12 August 2011

it'd be nice to wear a cocktail dress

Whatever happened to the cocktail dress?

I wondered this last night as I stood, cocktail in hand, in jeans and a sleeveless top from Ann Taylor. Classy but not classic.

I know the cocktail dress still exists and there must still be cocktail parties, but I don't seem to get invited to them, possibly because I don't live in Mad Men or The Dick van Dyke Show.

But last night I was drinking a Sidecar, a drink that was ostensibly invented at the Ritz in Paris during the 1920s.

The Jazz Age.

The age of F. Scott Fitzgerald and lines like "Her voice was full of money."

The time before the crash and the Great Depression when everyone was dancing so hard to forget that the war had been so bad.

And here I was at a party where a drink from that era was being served, and I didn't have a cocktail dress on.

'It'd be nice to wear a cocktail dress,' I said to myself, thinking about how cocktail dresses hit at just the right length to show off the calf and how the heels you have to wear with the dress also work to show off your calves.

I am not in a show off mood; there is just something to the particular form of pretty you feel in a dress with a full skirt that makes you think that maybe you could be drinking a Sidecar with Fitzgerald at the Ritz.

He may not tell you anything about your voice being full of money, but you'd feel pretty, I just know it.


  1. I am usually worried about being over-dressed or under-dressed when it comes to events, but I've come to the realization that you're only over/under-dressed if you "feel" that way. If you feel comfortable and happy in a cocktail dress when everyone around you is in jeans, or vice versa, who cares? It's the confidence that matters and what people will notice, and I need to remind myself of that more.

    I really want to try a Side Car now too. :-) And read The Great Gatsby again!

  2. We could start wearing them to church on Sundays. Or just to choir some Thursday night this fall. I will if you will.

  3. Beth, you should most definitely try a sidecar. If I can mix it, you can mix it! {My mixing skills are not so good. Thank heavens I'm not a bartender.}

    And I was thinking about that idea the other day...that as long as you carry yourself with confidence, you won't feel like you've made a dressing faux-pas. I remember looking around on a mission trip in college and thinking, 'That girl brought more "outdoorsy" clothes than I did. Poor me.' It's shocking the things we find to be concerned about in college, eh?

    {Not that this worry about "looking right" ever entirely goes away...}

  4. Alyssa, I have one heck of a cocktail dress picked out for your wedding.

    After that, we can review our plan for wearing cocktail dresses whenever we darn well feel like it.



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