The Context Of "You"

You give me a theme and you give me life! Beit a party, holiday event, wedding, etc. if you give me a new context--an invitation in which to step outside of what’s expected--you give me purpose-driven wardrobe digging, shopping, and hunting.

Recently, my boyfriend and I were invited to an Indian Mehndi party, wedding, and reception with an added bonus of the opportunity to wear the ceremonial Indian garb. Naturally, I was stoked about the bedazzled gorgeous fabrics, and my boyfriend was his version of stoked at the idea of being able to wear “pajama-like” bottoms to a normally suit-and-tie type occasion.

We drove to the store the Bride recommended and I was still giddy as all get out. I put my bargaining panties on and was ready to play “let’s make a deal” with my new foreign friends. To my dismay, they did not share the same excitement I did nor were they so willing to foster my Indian dreams into a paisley jeweled reality. My boyfriend's clothing choices were simple while mine were expansive, complicated and pricey. I chose a beautiful peacock-colored sari and with a woman’s help, wrapped myself up into a neat little package. I quickly realized that this garb would not survive a conga line, crazy dance moves, or my typical wear-and-tear of wedding attire.

I was out of there!

But not before I picked out and bartered for some amazing earrings that would become the focal point and the color-palette for my outfit. BOOM! SUCCESS!

Back in our neck of the woods, I found an emerald green tunic dress with Grecian style vertical pleating and a gold and silver beaded scoop neck. With the addition of black tights and some killer heels, I was family-friendly yet funky.

Day of the wedding I quickly realized the addition of the tights meant my heels were slippery, unpredictable, and an accident waiting to happen. I was as I usually say in heels…”a baby deer learning how to walk.” I grabbed my gold sparkly Toms as I headed out the door and my boyfriend suggested I just wear those and ditch the heels. I took this change as an opportunity to mount my soapbox and preach about heels making me feel more like a woman, more attractive, more sexy…more, more, more! But the moment I almost busted it on the stairs I soon realized I was none of those things if I kept tripping, looking down, dragging behind, and looking more like a struggle than a sultry Indian princess. So gold Toms it was and I am thankful for the mobility and grace they afforded me all day. I still felt amazing, survived all the processions, and most importantly was present to all my surroundings and the conversations with new and old friends.

What’s the take-away?

  • Listen for and do what works for you; especially in new environments
  • You can make function, fashion, without losing one to another