a woman (almost) anywhere…
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