For a while now I have been wanting to do a fashion post. You realize it's going to be fall soon (I continue to hold out my last hope for temperatures as low as the 80's!!) and I do so love a really good fashion update/forecast/or whathaveyou.
So several times lately I've sat down and starting organizing my ideas, sticking post-it notes on particularly intriguing ensembles and accessories in the latest fashion magazines, and pulling things out of my closet for a photo shoot.
And then I remember.
I know absolutely nothing about fashion, have not bought a fashion magazine since before I had children, and do not have anything at all fashion-photo worthy in my closet, unless we consider my cowboy boots, in which case I would probably need to scrape some stuff off the bottom of the soles before I took a picture.
I mean the fashion police do not even bother we with me anymore. I am what you might call "a cold case".
So in my perpetual fashion fog, you can understand my excitement when I was asked to provide the food for a big ladies event at my church which featured a real live "Fashion Expert and Personal Stylist" as the main speaker.
Rebecca Matthews is just a doll, y'all. Just one of those ladies that truly has her look all together. Attractive, poised, and funny. The girl knows her fashion, let me tell you. She had a delightful and fast-paced presentation that was appropriate for even the wide age range of ladies at the event (from early 20's to late 80's) and she did it while keeping us all laughing at ourselves!
Did you know it's good to laugh at ourselves? Yes. Yes, it is.
Anyway in an hour and a half or so she previewed the fall fashion scene, showed some great tops (and appropriate bottoms!) and demonstrated some sassy accessories. I was still in the kitchen at the beginning of her presentation, but was able to sneak out and grab a seat at one of the side tables to try to absorb some of her knowledge.
I am nothing if not a fashion-void sponge.
So, no sooner had I positioned myself at a table than did she get started on THE POLKA DOT.
And in case you were wondering? They're out. Especially big ones.
And I couldn't help but notice the other ladies at my table sneaking a polite glance at my apron which JUST HAPPENED TO BE COVERED WITH THE LARGEST TURQUOISE, GREEN, AND GRAY POLKA DOTS SINCE THE LIKES OF LITTLE ORPHAN ANNIE.
And when, in my shame, I excused myself a few minutes later to "take care of something in the kitchen" and coincidentally came back to the table without the offending apron, it was only after I sat down for the second time that I saw that the entire front of my bronze-colored blouse was COVERED in chocolate.
So really people. EPIC FASHION FAIL ON MY PART.
It's perfectly OK if you are just a little bit embarrassed for me.
But I gathered up my pride and tried to really listen with conviction to some of the last bits of advice she had to offer.
And I was nothing short of thrilled to pieces when she tossed out the following, because they just also happen to be some of my own particular "fashion pet peeves".
And yes, in case you're wondering, it is in fact possible to be totally unfashionable and yet still peevish about some fashion-related things.
It is the dichotomy of mankind.
1) It is possible to wear too much black. Thank you Miss Rebecca. Don't all of us know someone that does this? I think they believe it is slimming (which it can be) and dramatic and sophisticated. But really? Everyday? For every occasion? And as a self-professed fashion disaster, I am proud to say that this is one rule I do not break.
2) After a certain point in the fall (she generously extends the traditional Early September -you know, after labor Day- deadline to October 15) you should NO LONGER WEAR SANDALS OF ANY SORT. Face the facts. No one wants to see your toes. She was especially adamant about not wearing flip-flops of any persuasion. Also a score for me, because I have always believed the main point of fall was to rest your toenails from the polish...
3) And (please cover your eyes if you don't want to see anything about unmentionables) everyone should wear the appropriate undergarments (top and bottom) for every outfit. And I know you most especially do not care to hear anything at all about my own personal undergarments, so I'll simply say I have made friends with The Spanx.
And since some of you probably have A LOT OF THOUGHTS about the irony of someone of my ilk offering any kind of fashion advice, just remember that I am simply passing along the suggestions of an expert.
Which is not me.
But, since we're talking about "dressing" so to speak, I do have a wonderful recipe for "The Dressing" which was a big hit on the green salad at the dinner.
Don't you just love a good double meaning?
Or a somewhat desperate segue?
Honestly, I do feel more confident talking about this "dressing" than that "dressing".
You can probably even trust me to know what I'm talking about now at this very juncture.
"The Rosemary Dressing"
(original recipe from Rebecca Rather "The Pastry Queen")
I've changed it a bit...
Blend 1/2 cup fresh rosemary leaves, 2 cloves garlic, 1 T chopped red onion, 1 T spicy brown mustard, 1/4 cup honey, 1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar, 1 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. black pepper in a blender about 15-20 seconds. Then pour 1/2 - 1 cup olive oil (you just have to experiment and decided how much you like) through the feed tube of the blender and blend until it all emulsifies.
Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
At the Ladies event I served this on a mix of Spring greens, very thinly sliced Gala apples, crumbled Maytag blue cheese, and candied pecans.
And while I suggest you completely ignore me if I ever dare to throw out any fashion advice again, don't ignore the "dressing". It's that good.