The other day, I had the chance to go out for evening dinner with a male friend. Given my current resolve to go out as often as possible as Rhiannon, I jumped at the chance. As you do, I spent quite a lot of time considering what I should wear. But what I discovered was - and apologies because it also could sound incredibly stereotypical - I really didn’t have anything to wear.
I realised that I have been presenting as Rhiannon in certain situations at certain times of the day and that my wardrobe has grown up around those requirements. I go out a lot during the day for lunch to restaurants and for shopping trips, so I had lots of day clothes that I could wear, but they aren’t really evening-smart. Also that there are some types of clothes that I particularly like, so have lots of those. These are namely, nice evening dresses, but most of them are not appropriate for a night out with someone in jeans and I didn’t want to mismatch.
My friends A1 and S were very helpful in helping me to think it through. Together, we decided on my purple chiffon-y dress with tights, some less smart heels and muted accessories. One of my favourite pieces of advice from Sun Tzu's "The Art of War" (I know!) is that, "no plan stands contact with the enemy." That night it proved to be true. When my friend arrived, he was in jeans and a jacket and I felt incredibly overdressed and thought that we were wearing considerably different levels of formality. I would have struggled to relax and enjoy myself. Out came my nice day top, jeans and flats and I felt a little underdressed compared to the other girls who were out, but it worked a little better.
My realisation was that most women would probably not have this challenge because going out for early evening dinner is something that they would do regularly and so would have appropriate clothes. Often when, “I’ve got nothing to wear,” is heard, it is because it is a new and/or important situation rather than being something they regularly do. I looked desperately on-line in the couple of days leading up to dinner because I suspected that this might be a problem, but to no avail. So, I decided that I need to be ready for the future. So since the meal, I have been hunting for dressy evening tops and a nice, but less formal dress for the next time that happens :o) The results are here:
Last Friday, I got the chance to try out one of the tops when I spent the evening with B and K from my previous blog. In fact I spent the whole day as Rhiannon (not in a dressy top!) and introduced myself as myself for the first time to my friend A2. It was a great day, but needs another blog post to do it justice, so I’ll work on that one as soon as I have a moment. My friends are being fantastic and really are helping my to get out more. :o)
Finally, I have also realised that v-neck tops are very flattering to me and work for my shape. Rounded neck tops are lovely, but they do make me feel a little wider. So (too much shopping), I bought two new ones of those too. They look great on - in fact, this is one of them.