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This morning I had a few minutes to spare, so I thought I’d try on my old black crepe suit to make sure it would be okay to wear backstage at the Screen Actors Guild Awards this Saturday.
When you work on the crew or on the production team of an award show, you’re supposed to dress to blend in. The production companies generally rent tuxedos for the men who might be caught on camera, but the female workers are expected to wear an awards-show-type dress. You know how so many of us have those lying around.
Well actually, from my years of working behind-the-scenes on awards shows, 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 spent most of the weekend racking my brain, wondering what I could wear to this year’s show, but 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 remember thinking at the time that I looked simply fabulous in that suit. Very chic, indeed. I’m sure I even fantasized that I’d be mistaken for one of the celebs.
It’s very possible that the other people backstage might have been thinking, “Oh, dear, the poor child,” but I was confident I looked great.
So I was really excited when I remembered that I still owned that suit. It was surely the solution to my problem. I had paid a pretty penny for it, and remember that it hung beautifully — maybe enough time had passed that it had come back in style?
Oh, if only that were the case. As soon as I removed the suit from its storage bag, I became immediately aware that the suit in my mind’s eye looked nothing like the one I now saw before me.
But maybe I just needed to put it on?
First I pulled on the pants — the waistline came within five inches of my armpits. Uh oh.
“Look at mommy’s pants!” my ten-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 really wide legs are back in? Didn’t I read that somewhere?
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 just looked ridiculous.
The blazer, with 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? I don’t understand? 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 even though my weight is the same, it somehow shifted within my body. Unfortunately it shifted south, far from the place that might 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 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 qiana wrap-dress would still fit? Didn’t I read that qiana is back in?