(Featured on the WordPress “Freshly Pressed” page)
This morning I had ten minutes to spare so I tried on my old black crepe suit to see if it would be okay to wear backstage at the Screen Actors Guild Awards this Sunday. When you work on the crew or production side of these award shows, you’re supposed to dress to blend in. The production rents tuxedos for all the men who might be caught on camera, but all of the female workers are expected to wear an awards show type dress. You know how we all have those lying around.
Well actually, from my years of working behind the scenes on these things, I do happen to have a small collection of semi-formal wear lying around. But the problem is that most of these items are getting a little old and tired, much like their owner.
I had spent much of the weekend racking my brain, wondering what I would wear to this year’s show, then I remembered this black crepe suit that I bought about 15 or 20 years ago. I wore it when I worked on the Oscars the year before my first daughter was born.
I remembered thinking at the time that I looked fabulous in that suit. Very chic, indeed.
Now it’s possible that the other people backstage might have been saying, “Oh, dear, the poor child,” but I was sure I looked great.
So I was excited that I remembered that I owned it. This suit was surely the solution to my problem. I had paid a pretty penny for it and it hung beautifully – maybe enough time had passed that it had come back in style?
Oh, if only that were the case. As I started to try on the suit I became immediately aware that the suit in my mind’s eye looked nothing like the one I now saw before me .
First I pulled on the pants – the waistline came within 5 inches of my armpits. Uh oh.
“Look at mommy’s pants!” my nine-year-old shrieked. “Ha, ha, ha,” she laughed, over and over again.
“Very funny. Don’t worry. I know they’re a little high-waisted, but no one will see the pants because the jacket hangs over them,” I said, trying to convince myself more than her.
I had my doubts. The pant legs were quite wide. Really, you could fit two of me in those pant legs. But, maybe wide legs are back in? Didn’t I read that somewhere recently?
Then I put on the blazer, buttoned it and looked in the mirror. Hmm. Hmm.
I looked nothing like the glamorous girl of my memory. Nope. I looked ridiculous.
The blazer and its giant shoulder pads hung on me like it was three sizes too big. God knows, I certainly haven’t lost weight in the last 17 years.
I walked into the den to show my husband. “What happened? Do you think this suit always looked this bad? Why is the coat hanging on me like it was meant for a linebacker?”
I was genuinely baffled.
“It’s because you used to have a chest,” my husband explained, matter-of-factly.
Oh, God. Really? Was that it?
Here I thought I was lucky to have kept my weight down to what it was before having three kids. But, I see now that my weight has moved within my body and no longer resides where it once did - unfortunately it has moved south from places that could have helped this out-of-date suit.
It was a horrifying realization.
“Should I bother keeping it ? Do you think it’s ever coming back?” I asked, standing there looking like a clown, a clown that apparently prefers black crepe suits.
“Oh, honey, that suit is never coming back,” he declared. “You’re never gonna make that work.” Suddenly he’s Tim Gunn, apparently.
So, it’s back to the closet.
I wonder if that green quiana wrap-dress still fits? Didn’t I read that those are coming back in?