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I'd Choose Strapless

I wish I had a reason to buy a formal gown, but I don’t seem to run in circles that frequent Black Tie affairs. The fanciest dress I have is my wedding dress, which isn’t a wedding dress at all, but a bridesmaid dress in ivory. I planned on getting it hemmed and dyed after the wedding so I could wear it again and again. I haven’t, but I’m still hopeful. The wedding was far from Black Tie, “Formal Garden Attire” is what the invitation said. I didn’t want people showing up in Dockers. At least only one did.
I would hate to be seen in public in white. Against my fair(ish) skin with pink undertones and red hair, white makes me look ghastly, yet ruddy. Don’t even get me started about the extra 10 pounds it adds. Aren’t the only people who go to White Parties busy living a life like a rap video while spending their time on a yacht with the Hip Hop artist Du jour?  They drive out to the Hamptons and get on a big boat with cases of Cristal and a never-ending supply of huge sunglasses and hot-pants. That’s how I imagine it anyway.
Unless you were born into wealth, I don’t think many in recent generations have much experience attending Black Tie events. Maybe it has always been that way and the past just seems more glamorous. Dances and parties every weekend, closets overflowing with dresses and pumps. It’s a shame; I would love to spend an evening at such an event. I would spend the better part of the day leisurely getting ready. The ritual would certainly include a long bath, maybe a facial mask, nails would need painting. I’d probably sip some wine or bubbly to get in the mood. Finally, I would slip triumphantly into an amazing gown, probably a strapless.  It would fit like a glove and I would need my husband to zip up the back up for me.
The closest I ever came to going to a White Party was the night of my High School graduation party. It was a Saturday night and I went with a few friends to “Club X” at the State Theater in downtown Detroit. We thought we were SOOO COOL! It was a White Party, but it was also the early 90’s, so it was all about a white top with jean shorts-YUCK! I think that was the night the cocktail waitress told us underage girls a trick for easily removing the dreaded thick black X the doorman placed on the hands of the under aged.  “Just bring a bottle of hairspray, spray the X and it will wash right off.” Maybe you were supposed to prime your skin with a spritz before the  permanent marker was applied to your hand. I don’t remember, but I know I brought some hairspray the next weekend.
I have such a romanticized vision of Black Tie events. In my head it’s the 1940’s or 50’s and I’m dancing all night long to an amazing Jazz band-not classical. Would it still be a Black Tie party if  a Jazz band was playing? I’m not giving up hope, one of these days I’ll make it to a fancy party. I already have the dress, I just need to have it hemmed and dyed.

2 responses to “I'd Choose Strapless”

  1. Lindi Lindi says:

    Your scenario of your personal black tie event listening to a jazz band could perhaps take place at The Bells in Detroit. Was that the name of it? I realize it wouldn't be 40s/50s genre, but black tie events and art deco go even better together. De-Lovely.

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Emily Billings About Emily Billings

Emily Billings is a freelance writer and reluctant marketing director living in South Florida. She doesn't like liars, fakes or phoneys but loves cheese. She spends most of her time at the beach either being lazy or participating in beachy activities like body-boarding and snorkeling. She also enjoys hitting lobs or high backhands that her husband can't return on the tennis court. After a long day, there isn't anything Emily enjoys more than spending time with her husband and cats hypothesizing about the collapse of modern civilization and planning their survival.

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