Monday, October 15, 2012

Asian Fusion

If you read my other blog, you'll remember when I mentioned searching Google to convert centimeters to inches, to find out if something I wanted to order would fit me. That something was this dress.

It was called a cheongsam, I learned. I'd always been somewhat fond of that particular style of dress, which you usually see in Chinese import shops and movies. I finally ran across one in my price range on eBay, in a particularly enticing design and color scheme, so I bought it. Then I waited 2 long months to wear it, encountering all sorts of challenges along the way.

The first thing I learned upon trying it on was that it was too tight around the shoulders and too loose around the waist. Nothing I could do about the shoulders, but I tailored the waist so it fit better.

Unfortunately, that did nothing to solve the problem of the dress being too short (that darn Asian sizing!). Sure, it looks decent from the front, but the side slits are dangerously high, and forget about bending over! At that moment, I gave up the notion of ever wearing this dress to work.

Until a few weeks later, when I began to consider wearing it not as a dress, but as a tunic. Paired with pants, this audacious dress would become a perfectly acceptable fashion statement! I tried it on with black pants but wasn't all that impressed. I tried it on with boots and leggings and still wasn't impressed.

And then I waited another couple of weeks, and tried the boots and leggings again. They were all right, but the waistband of the leggings was too bulky under the dress. I traded them for opaque black tights. They worked better, but provided less coverage than the leggings.

My solution was to duct tape the side slits. That's right, duct tape. You can't see it, but on the back of each slit is a small strip of duct tape holding the two sides together and providing an extra inch-and-a-half of modesty.

Now, for jewelry, I had this sea-green seashell bracelet/earring set that I've been waiting for a chance to wear since early spring. The colors were right, but I was worried that the very casual, beachy look of the jewelry would clash with the elegance of the dress. And then I remembered I was wearing rock star boots. I had already taken elegance and thrown it to the wind!

So I went ahead and wore the beachy jewelry, ending up with an unusual European/Asian/Island theme that definitely made me a little self-conscious on the bus. At least, one person commented on how "lovely" my "blouse" was. Still not sure if that case of mistaken identity means success or failure.

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