7 Dress Tips to Perfect Elegance For the Winter Ball Or Christmas Party

Party season is nearly upon us once again, and it’s time to break out the elegant evening dresses! Fortunately for those of us who are vertically challenged, or carrying a little extra padding in several places, the designers and fashionistas have been kind to us this Fall/Winter 2009 season. Kudos to them for bringing back slimming blacks and flattering browns; even more exciting this year is the return of the LBD – yes, the little black dress is back.

Here are seven fantastic tips to help you make the most of the last remnants of your summer tan, and ensure you grace the holiday party scene with pizzazz!

1. Dust Off Your Little Black Dress – It is no secret that little black dresses are a must-have fashion staple, but this year they are back at the forefront of fashion. Not only are black and brown the trendiest colors, but this sexy little number can be used for multiple winter balls and Christmas parties alike. Lacy LBDs are especially sexy if worn well, and they have definite pay-raise potential.

2. Dare to Bare – Well, at least one shoulder! Trendy one-shoulder dresses are taking the catwalks by storm this season, and they flatter the more willowy figure wonderfully well. If you want to feel lean, elegant and stylish rather than gangly and awkward, one-shoulder evening dresses look ultra-feminine and beautifully unique.

3. Break The Mold – If blacks and browns are depressing the life out of you, peruse the tantalizing two-color evening dresses the designers are favoring for the Winter 2009 season. Finances are looking dull for many, so opting for a fabulously colorful dress will certainly liven up the proceedings. Be careful, however, to make the distinction between bright, vibrant hues, and gaudier offerings.

4. Look In The Mirror – One of the biggest contributors involved in capturing a perfectly elegant look is to be completely honest. If you have bulging calves or knobby knees, consider one of the magnificent maxi evening dresses and make the most of your height. Maxi evening dresses have been among the fashion frontrunners for two seasons now, and they are especially trendy when embellished with lacy trimmings and sequins.

5. Belt Up Awhile – Belted evening dresses are a must-have for those of us who want to deflect attention from our muffin top midsections. If you want to jazz up pretty black or brown evening dresses, choose a dazzler design with a pretty pink belted waist. Opt for higher heels to elongate your legs and emphasize the tapered waist to its greatest extent.

6. Think Simple, Simple, Simple – Even the very best of us have spent evenings out in complex chiffon creations, and most of us can remember scratching for days after the fact! Fortunately, this years’ winter fashion is all about simple cuts, simple colors, simple designs, and simple fabrics. If you feel a little naked without all the bells and whistles, accessorize elegantly simple evening dresses with your most treasured sparkling jewelry.

7. Light Up The Sky – Neon has made a definite reappearance this year, which completely contrasts the sultry blacks and browns. Blue and red neon are particularly eye-catching, but you will need full battle-paint on your face to pull this look off well. Go for super-short or super-long with your outfit, and you simply can’t go wrong.

If you’re a big fan of darker colors, you will be jumping for joy when you browse the designer’s 2009/2010 evening dress selections.

So, work your pretty dress and make the most of the free drinks, the admiring glances, and the good conversation!

Wedding Dress Preservation – The Controversy About Letting the Fabric Breath

Before we talk about this controversy we first need to address the wedding dress preservation and cleaning of your dress.

Make sure that you choose a company that will do the job right for you. First that doesn’t mean your local dry-cleaner. They’ll throw your wedding dress in with the rest of their laundry (shirts, slacks, dress of all colors etc.. They may or may not steam it out properly and may or may not place your dress in the proper wedding dress preservation box.

You want a wedding dress preservation company that will take special care of your dress. A company that knows how much it means to you. They should carefully hand inspect it when it arrives. The hem of the dress should be HAND cleaned. It is usually the dirtiest part of your dress and is best cleaned by hand. This way the dress can be properly cleaned to specifically remove the dirt, the asphalt oils, and the grass stains individually as needed.

You’ll also want a company that HAND cleans the top of the bodice of the dress. This area usually has make-up, spray-tan, body oils and perspiration on it. Each of these can best be addressed and cleaned by hand.

Make sure the company does a thorough inspection for other stains. Stains from wine and food are usually easy to detect, but club soda, white wine, and even cake frosting can be hard to see with the naked eye. A black light is best used to detect these stains. Once detected they can determine what to use to remove the stain.

If you can find a company that will do minor repairs for free, that’s a real added bonus. Sometimes there are loose buttons, loose beads, or small tears from some unfortunate mishap. If you can make a note of what repair is needed and it’s location, the wedding dress preservation company can find it and repair it for you for free.

After this process your dress should be steamed and pressed and placed on an acid free bust form, with the skirt and train carefully folded, layered with acid free tissue paper and placed in it’s preservation box.

HERE’S WHERE THE CONTROVERSY STARTS!

Is the box left un-sealed and sent back to you, or is it completely sealed and sent to you?

Those companies who do not seal their wedding dress preservation boxes will tell you that the fabric has to breathe and that you should take your dress out and re-fold it every few years. It sounds like you should want healthy fabric and the re-folding will help keep the wrinkles from setting in too much. They also tell you that it allows you to open the box and inspect the dress. All this sound logical and good except…….

Let’s address each of this issues – controversies. First your bridal dress fabric, no matter what it’s made from, does not have lungs! That may sound obvious, but the fabric definitely DOES NOT need to breathe. In fact let examine that for a moment. Have you ever looked at the air floating around, you know on a sunny day with the sunbeam coming through the window. What do you see? All of the dust, pollen etc. floating in the air. What do you think happens to the fabric if that air goes through it? The fabric stops all of the dust, pollen and dirt and the fabric become dirty. Don’t think just because your preservation box is shut it will keep the air out, it doesn’t and that’s what these companies are counting on and trying to tell you is a benefit, when it’s not.

What about re-folding the dress. First, what most of these companies don’t tell you is if you remove the dress from the box you will void their warranty. The bodice form is attached to the box, to hold the dress in place. If it wasn’t attached the dress would end up in a wrinkled mess at the bottom end of the box. The dresses are carefully folded so as to fit properly in the box. If you try and re-fold the dress differently, it will make a mess and won’t fit properly back in the box. In fact, you may not be able to shut the box again.

A fold that has been in fabric for 5 years is no more harmful to the fabric than one that’s been in it for 40 years. If you re-folded it over and over in the same place you could harm the fabric, the same as creasing a piece of paper over and over. But leaving the fabric folded once does no harm at all.

Choose a wedding dress preservation company that will give you and your precious wedding dress all of the care and proper treatment you and it deserves.

P.S. One more thing. The special equipment it takes to seal your wedding dress preservation box properly costs about $70,000. It makes you wonder if some of these companies try and tell you that there are benefits to not sealing their box, just to save the money on the right equipment?

The 3 Nakeds

“What are you wearing right now?” This question, which often gets asked over a medium that lacks sight-IM, phone, email-can basically be answered in any way that you like because it’s not about what you’re wearing; it’s about what you say that you’re wearing. On the Internet or the phone you can be, or wear, anything that you want.

In person, it’s a completely different story.

There are three types of Nakeds in the world: the Be Nakeds, the Get Nakeds and the No Nakeds.

Be Nakeds are those that like to be without clothes at every available opportunity. They hang out in their houses naked, surf the web naked and are the first to ditch the dungarees and skinny dip in the nearest naturally occurring body of water. Be Nakeds aren’t ever in a hurry to put their clothes back on once they’ve come off.

The class of Get Nakeds enjoy taking their clothes off-or having them removed-but after they’ve spent some time in the lands of Be Naked, the Get Nakeds find an excuse to put their clothes back on. These are the types that take off their swimsuit after they’ve submersed themselves in the hot tub, making sure not to fling the suit itself out of reach so they can put it back on before they get out.

And then there are the rare, and hard to identify, No Nakeds; they wander among us in places where there is no chance that clothes will become optional. Unfortunately, Be Nakeds and Get Nakeds are also often found in the same places. No Nakeds don’t want to have anything to do with being naked and don’t want anyone to see them naked. Yet, we never know who they are until it’s too late.

How did this come about? Once upon a time, in the Land of Naked, there was no such thing as clothes. The people slept naked, danced naked and loitered naked. The climate was perfect, so clothes were not needed. Unfortunately, one night Mother Nature went on a drunken binge and hooked up with Old Man Winter at his place. The next morning she felt so distraught that, during her walk of shame, she decided to improve her attitude by raining some bitter temperatures down upon the people of the land. She was instantly satisfied when she saw them scramble to clad themselves with leaves, animal skins and tree bark. Among them, a young female entrepreneur saw the opportunity and fashion was born. She quickly hired fellow Nakeds to sew and barter her wares, further dividing the Nakeds into Haves and Have Nots, though the Have Nots labeled themselves as Traditionalists. Ultimately, this divided the Nakeds into three classes: Be, Get and No.

With the division of classes came the cultural aspect of modesty. The Nakeds began judging each other in an attempt to prove that their way was the way one should live. Shame befell those that wanted, but could not have. Conceit grew in the minds of those that had. With time, disputes would rage between the classes and the world would never again see peace.

I find it odd that eight of the fifteen definitions found for “naked” on dictionary.com denote something “lacking” or “inadequate.” Many of us are ashamed of our bodies, which often dictates which class of Naked that we fall into. Therefore, to make matters easier and to, perhaps, end all wars, I offer the following new set of rules:

  • Be upfront with your Naked Class.
  • Some Get Nakeds can date Be Nakeds, but not all Be Nakeds can date Get Nakeds.
  • No Nakeds must date each other and no one else.

Personally, I’m a Get Naked. I’ve dated all three types and the No Naked class is the one that I need to avoid. When she locks the door while brushing her teeth, that’s a sure sign of a No Naked. It has nothing to do with the teeth; it has everything to do with not wanting to be seen while showering, dressing or applying the layer of makeup that serves as a second skin between her nakedness and the world.

In the beginning I asked, “What are you wearing?” Perhaps the better question has less to do with clothes and more to do with the lack of them, “What kind of Naked are you?”