14 April 2007

Not ready for the housewife dress


After spending last night in the presence of the 18th St. Lounge and Sesto/Senso's haven't-quite-learned-to-discern-between-sophisticated-sexy-and-Bebe-sexy crowds, I felt obligated this morning to counteract all those cheap satin halters, size-too-small embroidered bootcut jeans, and chunky Latin legs stuffed into two-inch short shorts and House of Dereon wedges by stepping up the prep with chocolate brown Isaac Mizrahi round-toed croc-embossed deconstructed-bow adorned stilettos, light pink cotton oxford, straight-leg Joe's Rockers, mid-length khaki trench and a burgundy-brown leather satchel.

As my companion R and I sauntered down ConnAve lightly arguing over the previous night's fashion landscape - "So they weren't you, Johanna, but come on, some of them were still pretty hot," he taunted with a laugh and a finger-poke in my toned side - we both stopped on our own accords in front of the Brooks Brothers on the corner of Rhode Island Avenue. There, for the third time in 24 hours, I found myself gazing at the deliciously laa-dee-dah seersucker shirtdress you see above.* Tilting my head to the side, I imagined a much warmer season and as two ambulances blared by, a much less frenetic backdrop. I imagined wearing it with another man, sandals-in-hand, uniformly licking all sides of a Superman cone (from the Cool Spot, of course) while navigating the twists along the Frankfort pier.

"Now that's you," J declared.

"Yeah, it is. It's so...so over-the-top housewife, isn't it?"

"Hot housewife."

"Yeah...hot housewife...I need to try it on."

"Now? But we were going to..."

"Yes, now. Right now."

And with that, I decided for us both we weren't going to make the showing of Blades of Glory we'd planned on but instead watch me in the three-way mirror fantasize about being the hottest young thing ever to hit a Chevy Chase cul-de-sac.

Determinedly, I walked in, scoped out the primarily do-women-really-wear-this? wares and found my dress. Grabbing both my usual size and optimistically, one size smaller, I went straight to the changing room area not even bothering to wait for the "click" of the door behind me to start undressing.

"Can I see?"

I tied up the cinch, let out a sing-songy "I'm coming out!" and emerged with my best, most exaggerated I'm-so-bored-with-bridge-club-and-PTA pout on my face.

"Whoah," J said, genuinely taken aback.

Eager to get a three-dimensional view of what "Whoah" looked like, I stepped up onto the wooden pedestal - the irony of that action too rich not to let out a giggle - and to my surprise, felt all the blood drain from my face. "Whoah is right," I said in an almost frightened tone, "this is not good. Not at all good. This is bad, very bad, I need to take this off."

"Now? Already? We missed the movie so you..."

"Yes, now. Right now."

Four-inch heels and all, I jumped down the three steps in one fell swoop and banged my shoulder trying to get back into my dressing room, forgetting that it had automatically locked behind me. Once I was let inside, I pulled that dress off my body more quickly than Carrie shed hers in the "Sex and the City" episode where Miranda's plan of trying on comedically campy wedding dresses to ease her friend's pre-wedding anxiety backfired with a rash and a painful realization.

Just like it took a poly-blend wedding gown for Carrie to see she was in no place to marry a man who wasn't Mr. Big, it took for me a three-sided reflection of housewivery personified to see I'm in no place to be anything right now but my single in the city, skinny jeans, square-necked bell coat, peeptoes and black-eyeliner wearing self.

And though we missed a few previews, were forced to sit in the non-stadium-seating seats and grossly overspent on candy and sodas by purchasing at the concession stand instead of the adjacent CVS, yes, we did make it to Blades of Glory on time.

*before you call into question my taste, in my defense, this dress looks considerably more flattering on my frame (with the collar popped) than it does on the thick-waisted woman in this picture

5 comments:

dc girl said...

I saw that dress in the window too and you're right, it looks waaaaay better there than here.

Your point hits home for me. All my friends are getting married and I'm always the one the older people talk about with pity, like I've somehow been unable to nab an engagement. So frustrating!

i think you're brilliant said...

Not all housewives end up like the one I know you're thinking of. Some of us still work part-time, keep our husbands happy and look great.

Don't let her taint your view of what can be a very fulfilling, meaningful life choice :-)

Miss you!

globalchameleon said...

Your post reminded me of my own experience. Every so often I pass by the "seersucker and pearls" genre in the Brooks Brothers window and sigh. So impeccable and appropriate. Then I try it on... My god I look like an idiot (and 10 years older, too, for some reason). Guess I'm just not a seersucker and pearls kind of girl (though I do own a few shirtdresses that somehow work).

bff in chicago said...

It *is* a bit housewifey, but you'd still look good in it. Just wear it with 5-inch heels, a lacy thong and false lashes, and you'll be that hot lady in the cul-de-sac!

Anonymous said...

It's too bad it's not a button-up shirtdress, or else you could vamp it up with the top few buttons undone and an effective pushup bra.

I'm surprised you liked a dress that long - I thought you only liked ones that showed off your legs?