>The Dress-Up Thing

>Only when absolutely inescapably necessary, like for State Occasions or crochet conferences, will you ever see me totally dressed up. I mean in a dress, with the obligatory high-heels, jewelry, accessories and make-up. Heck, most days it is rare to find me in anything but pjs. Shoes? What are shoes? Reading a few of the comments made here by my alleged friends, I feel I must defend my right to choose not to wear dresses. I can explain.

You assume I’m about to blame my mom, right? Isn’t she The Mother Who Longed for a Girly-girl and got me, the kid who ripped the bows out of her hair? Nah. I survived my childhood. The true dress-up trauma came later, much later.

For a few years during the late 80’s/early 90’s I sang in a semi-professional oldies band. No, silly, that doesn’t mean WE were oldies (although I suppose we were all more mature than your typical garage band), but that we performed oldies music. We specialized in the sounds of 50’s doo-wop and 60’s girl groups, rendering nearly note for note recreations of some of the greatest hit recordings of the era. It was bizarre fun; it was horrible torture.

Not only did we four ladies, the Dialtones, have to sing (and dance) like the Ronettes, Chiffons, Supremes, Shangri-las, Vandellas, Marvelettes, Crystals, Angels and Shirelles (to name a few) but we had to wear costumes in a style typical of girl groups of the 60’s. To our costume designer that meant over-the-top matching outfits, with different looks for every set which meant three or four costume changes a performance.

Here’s a little gallery of what I endured for my “art”, including a pink satin baby-doll number with beaded and sequined appliques, a tiny black sequined dress that I had to be sewn into, a leather skirt and chain belt (our “bad girl” look). Mercifully not shown was a tight leopard-print outfit with layers of fringe. Every gig meant five or six hours in extreme stage make-up, stuffed in an array of silly dresses, teetering on different pairs of stiletto-heeled pumps while shimmying as though I were being held captive in a go-go cage.

So, yes, I know what it’s like to be a Barbie doll. Been there, suffered wrecked ankles, won’t go again.

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10 thoughts on “>The Dress-Up Thing

  1. >Indeed! But it still looks a way lot more fun than “Dress for Success” suits of the early 1980s, when there was no such thing as a pair of halfway acceptable shoes for the office that didn’t put me up there on high heels! No way would I want to share pictures of myself from those days — more fun to imagine singing backup in your band!

  2. >Wear what YOU want! I gave up the high heels, pantyhose and flippy skirts over 5 years ago and I haven’t missed it a bit. I work in a professional engineering firm and no client has ever said that I’m not professional. In fact, I think that they appreciate the fact that I’m more like on of the boys. All of this much to my mother’s horror. She says it just not lady-like.

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