24 Hours to Fabulous


7:00 PM:  While babysitting my BFF’s kids, I receive a text from a good friend inviting me to go to a fundraiser dinner with him tomorrow night. It’s a $1000/plate event benefiting Share Our Strength.  Umm, I guess I can skip ballet class for that.  What’s the attire?

Jenn's dress options

10:00 PM:  After much investigation, I receive confirmation that the dress is “Business/Dressy

Business”.  I interpret that as “Cocktail” for women.  Hmm, this may be difficult.  I know it’s odd, but I actually have more formal options than cocktail in the dress archives.  And as I mentioned in my Fashion on a Shoestring post, I haven’t been shopping in a looong time.

11:00 PM:  
As suspected, my dress options are limited.  Let’s just say I would be in better shape (pun intended) if this were a stand-up cocktail affair.  I need to find a dress I can semi-comfortably sit in for a multi-course meal.  Yikes.

12:30 AM:  No decisions are being made tonight. I leave the dress options hanging on the door and go to bed. Will deal with it in the morning.


7:30 AM:  Wake up unusually early for an 8:30 coffee meeting.  It’s going to be a long day of thinking skinny thoughts.  Those dress options are just staring me in the face.

8:40 AM:  I’m 10 minutes late to my meeting, because, apparently, my brain doesn’t properly function before 10 AM anymore.  I get lost on my way to a place I’ve been dozens of times, and turn down a one-way street the wrong way.  Ugh.

11:45 AM:  Having only ate a bowl of cereal at 7:30 AM, I am STARVING.  Make one sausage, pepper, and onion taco.  Still hungry. Make a second taco.  I could never have been a model.  I don’t tolerate hunger well.

Fortunately, yesterday I had done a full manicure/pedicure preparation on my nails, without having actually painted them.  I really need to pick a dress, so I can decide on a nail color.


Chloe bow detail sandals in red leather and black patent

1:00 PM:  Dress choices have been narrowed down to two options:

OPTION A: Very fitted black satin BCBG dress with  spaghetti straps.  Pros: I didn’t magically lose 5 inches overnight, but I can fit in this dress with Spanx. And since it’s a sit-down dinner (i.e., no excessive standing), I can wear these spectacular Chloe sandals I have. Mine are ballet pink instead of the red shown in the photo. Cons: Since it’s a sit-down dinner, there’s a 50/50 chance I’ll bust a seam during dessert.

Rebecca Taylor purple strapless dressOPTION B: Custom-made, Rebecca Taylor-inspired (see left) strapless fuchsia shantung silk dress with a full, box-pleated skirt worn with a Steve Madden belt.  Pros: It’s not skin-tight, so no Spanx required, and  I can make it through all dinner courses with room to breathe.  Cons: This dress was last worn in public only last December for a TRIBEZA party.  Plus, I don’t know if this is a fuchsia-colored dress type event.

In either case, I’m going to go with nude fingernails and toenails.  For the hair, I will do a sideswept bun.  Thankfully, no need to set my hair.  Last night, I purchased TRESemme Dry Shampoo, which I’ve never used before.  I’m hoping it will give my hair a little extra texture for styling.

3:45 PM: Nails are polished, and I managed to get some actual work done.  I’m hungry, AGAIN! Trying to decipher what I can eat without creating a stomach pooch. Guys have it SOOOO easy.

Jenn's final make-up: gunmetal smoky eyes with nude pink lip

5:15 PM:  After much hairspray and back-combing, sideswept bun accomplished and looking pretty great, if I may say so myself.  The dry shampoo gave my hair the texture I wanted, but I don’t really understand how it makes your hair feel clean?  Need to remember to not stick my head close to any open flames (WHOOSH!)  One final try on of the fitted black dress.  Not happening.  Fuchsia dress it is!

6:00 PM:  Ready to go!  Make-up: gunmetal smoky eyes with a nude pink lip. Accessories include: silver crystal chandelier earrings, crystal-encrusted wide-band bracelet, diamond cluster cocktail ring, Nine West black satin and suede pumps, Forever 21 black wide belt with silver horse-bit clasp, and light grey croc-printed clutch.

The dinner:  For a benefit event, it was a relatively small dinner of only 70 guests. And with the small size, most people were following the “Business/Dressy Business” attire.  So, as it turns out I was overdressed, Jenn's final look with make-up, hair and accessoriesbut I always say, better over than under.  If I had to do it all over again, I would have worn another little black dress I have.  However, it was a fun challenge to pull together a look in 24 hours and spend the night with good people for a good cause.  No complaints here!

Images:  Share Our Strength, dress options – author’s own, Chloe bow detail sandals, Rebecca Taylor strapless dress, self portraits – author’s own

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