Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Oprah Dress: or making Beau's jaw drop

Dress: Purple Rain; Shoes: Wonders; Thin Gold Promise Ring: Bespoke (K Pepper Jewelry): Bangle, handbag, and rhinestone ring: vintage; sunglasses: thrift; Pendant: bespoke (Costen Catbalue); Gold earrings and diamond and gold ring: Effy; Hairband: Stylistics
I used to call this my Oprah dress. Why? Because the ovals on it remind me of her trademark 'O.' I'm not a huge Oprah fan, but I am a fan of her sense of style and I don't mind owning an Oprah dress.

I'd completely forgotten that I owned it. I was looking for something cool and comfortable on a hot day and I found this at the back of the closet. I hadn't worn it since before my back gave out, and I'm quite a bit bigger than I was then so I wasn't sure it would still look good on me.

But I thought it looked fine.

So did Beau. He liked this dress a lot.

I mean, he really really liked this dress. He kind of lost his breath when he saw it and kept saying things like, "This is my new favourite dress. Why haven't your worn it before? I really love this dress."

Glasses: Geek Eyewear; Shirt: Old Navy; Silver Promise Ring: bespoke (Frank's Jewerly)
He kept looking at me like this all day.

I can't say that I thought it looked quite as good as he did, but I do think it's flattering. Wrap-dresses and faux wrap dresses just seem to play up all the right features in an hour-glass figure, no matter how full that figure is.

The only type of woman a wrap dress doesn't seem to flatter is a very skinny woman. For all the rest of us, it's kind of a go-to style, guaranteed to look lovely.

Plus, the colours go extremely well with my own colouring, particularly my hair.

Now my hair, quite classically Jewish, is a bit of a puzzle for people. Is it red?

Or is it brown? As with my eyes, which are green in some light and brown in others, it seems to depend on the lighting and the season. I'm frequently asked if I've dyed my hair and I never have.

Both my hair and my eyes are pretty distinctly Jewish. The only time I've met someone with eyes like mine, he was another Jew. The only people I've met with hair like mine are also Jews. Think of Woody Allen's hair!

At any rate, it's no matter whether I'm a redhead or a brunette, with green eyes or brown eyes: oranges and browns suit me regardless.

I thought this look was quite 1970s, a time when browns were all the rage..., naturally, I had to pose in front of this van. I'm pretty sure it's a Westfalia.

We were being watched while Beau took these photos so I felt a little self-conscious, which only led me to ham things up more. 

Wearing my oval pendant to match the ovals in this dress was a no-brainer. So was wearing this swirly diamond and gold ring, and the orange and brown rhinestone one.

I always think about Morgan when I wear this onyx, gold, and diamond pendant. As some of you know, I designed it in remembrance of Morgan. You can read about that story here. Make sure to have hankies with you when you read it. Apparently, I have a knack for making my readers cry, or so they keep telling me.

The theme of the day was the colour scheme -- brown and orange -- so it wasn't hard to choose these sandals. I've been very happy with them, though finding them was a huge job unto itself. Finding footwear that won't hurt my back is really trying, for body and spirit.

Beau was so besotted with me in this dress that he was eager to take photos. So I thought I'd get a little artsy.

In these photos, you can get a better look at the tiny gold  "promise ring" Beau got for me. I wanted something very slim and unobtrusive so that it wouldn't clash with any of my outfits or any of my other jewelry. That way, I could wear it all the time. 

It's so thin that I'm a little worried it will wear through before we even get to an engagement ring, which is in our plans. Eventually, I want to replace this gold band with a whisper thin, shared-setting, diamond eternity band. That would go with anything, right?

At forty-two, having never been married, and only once before been engaged (to a woman, when I was twenty-four), I have mixed feelings about engagement rings. They seem so... so heteronormative, like a man is staking his claim on a woman before she stakes her claim on him. I abhor gender roles and do my best to avoid them in a relationship.

But I am a gal who loves any excuse for diamonds and beautiful jewelry, and I do think diamonds, being the toughest and most long-lasting of all the gems, are a nice symbol of love. So, okay, I'll do the engagement ring thing -- someday, down the line. 

I once insisted that, if I was going to have an engagement ring, Beau had to have one too. But that's just not in keeping with his personality. I can't be so hip on bending gender that I ask him to be someone he isn't. The compromise? He'll keep wearing his promise ring (which you can see above) till someday he switches if for a wedding ring -- that has a little diamond in it. He's fine with that and so am I.

Curly hair hint: No matter how poor you are, if you want your curly hair to look good, invest in a good, layered haircut three or four times a year, and use a good, anti-frizz product. (I use Sebastian Potion #9.)

But I digress.

I felt the lighting and the dress made it a good day to show off my hair, before the greys really start taking over. They are there now, more and more, but they're still pretty hard to spot. I'm not really concerned about how I'll look with white hair. I think it will look good. It's the in-between stage I'm more concerned about.

When that hits, I'm thinking I might go for being a redhead all the time, even in dark lighting.

After all, regardless of what others might think, my skin has always known that I'm a true redhead. I'm white as white can be, I cannot tan, I freckle like crazy, I burn in an instant, and I feel woozy after even half an hour in direct sunlight.

This is my skin after all summer outside. Really.

When I posed here, Beau wanted to continue to be artsy so he said, "Do something interesting." I did. I lifted my skirt like this. Apparently it was pretty high. Beau blushed all crimson and looked around to check if anyone had seen.

You see, Beau is convinced that everyone else finds me as attractive as he does; he always thinks people are checking me out when I'm pretty sure they're not. He's not the jealous or possessive type. He just thinks my beauty is an objective fact that others recognize.

It's cute and amusing and does wonders for my self-esteem.

For his sake, I lowered my dress -- a little.

It seems that the kitchen staff at the sushi place we went to were as artsy as we were that day. Those pinwheels are made of radishes with edamame. 

And just look at that little ginger butterfly.

I can't believe I'd never been to this place. It's right in my neighbourhood. I'm glad I did finally make it there and I'm definitely going back. In a city known for its great, and well-priced sushi, this place was really exceptional. 

At a certain point on a hot day, one gives up on one's hair vanity, ties it back, and digs in to a good meal.

It opened at 5:00. The line-up outside started at about 4:45. Who lines up for dinner at 4:45? People who have had this sushi, that's who. 

And so this artsy-fartsy gal, with her boyfriend framed in her sunglasses, says goodbye to another day. After all that walking and sitting, my back hurt like hell, but I guess it was worth it. A girl's got to live a little, even if a little is all she can manage.

(I'm linking this up to Visible Monday over at Not Dead Yet.)


  1. And I have no idea if your hair is red or brown either

    1. I've always envied your true-red hair. Oh well, mine adds an air of mystery to me... right?

  2. Heteronormative? LMAO! I've got news for you, chickie. You're one of the girliest girls I know. Just be YOU for Chrissakes. You can be strong AND Hetero-that-word-up-there ;-P

    This is the best thing I've ever seen you in - and that's saying a lot! You need more body-con dresses asap!


    1. Beau read this over my shoulder and told me to tell you that he "f*cking agrees" that I should wear more "body-con dresses." Between the two of you, maybe I'll learn to agree.

      As for the "heteronormative," that's one of those academic words that people bandy about. Don't forget that, in my other life, I'm an academic. You should see my "scholarly" writing, if you think "heteronormative" is bad.

      Yeah, I'm a girlie girl in appearance, and mannerisms, but not in attitude. Ask anyone! : )

    2. I have three college degrees so I do understand. I was also the editor of my college newspaper, so I'm trained to be terse and to the point, inverted pyramid style.
      So tell Beau he's f*cking smart ;-P


    3. I was an editor at my college paper too, as well as at the local gay newspaper of its day! I know the inverted pyramid style but I write totally differently for my blog. Different styles for different venues, eh?

      And, yeah, Beau is f*cking smart. He founded a charity school in a faraway land, runs his own business in educational charts, and is finishing a degree in the psychology of religion. PLUS, he's really handsome and really nice.

  3. Such a fabulous outfit!! I love a lady who isn't afraid to embrace color and accessories. Oh and if you ever want help in the ring search (whatever you decide you want) you know where to find me ;)

  4. Love this retro-feel dress and the pose with the van is extra-good! You look lovely, and thanks for sharing with Visible Monday.

  5. I had a dress some time ago, a bit differently cut but of the same fabric! And I never noticed the O. Duh. O or no, you look glam and comfortably cool in it.
    Interesting about engagement rings ... mine was my garnet birthstone, and it's worn almost through so I never wear it. Will someday get it fixed. But now, I wear the best, most glam rings I have with my wedding ring as "place holders". I have learned to enjoy the variety, and it's a great excuse to buy better rings when possible!
    (Currently waiting for the price of gold to drop. A lot. Will be a while before a new purchase, I fear.)

    1. Since I've been with Beau, I've been always wearing a ring on the ring finger but, like you, switching it up a lot. But I wanted something to wear all the time -- sleeping, hanging out at home, etc., especially since Beau asked me for a similar "all the time" ring for him to wear. What a difficult choice to make for myself. How can one commit to just one ring? One person? Yes. One ring? Argh!

      Between the price of gold these days and my income being halved by disability, my jewelry purchases are on hold too.