I went to my first gala this weekend. It's been a lot of fun to think about dresses, shoes, jewelry, hair, nail color and other gala-related fashion details. I found my dress a month or so ago at a thrift store for $10. Don't panic on my behalf though: I know you are probably picturing the scary 1980s prom dresses that populate most thrift stores, but somehow I found two excellent formal dresses on the same day, plus some other non-formal finds.
One was an above-the-knee ombre (charcoal/silver) halter-dress cocktail number for $12. I decided this one would be my backup option. Though I love it, I decided that I rarely have a chance to wear a floor-length gown to any sort of event, so I was going to make the most of a formal gala and go floor-length. I could maybe pull out the shorter dress for some other occasion.
The $10 black floor-length dress, however, needed some alterations before it would look like what I was envisioning. But I knew it had tons of potential, and it would be a more elegant look that felt right for the crowd invited to this gala. So I went about altering it. I took in two inches from the waist to the floor and added a slit to a couple inches above the knee on the left side, and somehow it ended up looking just like had I imagined it looking! (And I broke and fixed my sewing machine in the process too!)
I wore the 4-inch heels that I randomly got a few months ago and some vintage jewelry that I love. I went with dark red nail polish instead of the silver I had initially considered. However, I grabbed my silver vintage clutch at the last minute because the beads on the black beaded vintage one I had bought from Etsy for the gala were falling off before I even used it! I tried sewing it to stop the progression of the beads detaching, but that did not work. In the week before the gala, I tested three long-wear lipsticks before finding a option I felt comfortable with. None last the "24 hours" that they supposedly are capable of lasting, but the upside is that I now have the next year's worth of lipstick already purchased. I did my hair up in a bun because I feel comfortable with it like that. I couldn't get any of the hairstyles I watched in the YouTube tutorials to look good on me. Besides, the back of the dress reminded me of a low-cut U-shaped leotard, so a pretty, loose bun felt perfectly fitting.
And, would you believe it, somehow the 4-inch heels were comfortable?! I had no pain and was able to walk fine in them. I had practiced maybe 30 minutes or so at home in the weeks beforehand and had been doing exercises to strengthen my ankles (in ballet over the last year and on my own time too). So either the ballet and exercises really prepared me (or those YouTube videos on how to walk in high heels?) or these shoes were amazing...or all of the above. My only problem was that my heel got caught some in the hem of my dress when I walked because there was enough space between the stitches for a stilleto heel to slip in. Oops. Thankfully, I grabbed my date's arm the few times that happened and avoided tripping.
It was so fun to dress up! I'm so thankful that we decided to go, even though going to a first gala where we knew no one was a little bit of an intimidating idea. But we had a blast and now we both have some fancy duds we like wearing. We have already agreed we will try to find more occasions to dress up and go out. I still have the ombre backup dress to test drive, and I hope to have some chances to wear my amazing heels again before the snow and cold sets in. Maybe when we go to the ballet in a few weeks?
Speaking of, I decided to take ballet twice a week and am loving it. And I decided to take swing too. Who knew that in just over a year I would go from someone who did not take dance at all to someone who takes dance three times a week? I am really enjoying it. And I am thinking of doing the drawing studio too and just making this fall an arts boot camp of sorts.
I'm not ready for fall yet. I've been having too much fun with spring and summer...and I keep telling myself that it is still summer. Yet I can't deny that signs of fall are already here, and I know winter will be here soon. I suspect I will actually get out and snowshoe this winter. My beau knows I own snowshoes that I have never used, and he is eager for us to get out and enjoy winter together.
On a random note, anyone know what I can do with coconut flour? I saw some at a bulk store and bought it because I know I have seen recipes in the past that call for it, but now I don't remember what those were. Have any of you tried using it? Or have any of you gone to a ballet before and, if so, what did you wear? What else is new? Do you have any fall plans or specific goals?