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« Project Mom

Inaugural Fun – Preparing for the Ball

By Geniene P. (Contact)


Published January 16, 2009

As far as what I’m wearing, you can take the girl out of Manhattan but not the Manhattan out of the girl and it is all about the bargain in NYC.  Where fashion is concerned, all my gal pals in NYC know the best way to get the best deals.  I know there is an element out there that thinks the more expensive an item, the better the quality. When it comes to clothing in a reasonable price range (not talking Milan or Paris shows), there is no bigger lie.  I have had friends in fashion design and they know the cost of a piece of clothing better than anyone around.  These days, so much clothing is produced in China for dirt cheap.  If we aren’t talking hand made couture, one is just downright silly to purchase anything that isn’t on sale.  My friends and I lived for sample sales and clearance sales in the city.  I would buy cashmere sweaters for $20 that retailed for $100+, silk scarves for $10 and accessories for $10 and below.  The markup is incredible in retail.

I waited until last week to purchase my gown.  I won’t write where I bought my beautiful gown but it was a steal.  I know some people look down their noses because I got a deal and judge a gown on the price rather than the fabric, design, construction or original retail cost.  Believe me, I’ve done enough window shopping at Bergdorf’s, Gucci, Saks on Fifth Avenue, etc., to find designs that are total knock-offs and indistinguishable from originals (After all, is someone going to grab the back of my dress and find out the designer? No).   I scoured the internet to find the latest fashion.  Even the Washington Post had an article on what to wear to the ball to inspire me.  I finally chose a full length, merlot wine color brushed satin, strapless with layered fabric through the bodice down to the start of my hips, black tulle helps the bottom fan out with a slight train in the back. I had a neighbor who works at Toula's hem the gown.  No, I didn't register the style online.  Why bother?  There are so many balls & so many dresses. Plus, I really don't care if someone happens to have my gown.

As far as accessorizing, I have black, sling back satin pumps from Lord & Taylor that have a 3" heel but are comfortable. No crazy expensive (Manolo) shoes or uber high heels that kill after 5 minutes for me.  You won't be able to see the shoes except for the toe under the gown anyway!  Those shoes you see on Carrie & the girls in Sex In The City aren't actually worn by many real women in the city but it made for great marketing of the designers. ;)  I bought a great black clutch purse at Express that was ridiculously marked down, 40% off & then I had a coupon.  It came to $7 in the end! I have black rhinestone drop earrings from a gala I attended 6 years ago.  I'll make my own Swarovski crystal bracelet from my jewelry design supplies (a hobby I vow to return to this year). I bought a fun, big white & black rhinestone in black metal ring at The Limited for $5 (again, drastically marked down).  Finally, I have a beautiful sheer silk shawl with scattered beadwork still packed somewhere in my boxes in the attic that I just have to dig out on Saturday.

Packing will have to wait until my daughter's nap time on Saturday.  I have little piles, waiting to be packed but just haven't begun the process. In all honesty, I've been waiting to see how cold it will be in D.C. with this arctic freeze in the region.  I HATE to be cold & are one of those people who are always cold (except during the occasional hot flash).

I'll be staying at the Mayflower Hotel where the Ohio Gala is happening Sunday night. The Gala should be a great party.  Ohio State's marching band will be playing at the beginning (I have to practice the words to Carmen Ohio & Across the Field), the VIP reception is at 6:30 p.m. & a 9 piece band will be playing during the gala.  I understand the goody bags will be pretty nice.  I'll try to blog about the party on Monday.


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