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Remedy for the Grammys’ fashion faux pas

My little black dress. It's served me well year after year.

As always, the Grammys were entertaining last night — lots of good music and people-watching. It’s always interesting to see how the other half lives.

And dresses.

Although many of the getups the stars wore were gorgeous and flattering, I couldn’t help but wonder what Fergie, Lady Gaga, and Niki Minaj were thinking.

I wished they’d called; they could have stopped by and taken a spin through my closet. There’s no couture anything in there, and I don’t have any bedspread-sized doilies they could dye pink or old red capes left over from Catherine’s dress-up days.

However, they’d have been welcome to any of the three “good dresses” that have served me well.

Here’s a little appeal to the three of them:

Dear Fergie, Gaga and Niki,

I wish I’d realized you didn’t have the right thing to wear to the Grammys last night; I’d have been happy to loan you one of my three good dresses. All three are size 2, and knee-length (or thereabouts), so there’d be no worries about tripping or having to gather up yards of fabric to walk.

For future reference, here’s a little description of them:

The newest one, just a few years old, I’ve only worn once. It needs just the right occasion. It’s gorgeous, though: gray polished cotton sheath with an appliqued “necklace” of gray and dusty rose flowers at the scoop neckline. Beautiful with bone or pale pink shoes.

The two others have pulled special occasion duty time and again, and continue to hold up well thanks to their classic colors and styling. You might even call them vintage.

I purchased navy dress from Petite Sophisticate (remember that store?) for when my godson (now 16) was being christened. It is a sleeveless sheath,with a slightly swingy hem. Its matching long-sleeved jacket helps ward off the chill in places like the Staples Center, but the dress is equally beautiful without the jacket thanks to the blue and taupe embroidery on its bodice.

No need to beg Harry Winston for baubles, ladies; diamonds and pearls would just detract from the stitching. Add some sharp-looking footwear (I am partial to a bone-colored pair of kitten heels with a pointed toe and little bows) and you’re good to go.

My other “good” dress, pictured here, is a knee-length black Ann Taylor number purchased six years ago for Basil’s surprise 50th birthday party. It is endlessly versatile — keep it conservative with black strappy heels and a charcoal shrug, or punch it up with eye-popping shoes (I like hot-pink) and a cool necklace. (For this one, ladies, you’ll probably want to see Harry. Although you’re welcome to borrow the silver necklace that was my grandmother’s.) A nice Pashmina also helps transform this one (turquoise works well).

Next year, ladies, if you find yourself without the right thing to wear, don’t be afraid to call — I’m sure all three dresses will still be here, and you’re welcome to borrow any of them.

About Terri S. Vanech

Wife, mother, communications specialist, Jazzercise instructor and recently reunited adoptee. I'm living out loud -- and trying to make it all work -- in midlife. Having a sense of humor sure helps.


4 thoughts on “Remedy for the Grammys’ fashion faux pas

  1. Karen,
    Emporer’s New Clothes was my exact thought. Who chooses this stuff? Who tells people they look good? And for heaven’s sake, a family of five could probably eat for a year on what some of these getups cost.!

    Posted by terrisv15 | February 13, 2012, 7:18 pm
  2. I’ve got a wonderful short-sleeved black dress that I’ve had for years. It packs well for travel, doesn’t wrinkle. Yes, it’s all poly, but that’s why it travels well. I’ve got jackets ranging from black velvet with silver glitter to batik patchwork, depending on the occasion. I take it to CA yearly, and no one realizes that I’m wearing the same dress 3 nights in a row because the accessories change. Also got a long dress, same stuff.

    What appalls me is that most of them paid someone to find the dress, accessorize it and get them ready for showtime. These are the people who should be shot. Kind of makes me think of The Emporor’s New Clothes. “Oh yes, you look wonderful; people will gasp.” HeHe — in horror.

    But the whole thing is about being noticed, and dressing in a classy style, looking like a real person, won’t get nearly as much press as Fergie’s dress.

    That said, I really miss my daughter Christine when I watch awards shows, or figure skating. We could sit and critique it together. Now I do it with theatre friends on FB, and some of those queens can be really bitchy!! So much fun.

    Posted by Karen Waggoner | February 13, 2012, 11:48 am
  3. Hey, Terry, I’ll try the three dresses (even though they wouldn’t fit me). But seriously, you’re right about those Grammy get-ups. Lady Gaga looked as if she’d imprisoned herself in her personal cage. My guess is she caged herself in because they didn’t invite her to perform. And Nicki Manaj? Her costume was the least of it. What in the world WAS that? Monks at the Grammy’s?
    On the other hand, aside from the few glitches like Niki and Lady, it really was a great show. Even LL Cool J did a remarkable job of hosting. LOVED Adele, who strikes me as a real person with a huge talent who’s doing her best to maintain who she actually is. Lovely, just lovely. Adam Levine is like the nice Jewish boy next door who wandered into a tattoo parlor in his sleep and was taken advantage of by the tattoo artist. (Also hugely talented.) And oh! Paul McCartney. When they did that guitar jam at the end, I thought I’d died and gone to heaven.

    Posted by Fran Dorf | February 13, 2012, 11:08 am

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