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so what should I wear?

MarieCurie | Posted in General Discussion on

I am seriously at a loss on this one.  My parents’ 50th wedding anniversary celebration is early Sep.  I have just enough time to sew myself something wonderful to wear.  We’re doing Mass at 5 p.m. and then dinner at local fancy restaraunt.  It’s a fairly big do with my very large Irish Catholic family–think in terms of an evening wedding reception.  So what should I wear?  I’m 40 years old and petite.


  1. beo | | #1

    How about a simple sheath dress done in a tropical weight wool?

    1. Sancin | | #2

      Ha! - just what I was going to suggest - nothing beats the little black dress for elegance. Doesn't have to be black, but be simple and decorate with a very good taste bling.I am short, wear petite proportions, but am not exactly petite. I attended a similar situation when I was near your age. I wore a simple princess line sheath make of pink silk noile (I am very fair and pink is a good colour on me). I topped it with a very simple black patterned velvet blazer. I had many comments on the outfit.

      Edited 7/24/2009 7:00 pm ET by Sancin

      1. MarieCurie | | #3

        Black is always a good fall back.  I don't want to look like I'm going to a funeral, but I don't want to look like a bridesmaid. 

        Scratch that, I know exactly what I'm going to wear.  I just finished the perfect sheath dress, and the pattern would look fabuloso in silk dupioni.  Now what color?  I inheirited set of REAL blue pearls set in silver--chocker, earrings, pin.  I look really good in blue.  My mother is trying to tell me their do is a casual affair.  Yeah, right. 

        1. MaryinColorado | | #4

          Ooooooooh, those blue pearls sound beautiful!  What an incredibly lovely heirloom gift!  Since you look good in blue, why not wear a contrasting color of blue that will really set them off?  Mary

          1. MarieCurie | | #5

            My MIL bought them in Japan in the 1950s.  She worked for the USO in South Korea for four years.  The stuff she brought back is amazing.  But then, so is she.  So what's the best lining for silk dupioni?  Charmuse or habtoi?  I can't get a good color match for the shade of blue I'm looking at, so I'm also considering Ambience rayon for the lining.

          2. beo | | #6

            I would go with the charmuse...wouldn't worry about matching the blues, rather use a cream color.  It will add a bit more body to the dress than the habotai.

          3. MarieCurie | | #7

            Thank you.  That's exactly what I needed to know.  I've never worked with charmuse before, but the silk dupioni is growing to be an old standby.

          4. beo | | #8

            You are welcome.  Also, I forgot to add that you might want to underline the dupioni with silk organza.  I recently completed a pair of duioni slacks underling them in the organza and lining them with the charmuse.  They barely wrinkle and feel fabulous.

          5. MaryinColorado | | #9

            http://www.marthapullen.com might have the blue silk lining.  I hope you will share photos! 

            My son was stationed in S.Korea a few years ago. The adults in the family felt like children again, opening all those unique and lovely surprises.  The children were equally thrilled with theirs.  He brought me a beautiful large laqered and inlaid with mother of pearl jewelry box and a lovely robe.  The best gift of all was having him home for Christmas, of course!  Mary

          6. MarieCurie | | #10

            The best gift of all for us will be having my husband home from Iraq a month early!  It means he will be home for my 40th birthday.  Somehow it takes away the sting of the milestone.  Only two short months to go!  Unfortunately he'll still be gone for my parents' party.  No matter how fabulous my future blue silk dress, I still look best on his arm.

          7. MaryinColorado | | #11

            Thank You!  Thank your dear husband for serving and protecting!  Thank you and your family for all your sacrifices!  Words cannot express what that means to me, to all of us.  May God bless you all and keep you and your loved ones safe. 

            I have tears in my eyes when I read your comment about looking best on his arm!  Mary

          8. KharminJ | | #12

            Oooh! A blue silk sheath with blue pearls sounds wonderful! Maybe a short Chanel-style jacket, too? Congratulations to your parents, thank you to your husband, and Happy Birthday to you! and ... Bright Blessings to you all! KharminPlease, don't forget to post picturess!

        2. Teaf5 | | #13

          If you can't find a coordinating blue, some good contrasting colors are silver, orange, cranberry, plum, and green.  Choose the color that flatters you most, and the blue pearls will really look good.

          To make an easy transition from formal to informal, just wear a shawl or make a shrug or bolero jacket to go with the sheath; then you can make a nice impression but take off the jacket if everyone else is far more casual.  In any case, it's always better to err on the side of dressy, as it shows respect for the occasion and looks more festive.  Besides, how often do we get the chance to dress up anymore?

          1. MarieCurie | | #14

            I know.  There are so many wonderful dress patterns and stunning fabrics (garnet red silk taffeta) out there, and not enough balls to go to. 

            Instead of a shrug or jacket, I have a silver and blue silk/pashima shawl  my DH brought back from Afganistan when he was there.   The only thing I want from Iraq is him.

          2. Sancin | | #15

            The silk pashima sounds wonderful - then your husband can be with you as well! If it has a pattern, can you use one of the colours to make the dress and go with the pearls? This sounds an event and dress I would love attend and dress for. Have a wonderful time and feel great about yourself and your family.

          3. sewelegant | | #16

            I empathize with your wanting your husband back from Iraq as I went through that many years ago.  Sometimes absence makes the heart grow fonder!

            My opinion about what you should wear is that a sheath seems more formal than a full skirt, but that may just be me.  Is it still warm in September?  I think a full skirted sundress-like garment would look nice with your pashmina shawl and pearls.  If it's rather cool I still think I would opt for a cocktail dress.

  2. meg | | #17

    What style, color is your mother wearing? You might not want to clash or wear something too close in color with her...

    1. MarieCurie | | #18

      Funny you should ask...  My mother is wearing white pants and the blue silk shell I just finished for her and have to put in the mail this morning!  It's a lovely light blue silk dupioni, and I don't want to wear the very same color.  She asked me to make the shell intending to wear it for my cousin's wedding in NC in Aug, but now she's rethinking the whole thing.

      1. Ceeayche | | #19

        I too thank you for your family's sacrafice having a spouse in the military.

        I'd recommend a deep navy or midnight blue for your sheath and matching jacket.  It would contrast nicely with your mama's dress, set the pearls off and since you have an affinity for black as your "go to color" for feeling chic, it's dark enough to fit that bill also. 

        And, if you wanted to dress up the sheath/jacket, you could splurge on matching or tonal lace or braid at the hems of both items.  I wouldn't go contrasting, because you said you were petite.   Later for a more glitzy effect you could sprinkle some clear sequins or rhinestones through out the lace for a more formal event.

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