My 20th High School reunion is rapidly approaching so I went shopping on Sunday to look for a dress.
You walk a fine line when choosing a dress for an event like your 20th high school reunion. You want to look good – like you’ve held up well through the last 20 years and through giving birth. But you also don’t want to look like you’re trying too hard or trying to look younger than you are.
One of our regulars, New Mom, was a classmate of mine in high school and is attending the reunion as well. Over the weekend, she emailed me a photo of her dress, and it is perfect. Short and fun, but also classy. It will show off her figure but does not look like she’s trying to be a teenager.
So with New Mom’s dress in mind, I headed off to the mall.
On a trip to the mall last week, I had seen a fuchsia colored v-neck, column dress with some beading that I really liked. (It kind of reminded me of a flapper’s dress – light see-through material over a slip.) I didn’t try it on that day because I had three kids with me plus they didn’t have my size. The dress was also a little bit pricey at $185. But I kept thinking about this dress. (I liked that it wasn’t black because everyone wears black.)
So on Sunday I looked in Macy’s, Dillard’s and the store that New Mom got her dress (she picked the best one in the store) and ended up back in Nordstrom, where I found the fuschia dress.
I pulled about 15 dresses – some from the sales rack and some regular price. Some black and some with color. Some more conservative and some a little crazy.
After trying on dresses for an hour, I actually ended up liking one of the crazy ones. It is a strapless black sequined dress that stops about mid-thigh. It is made from really stretchy fabric so it is surprisingly comfortable, and I am all about comfort. I look curvy and shapely, and it stays up. (I could use some undergarments to give me a smooth look but I don’t really need to be sucked in by Spanx to look good in it.) The dress was also marked down considerably and is less than the fuchsia dress.
I guess my concern with a short, strapless black sequin number is that it looks like I’m trying way too hard to be sexy and not trying to look 38.
Michael thought it was sexy without looking slutty. He thought for certain I was going to complain about it, like that my boobs were falling out of it or that it was too tight somewhere. (I do have one complaint that the sequins rub the insides of my arms, which I kind of remember from prom. Is there a solution for that – like petroleum jelly or powder?)
Rose said it looked like New York. My 3-year-old stylist Lilina told me I was missing something on my feet and brought me her play Cinderella clear plastic high heels to put on with the dress.
To hedge my bet, the store has ordered the correct size in the fuchsia dress for me to try on next week, but Michael’s reaction was so great I am really leaning toward the black strapless dress.
So what do you think: Can a 38-year-old mother of three get away with a short black strapless sequined dress for her 20th-high school reunion or ever?
What is the image you want to project at your 10-, 20-, 30-year reunions? How does motherhood play into that image – like it hasn’t affected who you are or that’s exactly who you’ve become?
(I will be doing more reunion topics later such as introducing your spouse to boys you made out with in high school! Yikes! Stay tuned!)