There’s no Friend Friday this week because of the Thanksgiving break, and I’m up to my neck in advance blog posts for my holiday, so here’s a quick photo from Shoe Challenge # 60, in which I wore bright pink shoes and matching tights:

(Like my crazy pointed wall? Every room should have one, I tells ya.)

Brightly coloured tights aren’t exactly the “done thing” around these here parts. In fact, they’re the kind of thing that make people stop in their tracks and wonder what to jeer at first: red hair or pink tights? (Ah, the eternal question!)

Speaking of things that make people stop and stare in disbelief, the hotel Terry and I are going to be staying in next month has a dress code for its restaurant. It’s not a particularly “dressy” dress code, but even so, I can’t tell you how happy this makes me: I mean, any excuse to dress up, right? It’s interesting, though: Terry did a bit of Googling to try to establish just how smart or causal it’s going to be, and a lot of the reviews of the hotel from other guests mentioned that while the male guests seem to interpret the dress code pretty easily, the women just don’t, so you basically get a lot of smartly dressed men wandering around accompanied by women in jeans and swimwear. (I know! Swimsuits to dinner! Can you even?)

In fairness, I’m guessing this is partly because dress codes always seem to be directed purely at MEN. You’re told it’s either “black tie” or “white tie” or that “men must wear long trousers”, but there’s no reference to what the women are supposed to wear. As I said to Terry, who found this really odd, the reason for this is simple: it’s assumed that women will take their cue from the “black tie” or “long trousers” bit, and modify their dress accordingly, so, if you know men are going to be in black tie, you wouldn’t turn up in jeans, for instance.

That might have worked fifty or so years ago, however (or maybe a little later than that), but the problem is that these days people just don’t know how to interpret these codes. They’ve almost ceased to have any relevance to our modern society, and, as a result, dressing is becoming a bit of a lost art. So many people seem to struggle to know what’s appropriate, and if I need any more evidence of that, it’s in all the Google searches this site gets for the phrase “Can I wear jeans to a christening?” (NO! Just back away from the jeans, sister, and no one will get hurt…)

Anyway, be all of that as it may, I’m planning to interpret our hotel dress code next month as “YAY! Bring your dresses! You will finally have an excuse to wear them!” I’ve also been persuaded to join Tat’s ‘Dressember’ challenge (it would actually have been more of a challenge to say “no” to Tat on this, trust me!), in which participants are challenged to wear a dress every day for the duration of December. Here’s how it works:

“December 1st marks the beginning of ‘Dressember’ – the challenge for women (or the adventurous male) everywhere to shake up their wardrobe and try ditching the jeans and t-shirts.

We’re aiming to wear dresses as often as possible – don’t worry if it’s not practical in the day, you can go for a skirt/top combo if needed, or have fun and dress up in the evening in that cocktail dress you never get to wear!

Feel free to share your photos in the group or on your own wall if you’re shy, just have fun with it, and try something different for the month – plus it’s party season, so use the wall to ask if you need help deciding! 😉

There are no rules, it’s all about stretching your wardrobe boundaries, trying something different, and having fun, so just jump on in :-)”

Now, this really appealed to me because I have  a LOT of dresses. A LOT of dresses. And as much as I love them, and try to get as much use out of them as I can, it’s all too easy to get sucked into the Cult of Casual and end up wearing jeans every day for a week. Or it is for me, anyway. At the same time, though, the thought of owning things I don’t actually use makes me itchy. It’s one thing to be a shopaholic and actually use the things you buy, but it’s another thing altogether to be a shopaholic who just stuffs them in a closet and forgets about them, so this shopaholic will be using the Dressember challenge, like the Shoe Challenge I’ve been working my way through all year, to stretch my style boundaries a little bit, and to make sure I’m getting my money’s worth out of my, um, expansive dress collection.

Anyone want to join me? There’s a Facebook group here if you do!

Edited to add: It’s now been suggested that Dressember be in aid of charity, so participants will be helping raise money for the women and children’s charity Refuge: details to come soon!

    1. Yay! I’m probably not going to manage every day because of my holiday (and I’ll need to catch up with posts when I get back, because we’re probably not going to have decent internet access over there), but it should still be lots of fun!

  1. I went to a work conference that included an evening do. The dress code stated that men should wear black tie and most of the women would wear ‘lovely evening dresses’! And there was me, all upset cos I’d packed my ugly evening dress….

    1. Oh no! I mean, “evening dresses” would be fine, but lovely ones? Too much 😉

      That’s actually really interesting that they specified what women should wear: I guess a lot of places will probably start doing that in recognition of the fact that a male-specific dress code doesn’t really mean much to a lot of women. (And through no fault of their own really: I could count on one hand the number of places Terry and I have gone this year where we woudn’t have been out of place in jeans. Actually, I could probably count that on one finger…)

  2. Happy (belated) American Thanksgiving. I love your outfit. I wore black with colored tights yesterday too, but although I wish I could join you for Dressember, I don’t own nearly enough dresses to do so. I wish I owned more though.

    I do love jeans too, but to wear them to a Christening is unthinkable (!), and I agree it’s odd that dress codes don’t usually address women. I’m glad you have a good reason to be dressed up though. You always dress impeccably, and I look forward to seeing your Dressember posts.

    1. Thank you, that’s such a lovely thing to say 🙂 And hey, it doesn’t have to be a different dress every day (I’m going to have to repeat lots of them because I’ll be on holiday for part of December) – if you’re feeling creative you can always try to remix a few of them in different ways. (Some people are really good at that. I’m, er, not…)

      1. With only about 5 dresses in my closet that fit (and 2 of those are plain black), not only would that be a lot of re-mixing, but it would be an awful lot of laundry! LOL. I’m trying to lose some weight, so maybe by next winter, I’ll have bought more dresses that fit, and might try a Dressember. 🙂

  3. Love the outfit! This Dressember idea sounds fantastic (and it’s summer here… almost!), only I’ll be living out of a suitcase on the not-so-sunny East Coast of the US. Next year? 🙂

    1. Ah, but I’m going to be living out of a suitcase for two weeks of it too! I figured I’ll be taking holiday photos anyway, so I’ll just try to get some of the dresses and post them when I get back – might get a bit repetitive, mind you, because there’s only so many dresses a suitcase can hold, but trust me, you’ll find more than enough of them to buy where you’re going!

  4. Hi! Thanks for following my blog 🙂 Yours is great and I will be following you now too 🙂 I can’t believe blogging about fashion and beauty is your job – that’s literally amazing I’m insanely jealous. Good luck with Dressember it sounds like fun. Loving this outfit also, I think coloured tights are great for brightening a look x

  5. I’d love to take part in Dressember (I have a terrible habit of buying pretty frocks I never actually get a chance to wear) but, alas, as someone with poor circulation and a neurological condition that affects temperature regulation, I spend all winter dressed in as many thick, lumpen layers as humanly possible – if I don’t look like the Michelin Man, I’m doing it wrong! So I will have to live through you instead on this one, or perish in the attempt 😀
    I love the look of bright tights – I’ve recently got around to buying some of my own and they liven up an outfit no end.

  6. you are truly photogenic, did you know that? Love how those tights look,I’m normally a tad apprehensive about the whole tight trend, in bold colours and such. However, you do pull it off nicely.
    Considering the December dress challenge…may be a HUGE challenge for someone like me who ditches dresses as soon as temperatures drop even the slightest… but I’m considering it!

  7. This is something I could definitely do, as I own 50+ dresses, but since I’m spending two weeks hiking up volcanoes in Indonesia, it might not be that practical for me. But I went out to dinner last night and wore a dress, so that’s good.

  8. I’ve worn a swimsuit to dinner maybe three times- and that was camping in the summer, after we’d been on the river for over two hours and were totally happy and exhausted.

  9. Amber; I am a long-time lurker (that sounds so creepy), and wanted to thank you for inpiring me to wear my coloured tights. I have tons of bright pairs of tights, but always chicken out and end up wearing the black opaques. Today I am proudly wearing a bright blue pair! Haven’t gotten too many strange looks… phew.
    I have to admit that having grown up on the Canadian Prairies, massive amount of snow in December is normal to me, and in fact, it feels very wrong that Toronto (where I currently live) has no snow yet! Of course, it should benoted that I have no driveway or sidewalk to shovel, and most major Canadian cities have a large snow-ploughing budget..

    Rebecca in TO

  10. I love coloured tights but so many stares when I wear them, you think people are living in black and white when they see them

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