Sunday, March 28, 2010

Bringing Back Rubenesque

"Well," I say to my husband, throwing a few shopping bags on the floor, "I have a shape, just not the shape I'd like to have."

He raises his eyebrow at me; we're going to a charity dinner tonight, virtually the only annual occasion where we have to get sort of dressed up, and I spent a stressful afternoon shopping for something to wear.

"I'm going a little daring tonight," I say, and he raises the other eyebrow.

I took Greta with me as a fashion consultant, trying on and discarding countless dresses, flowing skirts and ruffled shirts (when did ruffles come in again?  And, for God's sake, WHY?) until settling on two options:   the Safe Bet and the Boob Shirt.     I still don't know if I'm going to be courageous enough to wear Option #2.

I used to be proud of my, er, top section, considering it one of my best features.   But two kids, turning 40 and gravity, and, well, you get the idea.  I have spent the past four wintry months in stretchy black pants and an oversized polar fleece pullover.  I don't think I have even seen my arms in months.   
The Safe Bet is a pretty coral tank top with a black cape-like wrap.   Shapeless, but still slightly stylish.   

This particular event can be tough for me, drinking wise (or not-drinking wise, as the case may be).    We've been going for over five years, and I used to look forward to it, because of the emphasis on drinking.     My first year sober I skipped it; I wasn't ready.    Last year I went, but felt itchy and frumpy all night.   I'm looking for a change.

I step out of the shower, wrap up in a towel, and glare at the two outfits lying on my bed.    With a sigh, I reach for the Safe Bet and put it on.   It doesn't look bad.   It doesn't look like anything, really.    I did find a pair of sexy black shoes on sale, and some form fitting black pants that fit me well.    But when I wrap the cape-like shawl around my shoulders, I look like a woman who is hiding.   I don't want to hide anymore.

I grit my teeth and put on Option #2: the Boob Shirt.   Don't get me wrong, it's hardly racy - it has a form fitting black stretchy shell with a three-quarter sleeve crepe-like (see?  I don't even know what the material is called) shirt that ties in the front.    Right under, ahem, The Girls.      Along with the black pants and spiky shoes, it is a look that feels alien to me.   Something a confident person would wear.   Something a size zero woman could pull off no problem.   I've got curves, and they make me nervous.    I throw back my shoulders, stick out my chin and say to my reflection:   "I will not wimp out."

When my husband sees the outfit, he blinks twice and says, "Wow," in a neutral way.   My resolve crumbles.    He back pedals, and says "I don't mean that it doesn't look good, it's just, so, different for you."   I spin for him, a questioning look on my face.   He breaks into a huge grin.   "Go for it," he says.   "You look really good."

On my spiky heels I tower at just over six feet tall.    I picture all the curvy, voluptuous women I've seen who don't hide their femininity.   Nothing makes a woman look frumpier than when she is ashamed of her own shape.

Tonight, I'm gonna bring it, I think.

And I do.

P.S. - Sorry about the bad picture quality, and the lack of a smile.  I'm not coordinated enough to hold a camera and smile and take a self-portrait at the same time.   I had to re-create the outfit, with nobody else available to take the pic.   But at least you get the idea....  :)


  1. Whoo hoo!!! You go girl! I'm sure you looked great. :)

  2. Good for you! Feeling sexy comes from inside!

  3. Yes yes yes! I love hearing when women embrace their womanly-ness! (if that's not a word it should be) Go YOU!!

  4. Awwwwwriiiiiiigggggghhhhhtttt!

    More power to you... Steve's a lucky man! Hope the party was fun!


  5. I bet you looked beautiful Ellie!! I'm glad you decided not to play it 'safe'!

  6. You have to post pictures! :) I bet you look fabulous. Here's to jumping out of the comfort zone, and going with it! Good luck!

  7. I can't wait to see photos! Congratulations on owning your confidence. I'll bet you felt as amazing as you looked and that everyone at the party noticed. That is awesome!

  8. Can't wait to see a picture. Good for you for stepping out a bit!

  9. Va-va Voom! But I'm really having problems picturing the please ;) I like to refer to my 'Girls' as melons...then the hubby asks if fruit salad is coming for the night..hahahaha. Hope the evening was rockin' :)

  10. I was right... you look beautiful in it, Ellie!