Sunday, 7 October 2012

Storytelling Sunday - Dressing Up

Not so much dressing up, but more getting dressed up to the nines.
It was December in the early 90s, my husband was working for a company in London that treated its employees and their partners to an all expenses paid Christmas dinner and dance in posh London hotels.  This particular year we were invited to the Hilton Hotel, in Park Lane.  Very swish.  At this time, I had a 2 year old and a 5 year old.  Posh frocks were not a part of my wardrobe, I was still in 'comfy clothes' mode! 
This coincided with my husband's cousin opening a dress rental business.  High quality, designer clothes and accessories.  She took pity on me and offered me a free rental.  It was hard to choose, so many beautiful dresses, totally out of my price range if I'd been buying but I had a free choice.  Now before I describe this dress you have to remember that it was the 90s.  Fashions have changed.  What was fabulous then would be a tiny bit 'over the top' now.  I finally decided on a fabulous dress.  Emerald green velvet, very fitted at the top, with a drop waist.  The velvet underskirt was a pencil skirt shape and over the top was 3 gathered ruffled skirts in a shimmering green taffeta.  I felt amazing!  I had some lovely black patent high heeled court shoes with a bow attached to the back of the heel (very 'Lady Di').
My mum had agreed to have the children to stay overnight and we set off for the evening.  Husband in dinner suit and bow tie, me in my posh frock. 
We had a new car to travel to London in too.  My husband's company changed the company cars of their staff every two years and we had a brand new car on the drive.  However, as time went on, this car turned out to be possibly the most unreliable car we ever had.  And its first time of breaking down was that night.  At a petrol station.  On a dual carriageway just before the junction with the motorway.  We stopped for petrol and the car refused to start again.  We rang the breakdown company and they told us they had a van nearby but couldn't locate where we were.  (Days before mobile phones became part of every woman's handbag essentials!)  I looked across the road and could see the breakdown van at the services on the opposite side of the road.  So in desperation I decided to run across 4 lanes of busy traffic in my finery to get his attention.  By the time I returned to the car, my hair was ruined, my shoes were dirty and the relaxed, child free evening mood had well and truly evaporated.
Happy to report that the car was easily fixed, we got to the hotel on time and had a fabulous time.  However, after that, whenever we went to the Christmas 'do' I always had a sensible pair of shoes in the back of the car in case I needed to flag down a rescue vehicle again.  I still don't know why I chose to go, why on earth didn't I send my husband?!!!

20 comments:

Karen said...

What a lovely story Deb - I would have loved to see a photo of the dress but you described it so beautifully perhaps a photo is not necessary x

Jennie Hart said...

What a great story, so well told. That dress sounds amazing, they might look dated now, but they were proper dresses weren't they.

Sian said...

Brilliant story - you conjured up that dress so well I fancied a try on of it myself! Lots of us will be nodding our heads and remembering that phase when comfy clothes were the order of the day I think.

I'm very glad that you made it safely across that traffic and lived to -tell the tale!

Irene said...

Love this story! It has all the right ingredients: what could possibly go wrong? I am glad you got there in the end and enjoyed yourself. Such a vision of you rushing off to get help in your glamourous frock!

scrappyjacky said...

I think I would definately have sent my husband!!

Kirsty.a said...

Oh, no picture of you in your frock? What a shame. I was hoping for a before and after!

humel said...

lol!! And why didn't he offer?!

ComfyMom~Stacey said...

LOL! Great story! I would probably have done the same thing. It's just easier to go with an idea than to involve others by asking them to do it

Maria Ontiveros said...

Wish you had a picture! But you tell it so well that it definitely works without one.
Rinda

Miriam said...

What a lovely story and so beautifully told. I agree with Rinda, you describe the dress so well that I can hear it running across the lanes of traffic!

Rhona said...

I did have to laugh at this Deb, I too wondered why it was you who went and not your husband ;) x

Sandie said...

Running across a motorway is not recommended, regardless of outfit!! Glad you are here to tell the tale!!

Ruth said...

What a great story! Princess Di had a lot to answer for in fashion stakes ...

Alison said...

I love the sound of that dress...and am so glad you made it safely across that road!
Alison xx

Louise said...

sounds like it would have been a perfect evening otherwise! I can just see you running across that road is your beautifully described posh frock! x

Ginger said...

A great story Deb! I can truly imagine that dress. Love your new photos in your header!

Jo said...

That is a great story but I can't understand why you didn't send hubby either! Glad you got to go to the ball in the end :)

Cheri said...

oh the crazy things we women take on, right!? Wish you had a photo of the dress!

S said...

Green velvet and frocked waists - reminds me of a couple different Christmas party dresses I had back in the 90's. I was never forced to cross lanes of traffic in a party dress though - I can imagine your hair-do came apart. Fun story - thanks for sharing.

Jennifer Grace said...

Hmm, I thought I'd already commented on this, but maybe not! I love this story, probably because I relate to it a lot right now having two young ones and not many opportunities to go out! I'm glad the night went well in the end! x