09 December 2005

The Company Christmas Party

The little black dress. The red twinset with sequins. The gold sequined top. The "Holiday Sweater." The nearly inappropriate cocktail dress that just can't quite decide what to be.

The attire is listed on the invite as "Business dress." It's not terribly hard. And honestly, most folks looked entirely appropriate and well-coordinated, if not boring. But appropriate is ok at the company party.

And I spotted the dark silver Banana Republic holiday dress. I love Banana (well-made clothes at almost affordable prices that always seem to fit), but I don't like to know that I'm seeing Banana. I suppose I have an aversion to other folks knowing where I bought something. It's not that I don't want good fashion (which this silver dress is) to be appreciated, but kinda like Jimmy Choo being in Chevy Chase, I'm just not sure I want it out there. I guess what it really is is an aversion to mass production. I know, I know, it makes it accessible - and I'm all for accessible - I need accessible. But there's something about walking down the street and seeing your outfit on another person that just doesn't sit right.

It was all driven home during our recent trip to Lawrence, Kansas. It's a great college town. Caf├ęs, restaurants, a Main Street, shops, boutiques, a real department store, and a great spirit. People stroll down the street...and wear the same thing. I think every woman under the age of 25 was wearing a shrug. Granted, the weather was in that not-quite-warm, not-quite-cold phase, so they were practical, but lord! was I shocked. I'm not sure I've ever experienced that much homogeneity - and it's homogeneity of style - all by choice. And it is by choice. Lawrence happens to have some fantastic little shops filled with fabulous finds. There's an off-beat pseudo-punk/hippie place. There are Good Jeans. You can buy Paula Dorf and Cargo cosmetics. We're not talkin' a fashion black hole here - there are People Who Know.

So why did they all choose the same clothes? I just don't understand.

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