For the past several weeks, my uniform when leaving the house for anything other than work has been: rubber boots, jeans, sweater, puffy vest.  This is an improvement over the winter's uniform, which involved much more insulation--much more.  But last week I was required to do some speechifying--apparently being vice-president of one of our local community organizations means more than just lolling around being fed peeled grapes--and felt like I had to look the part.  Having unsuccessfully torn apart my closet last weekend looking for something other than jeans+sweater+vest to wear during film fest (I did shake up the foot wear a bit, because it wouldn't be film fest without my cowboy boots), I wasn't prepared to fall down that rabbit hole again, so I decided to try to actually shop here in Dawson, and was quite surprised when I was actually successful.

Shop #1 was a disappointment.  I tried on two dresses.  The first one made me look like a mouldy marshmallow, and the second showed so much cleavage that the polka dots and ruffles on the dress were rendered unnoticeable.  Shop #2 felt like a long shot when considering my options, but thirty seconds inside the door and I found the right thing in the right size.
It's the Natalya wrap dress by North Face.  A little casual for Outside, maybe--but certainly Dawson-style formal wear.  It's been years since I've owned a little black dress, and it was exactly the right thing for my speechifying.  (Also exactly the right thing for speechifying: not sounding like a nervous twelve-year old during a public speaking competition.  Apparently some things are harder to come by than dresses in Dawson.)
Killer accessories always help along a nothing-dress like this one.  I chose to pair it with one of my all-time best ever purchases: my agate necklace.  I bought this on Portobello Road on a trip to England with my parents when I was seventeen.  It has proved to be a successful grown-up sort of choice, considering that I wanted to go to Portobello Road because of this movie.  The necklace has gotten a lot of wear in the many years since I bought it, and it rarely fails to garner a compliment or two.  It's not quite like the Queen of Sheba jewels Carrie picks out in the movie, but I probably get better mileage out of this necklace than I would have out of a rhinestone tiara.
While I do have a few pairs of heels hiding in a box under the bed, I was not interested in risking life and limb for the sake of fashion in this town of mud streets and wooden sidewalks.  I know from experience how easily a stiletto heel can get caught in between the boards...  Fortunately I have a healthy supply of cowboy boots on hand, suitable for many (if not all) occasions.  The boots are another fashion souvenir of sorts--I picked them up in Nashville a little over a year ago, because "three pairs of boots for the price of one" falls into the category of irresistible.

I expect to wear the new LBD pretty often this summer.  With several boxes of jewelry to chose from and a dress that will look good with anything from flip flops to gold satin pumps, it will even be an excuse to bring out some of my lesser-worn pieces.
The LBD's next planned appearance is this coming Friday, when I will wear it accessorized with these lovely mammoth ivory and chrysocolla earrings (and the handsome man who gave them to me, of course).

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