Today I am thankful for bright pink tights and hotel dress codes

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!