I’m an at home mom married to an electrical engineer. With that particular set-up, there are really not that many occasions when “black tie optional” comes into play. I try to keep it stylish, but between the dog chewing my shoes and the acid, grease, and machinery hazards at Craig’s office, we’re not really red carpet ready.
So, in this month when he and I have fallen asleep in front of the TV before 10 pm way too often, we’ve decided to go out on a nightlife limb and take in a fundraising event called “Dancing with the Delaware Stars,” which features local community names competing on the dance floor for a good cause. The first hurdle was getting a babysitter. Done. The second? Discerning the meaning of “Black tie optional.”
I’m going to leave up to Craig his interpretation of the dress code. I know the poor boy doesn’t want to wear a tuxedo, and heaven knows I wouldn’t want to make him. The guy wore a tie every day at school from 6th to 12th grade, so he’s hip to what’s appropriate. For an event like this, I’m confident that we’re in no danger of the cowboy boot/string tie, holey t-shirt/torn jeans, or wrinkled polo/front pleat khakis variety. So, whatever you want, Craig—go for it.
My end of the fashion bargain is a different story, though. I’ve gone over a couple of scenarios, and here’s what I’ve come up with.
- The little black dress is a good option, but I’ve gotten really tired of what I like to call black, black, black, and black. As much as I’d like to wear my go-to black dress, I’m thinking of breaking out of the 4B box this time. Maybe I’ll do it with…
- …new shoes. My shoes fall into a couple of categories: black and brown. I have one pair of strappy, sparkly heels, and they always get a lot of compliments, but unfortunately they’ve developed an annoying squeek, so they’re on their way out. Much as I’d like to be one, I am not a red shoe girl, although I’m thinking that red may be the way to go this time. We’ll see.
- …bling. I’m not talking hip hop mogul accessories, here. Statement jewelry, my friends tell me, will take that plain, old outfit to new semi-formal heights. I’m thinking that may be fun—less of an effort to try on, more flexibility for future use. Not a bad idea.
So here’s the welcome wrinkle. The dinner portion of the event is sold out, so there are only spectator tickets left. While this might seem like a disappointment, I actually think, it is the answer to all my dress dilemmas! Now I can go out to dinner with my husband in our usual smart casual attire (jacket, tie, crisp slacks for him, and jacket, cute skirt, chunky shoes, statement jewelry for me), then join the fundraiser in progress. We’ll look great, but there’ll be no pressure whatsoever, as all eyes will be on the dancers. This rocks! Plus, no chance of being seated for dinner beside some Meryl Streep at the Oscars type whom I won’t know and will feel uncomfortable with, because we’ll be having dinner at someplace that’s more our speed and level of formality—alone!
The best of both worlds—and a night out besides. I love it.