Never Knowingly Underdressed

Things you don’t want to hear from your husband: “Seriously, you are NOT going out in that, are you?”

To be fair to him, I was planning to walk the dog in a dress. (Me, I mean. Not the dog. The dog hardly EVER wears dresses.) This dress, in fact. Because I am nothing if not, er, a sailor.

In fairness to me, however, I was also planning to change into my “dog-walking” flats, and throw a jacket over the top: voila, now I just look like I’m wearing a skirt and a skanky old pair of shoes, no one will look twice! (And that dress looks much less “dressy” with a cardigan over it, which I was wearing due to it being a whole lot colder than it actually looked. Also, no, I didn’t put it on with the purpose of walking the dog, it’s what I was wearing anyway, and I was too lazy to want to go and get changed.)

However, Terry probably wins here, because the jacket? Was the only warm-ish jacket I didn’t put into storage a couple of weeks ago. And it was…dressy.

“No one walks their dog dressed like that,” pointed out Terry. And he was right. No one DOES walk their dog dressed like that round here, because the thing is, “round here” is pretty casual. In fact, make that “very casual”. Actually, scratch that: it’s the kind of place where if you’re not wearing jeans or sweat pants, people will look at you like you have horns. Dresses or skirts? Forget it. If you’re wearing a dress, you’re obviously going to a wedding: probably as the bride. If you’re wearing heels? There’s clearly something wrong with you, because why would ANYONE wear heels when there are sneakers in the world, WHY?

You can see why all of this is a problem for me, can’t you? There’s this inherent mistrust of people who look “dressed up”. They are regarded with suspicion, and when “dressed up” means simply ”wearing anything other than jeans”, you can only imagine the reaction a dress and heels will get you.  This makes me sad. Over the past couple of years, I have somehow managed to move from wearing jeans all the time (acceptable), to my husband refusing to leave the house with me unless I go and get changed, and now I need to try and find my way back. It’ll be hard. I mean, just in case it wasn’t obvious, I like clothes. Specifically, I like dresses and heels, and I think in this respect I’ve managed to find the only downside to working from home: it gives me no excuse at all to wear them. Like, not EVER. Not even on the weekend, because on the weekends we like to do outdoorsy stuff, and that means dressing down. Meanwhile, most restaurants around here tend to be pretty casual, even the nicer ones.

With that said, my last couple of jobs had very conservative “business-attire” dress codes, so it’s not like they were a fun fashion free-for-all either.  Moving to the kind of place where people wouldn’t look twice at me waking the dog in a dress isn’t an option (moving anywhere isn’t an option, actually…), so what’s a girl to do? How to indulge my love of fashion while living in a small town?