Thursday, September 16, 2010

Just Fabulous!

Wednesday, my plan was to attend a day-long seminar on photograph lighting techniques.

I went en femme wearing an argyle sweater tunic, black leggings, and black booties. I considered wearing black tights without leggings, but the tunic was way too short, so I chose a more modest fashion statement.

I dressed, drove to Hartford, parked my Subaru, and found my way through the Connecticut Convention Center to the ballroom hosting the seminar where I joined approximately 500 other attendees.

If I learned anything from the seminar, I learned that I have a lot to learn!

I sat through the morning session and got very little out of it. It was way over my head. I needed training at a more basic level and this seminar assumed I already had that training.

During the lunch break, I decided it was pointless to continue. The folks running the seminar were speaking English, but it might as well have been a foreign language. So, sitting through four more hours would be fruitless, not to mention extremely boring.

By the way, except for the woman collecting my seminar ticket, not one person spoke to me at the seminar. I exchanged a few hellos and smiles with other women in attendance and I noticed a few guys and gals checking me out, but that was the extent of the interaction with my fellow attendees.

Since I needed a few things for my Fantasia Fair trip next month, I decided to go shopping and I can't think of a better time to go shopping for girly things than when I am dressed like a girly.

My first stop was a strip mall in West Hartford where my favorite clothing and shoe stores reside.

As soon as I walked into Dress Barn, the sales staff recognized that my argyle tunic was theirs and they all complimented my outfit. ("That sweater looks fabulous on you," so said one saleswoman.)

Last time I went to Fantasia Fair, Patty let me borrow a sweater coat that kept me warm during the cool weather in Provincetown. I wanted to get one of my own and I found a black double-breasted shag trim sweater jacket that was a perfect fit.

Dress Barn had a promotion that if you bought one sweater, you could buy a second at 50% off, so I perused their selection of sweater dresses. I found two to try on.

As I walked to the dressing room with my finds, I passed a rack of houndstooth sheath dresses that were oh so Mad Men retro that I had to try one on. The only problem was that they did not have my size. Not to be deterred, I took the largest size on the rack with me to the dressing room and hoped for the best.

A belted purple sweater dress was too tight (and probably too short), so I re-racked it. A gray cable sweater dress was a perfect fit; it showed off my every curve, so it was a keeper.

Finally, I tried on the to-die-for too-small-for houndstooth dress and I was shocked that it fit. Go figure — dress sizes are all over the place; you don't know what will fit until you try it on. That is why I prefer shopping in person en femme.

Anyway, I bought the houndstooth, too, and between the 50% off one sweater dress and a 20% off everything coupon, I only put a small dent in my credit card.

Next stop, was a few doors down from Dress Barn: Payless shoe store. Like dresses, shoe sizes are all over the place, so I was glad to be able to shoe shop in person en femme. I was looking for something comfortable to wear while I traipsed upon the unforgiving cobblestone sidewalks of Provincetown.

Payless had heels in my size, so I had to try them on. One pair was too tight, another pair fit perfectly, but hurt (go figure), and the third pair was just right; when I slipped it on, it was like putting on a bedroom slipper. It was on sale, too, so I anted up and bought the pair (a black "ghillie" slingback).

At the register, the saleswoman asked if I was a member of AAA, which I am and that was worthy of a 10% discount. So, I bought a nice pair of comfortable and fashionable shoes for $18!

(Above are my Dress Barn and Payless purchases.)

I checked my watch and noted that the afternoon was still young and the West Farms Mall was beckoning to me from across the street, so I spun my Subaru over to the mall and started at Nordstrom.

The store was way out there price-wise. Simple dresses cost $350, but I browsed the racks anyway hoping to find something that was marked down (way down).

While I was perusing a rack of cocktail dresses, a saleswoman nearby spoke up, "You're tall. I'm tall, too. How tall are you?"

I said, "Six foot two.'

She replied, "I'm six foot one."

And she engaged me in a discussion about being a tall female. She asked me how I liked being tall ("I love it."). She admitted that she had some difficulties during her school years because of her height, but as an adult, she was happy with her height.

After we exchanged a few more words, I excused myself and headed out the door to greener pastures that go by the name of Jessica McClintock. The store had some drop-dead gorgeous cocktail dresses, but very few in my size. I tried on a green dress reputedly in my size, but it was too too small.

The saleswoman confided that their dresses run small and that my best bet would be something stretchy. She suggested a purple stretch taffeta bustier dress, so I took it to the dressing room and tried it on. It fit and it looked great, but it cost $160, so I did not buy it (I am having non-buyer's remorse today).

(Above is the cocktail dress I did not buy.)

As I prepared to leave the store, the other saleswoman in the store said I looked "fabulous" and the saleswoman I had been dealing with shook her head in agreement.

I thanked them profusely and exited on that positive note.

Next stop was JCPenney, where I tried on five dresses. Some fit, some did not, and none impressed me.

By then, my feet were no longer getting along with my booties, so I decided to call it quits, and rode my Subaru into the sunset.

Needless to say, my day out en femme was "fabulous."

Unlike days out in the past, I went about my business without any hesitation because now I am so very comfortable and confident in my skin. After all, I am a woman, so why shouldn't I be one.


  1. You go Girl!!

    What were they talking about at the seminar? Was it about f-stops and shuttle speeds calculations and flash calculations?

    I remember those from when I was in college.

  2. Stana,

    I would love to see you in the houndstooth dress and the shoes. Those shoes are just fabulous.


  3. "After all, I am a woman, so why shouldn't I be one."

    AMEN SISTER! Love it, and completely agree. That is what I tell myself everyday!

  4. Stana

    A great day out. All of those silhouettes will look great on you, and I am a little jealous not yet having found the perfect houndstooth dress (or houndstooth anything for that matter).

    A day at the shops is a much better use of precious time than a conference that you won't get value out of.

    And nothing like a little chat with a helpful stranger with whom you have something in common.

    Thanks for sharing.

  5. I agree with what you said Stana:

    "Unlike days out in the past, I went about my business without any hesitation because now I am so very comfortable and confident in my skin. After all, I am a woman, so why shouldn't I be one"

    That's exactly where I am these days and it took me years to get there.


  6. Stana

    You look as fabulous as ever. I spent the afternoon today shopping for Provincetown too. I totally understand the buyers remorse you experienced the next day. That purple taffeta dress would have looked spectacular.

    I also find shopping dressed is a much more satisfying experience.


  7. Thank you all for the lovely comments. Some day out like Wednesday, I may never return to boy mode!