Wednesday, July 25, 2012

wedding story in many parts

Did I mention I'm getting married? Oh, a wedding, a wedding! How thrilling and exciting! 

I have found on the internets a real dearth of information on what's out there for real weddings—what about people who are not on their first trip down the aisle? What creative ways can couples express themselves without resorting to super weirdness? (please don't google "Alternative weddings" —just trust me on that one). And most importantly, how do I do this without picking up a copy of Bridezilla magazine? 

I can't be the first one to ask such a question—thus, I am putting out here, on the internets, the data dump for my wedding, and the absurd process that goes with it, in case anyone else is similarly hard up for ideas.

Immediately I can tell you this is not going to be a Charles and Diana thing, that ritual holds nothing for us. Already we're struggling for a purpose to put this thing together. I mean, we're already completely besotted and espoused to each other in spirit, we know we're already there! Must we really go to the effort of choosing colours and flowers and which chicken or beef dish we supply for an ever-growing list of guests? 

It turns out the answer is no: we don't have to each have 9 bridesmaids and hold a topless dancer bachelor party. We don't even have to do the chicken dance. It didn't take us long to conclude that we can make this a celebration of whatever the f*ck we want, and celebrate it in whatever fashion our little hearts desire. 

We decided that the best part was that we get to be together and hold hands and giggle whilst we plan. You see, Himself and I are all about being disgustingly barf-inducingly ridiculous together. That's just how we roll. Yay! I knew I married this guy for a reason! We sat and we talked: what's important to us? What do we want to share with others, what do we keep to ourselves? 

It should come as no surprise that this Bitch has put Dressing Up at a very high priority on the agenda. We have so many options, elopement is but one of them. I reluctantly declined this as I would never turn down an occasion to show off a fancy dress, even if it's in a colour that does not favour me best.  And even if we weren't going to have a big fancy marriage party, Himself requires a good suiting. 

In no particular order, also on the list is fancy food. Also is chat with our closest friends. Also is cupcakes. This is pretty much how we arrived at the decision to throw a big party for a number of our closest friends, requiring them to dress up and come chat with us, whilst consuming cupcakes and other foods (it's a pretty short list of requirements).

I'd totally go to that wedding! 

There are many parts to this story, part 2 is the Suiting of Himself

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Boys on Film

S.B. said to me last night, watching this movie: "Ryan Gosling's suit is too small." I said, "No, honey, it FITS."

Thursday, May 24, 2012

culture club

What if your upward career momentum were hampered by your choice of fashion at work?

I realize that this situation is commonplace in many businesses -- for example, the one who looks like a slob will be passed over for promotion many times while the one who looks neater, cleaner, smells better might find herself in an office with a window. This is not news to me, this is what the fashion industry is selling: your image is your key to success. A neater cleaner version of you is going places! Doing things! Upward and onward!

But what if it's not a case of a clean shirt versus a wrinkled shirt? What if it's a case of this,

versus this?

It's not that the asymmetrical draped tangerine silk top is inappropriate. It's not that the silver foil bandage skirt is overly sexy or offensive, and we're not talking about a job at Target. Both of these ladies look great, they're covered in all the right places. The big difference is perception: one looks like an engineer, and the other one doesn't.

Part of me rebels against this concept like a teenager in high school - the punk rock chick on the inside is totally not OK with being told what to do, no matter how sensible it might sound.

Back in the real world of today, I know that looks count for a lot and we all judge each other.  Let's face it: when you think about sciencey types, you're thinking conservative, navy suit, red tie. I think this perception thing is a cultural issue. In the geek culture, geeks are supposed to look geeky. They're not supposed to wear big heels and fabulous accessories.

Part of the reason this irks me so deeply is because it doesn't really make sense. I know that in a business world, it's important to look appropriate and follow the rules. It makes sense to dress nice for company, embrace a Jackie O look when appropriate. Make the emphasis on your brain, not on your blouse when you're meeting new people. So what's wrong with expressing creativity when it has no bearing on your work product?

Are we willing to embrace the hypocrisy of conservative wardrobe all the time, just for the sake of being accepted or promoted? Is it a noble aspiration, to rise above narrow-minded perceptions of other people? Or is it just stubbornness and stupidity that will ultimately relegate the fashion outcasts to the ranks of the non-promoted?

Personally, I struggle with this -- anyone who knows me knows that I'm very comfortable with not wearing a filter, I don't spend much time indulging in overly-self editing behaviour inside or out. I know that my personality has earned me the trust and respect of friends who I trust and respect, and will continue to earn me the company of people I admire.  I have made peace with the fact that I'm not like the other engineers, which means if I were forced into a khakis-and-polo-shirt fashion pyjamas mould, I'd probably come out more like this:

Love that belt! 

I also know that I have many clients who don't care about how I dress because they deal with me over the phone. I don't get repeat business for my style points. 

I was confronted with potential hypocrisy this morning when my youngest appeared ready for school in a questionable outfit. I would never ever tell her little self that her navy blue floral romper did not go with her leopard fur vest, because I respect her creativity (and I've put some pretty crazy stuff together myself). I will leave it to her mean-spirited girl friends to tell her that she looks good or bad, as I know they will some day. I have a feeling that she'll decide for herself if the world judging her for her outward appearance will be important to her or not, but I'll support her in expressing herself within the safe boundaries of being her age. At her age she's still allowed to dress like a crazy old lady, and I think it's great. She's too young to put on a uniform, she has a whole lifetime of uniforms ahead of her, and I'll talk her through that when the time comes.

I did point out that she was walking a fine line with respect to the school dress code, since her romper was pretty short and had spaghetti straps. I had a feeling this would not fly with the fashion agenda in her elementary school (and was potentially a bit revealing for my taste as well). 

I sent her back to adjust it. She came back wearing a plaid dress over the top of it all.

You go, girl. 

Friday, February 3, 2012

Simon Doonan PSA

Dear Simon Doonan,

Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. Please, can you shout your advice from the highest of gay rooftops again and again? 

Judging by some of the comments, it appears that some of your detractors are big fans of Greige, and probably also khaki, putty, biscuit, and oatmeal. We hope that someday they will want to throw off the shackles of fashion pajamas and submit to your Bird Of Paradise mentality.

Meanwhile, please feel free to not tell us if this feather skirt makes our butts look big.

Your humble fans,

the Bitches