Monday, June 11, 2007

What to Wear, What to Wear

OK, so after my whining posting of last week about not getting to go to BEA, I AM going to the American Library Association conference in Washington, DC. This is my first ALA conference and I’m doing a signing at the Hyperion Booth for Warrior Heir and Wizard Heir on Saturday. I’m also thrilled to be going to the Caldecott-Newbery Banquet (or is the Newbury-Caldecott Banquet.)

So here’s the problem: What to wear? I asked my contact at the publisher, and she said, “Black is good.”

Here’s the data:

I’m from the Midwest, and the conference is on the East coast, plus there will be all these NYC publishing types there. They all wear black, right?
The banquet is black tie.
My hotel is ~1/2 mile from the convention center and I’ll be walking back and forth.
I’m vertically challenged and my bodily contours are, shall we say, redistributing themselves.
My typical dressup fashion look is a cross between throwback flower child, gypsy’s night out and high bling
I don’t go to these kinds of events often, so I have to be aware of the cost-per-wear factor

Cocktail Dress Criteria
Flattering to short person with redistributed contours
Sexy, but not too sexy
Inexpensive, but looks very expensive
Comfortable (does not require constant strap and infrastructure monitoring and adjustment)
Emphasizes what I want to emphasize
Downplays what I want to downplay
Available in one of the three malls I frequent (requires no visits to formalwear stores)
Ironing? What’s that?
Totally in context with whatever my table-mates will be wearing

Shoe Criteria
Very comfortable for walking long distances on pavement
Look good on my feet
Very high heel
Inexpensive but look very expensive
Sexy. Just. Sexy

So after searching my three malls (one of them twice) and trying on scads (Midwest term) of dresses, the one dress that fit, looked good, emphasized, de-emphasized, etc. is…black and white polka-dot.

Does polka dot have anything to do with polka? Here’s what Wikipedia says

Polka dot is a pattern consisting of dots. Polka dot patterns are quite variable: they range from a series of dots that are equally spaced and sized to a random arrangement of multicoloured dots of different sizes. Polka dots are most commonly seen on children's clothing, toys, and furniture, but they appear in a wide array of contexts. The pattern rarely appears in formal contexts, however, and is generally confined to more playful attire such as bathing suits. Occasionally white on black regularly spaced polka dots appear on more formal clothing.
While polka dots are ancient, they first became common on clothing in the late nineteenth century in Britain. At the same time polka music was extremely popular and the name was also applied to the pattern, despite no real connection between them.

I’m doomed.

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