Monday, May 31, 2010

Wardrobe Malfunctions

Draft 1:

Draft 2:

blue dress (Calvin Klein)
sea foam silk skirt (Catherine Malandrino)
white tank top (???)
necklace (borrowed from mother)
silver high heels (BCBGMaxAzaria)

Once upon a time, Katie went to a family member's wedding far away from home.  She brought along a nice blue dress that matched her eyes and a pair of silver heels (Draft 1).  Unfortunately, while getting ready for the wedding, she found that the zipper of the dress had malfunctioned, rendering it unwearable.  Quelle horreur!  With mere minutes before she had to leave and no dress, what's a girl to do?

With wedding season now swinging into gear, there are lots of style choices to be made.  What to wear, how to accessorize, and many other questions must be answered way ahead of time since many of us travel to wedding sites.  As such, many of us cannot bring a variety of options for the actual wedding.  I thought, then, that it was an appropriate time to post about my wedding-related fashion panic attack and how I dealt with it.  Not, of course, to freak anyone out - wardrobe malfunctions are rare - but rather to discuss what to do when they do happen.

1. Denial is not productive.
When it became clear that the zipper of my dress would absolutely not cooperate - it had gotten tangled in the lining of the dress - it did not help to try to force the dress on.  Actually, in trying to manipulate the dress onto my body, I almost got stuck in it.  We got the zipper more than halfway up, then could not get it to go down so that I could take it off.  Extracting myself became an acrobatic feat that took precious moments away from the construction of an alternative outfit.

2. Remain calm and creatively reevaluate your options.
After freeing myself, I had to go through my suitcase to figure out what I could put together as an acceptable outfit in this unideal situation.  One of my best friends from college lives in the town where the wedding was held, so I had packed this skirt to potentially wear out on the town with him.  I had planned to wear it with a darker blouse, but the wedding was outdoors during a very warm, spring afternoon.  This white tank top gave it a lighter look.

3. Utilize all your resources.
Still, the outfit was too casual for a wedding.  The silver heels helped dress up the outfit, but it still looked too plain.  My mother had brought this necklace to wear to a separate wedding-related event, and it gave the outfit the extra oomph it needed.

Now this outfit wasn't what I wanted to wear to the wedding, and it didn't work perfectly.  However, I didn't look out of place, and I escaped having to wear jeans to a wedding.

What I learned from this experience was that even if you don't want to bring another dress/can't fit another dress into your suitcase, it's still good to think about what you might do if you're left without your first option.  Think about the other items you bring and how you can use them to put together something new.  Versatile items that can be dressed up or down are key.  Also, if you're traveling with people or know other people attending the event or who live nearby, ask if you can borrow clothes or accessories -- they'll really help give you more options.

  • Have you ever had a wardrobe malfunction before a big event?  How did you adapt?
  • How do you pack for out of town weddings? 


Katie from Interrobangs Anonymous said...

Way to be a problem solver! Your story reminds me of one Sarah (the lesser-known Interrobang) posted about a trip to Africa where her luggage disappeared before a big presentation:

The skirt is beautiful, and you looked lovely for a daytime outdoor wedding.

One trick I learned for traveling to a wedding with other people (or, heck, traveling anywhere) is to always pack some of your clothes in their bag and vice versa. That way, if one of you loses your bag, you still have some options.

La Historiadora de Moda said...

I almost always take two dresses/options so that I have a choice. Plus, that way if I find out the female attendants are all wearing purple dresses, I don't show up in a purple dress too. I also take them carry on if flying so that I don't have to worry about the airline losing the luggage.

That said, when my husband and I attended the annual meeting of the American Historical Association this past year and both of us had interviews, he desembarked without our suitbag. Fortunately, he remembered quickly enough to be able to go back and get it.

You look very cute in that green skirt, and I find that most people tend to dress pretty casually for outdoor weddings these days anyway.

Scholar Style Guide said...

I love both options! And I definitely agree about the heels helping to dress up the backup outfit.

I am laughing about the timing of this post, because just yesterday I was reading Lahiri's "A Choice of Accommodations" (from Unaccustomed Earth)and a female character has to deal with a wardrobe malfunction at a destination wedding. I thought to myself "didn't this happen to Katie once?" and resolved to forevermore bring a backup!

P.S. What other fabulous wardrobe items are you holding out on me? A Malandrino skirt?!


Scholar Style Guide said...

Katie, go you and your resourcefulness! Thanks to your experience, I will now always pack a spare outfit. And a fabulous necklace. You're right - it really did glam up the outfit!

- Anne-Marie

Scholar Style Guide said...

Katie, go you and your resourcefulness! Thanks to your experience, I will now always pack a spare outfit. And a fabulous necklace. You're right - it really did glam up the outfit!

- Anne-Marie