Friday, May 16, 2008

The Sartorial Equivalent of a Smile*

On the way back from the appeal hearing we stopped at a boutique in Wicker Park and I fell I love with this dress for graduation.

It's a little more... girly? ruffly? than I usually wear, but it was comfortable, hung well on my body, and seemed so bright and joyous- and "joyous" is exactly how I will feel on that Friday morning. When I came out of the dressing room JP told me I looked like a "porcelain light bulb". Apparently the very bright pink made my very pale skin look even paler (or "more porcelain" as JP so lovingly describes it). It had only just come in and since it was Wednesday and there were two left on the rack, I decided to sleep on it. The store doesn't allow returns and I'm so freaked out about spending money right now that I wasn't sure I should spend $39 on a potentially too-bright dress that made my skin glow like a light bulb.

But I couldn't stop thinking about my beautiful bubblegum dress. By the time I went to bed Wednesday night I was certain that I needed it. Even if it was too bright for graduation, it was only $40 and it was different and fun and it most definitely needed to live in my closet. I left the library early on Thursday to stop at the boutique on my way home; I walked straight to the rack where I'd left it, nestled between all the other too trendy dresses I could never pull off, but it was gone! They had sold out in the few hours between my leaving and the store closing. They called their other location in Lincoln Park and there was one left- and in my size! I promised to go buy it first thing Friday morning. The dress I wasn't sure I should get was now a necessary purchase, so first thing this morning I raced over to Lincoln Park, parked illegally, and dodged traffic as I raced across Clark St to rescue my bubblegum dress. And I got the last one!

It is now safe in my closet, right next to the three long ago purchased and already worn dresses I am wearing to my cousin's rehearsal dinner, his wedding, and our graduating student's dinner. So I can get a new dress for graduation, right? And the new brushed gold shoes that must go with it? I already have shiny gold heels, but they're not right for the daytime wearing of this dress and my feet have barely recovered from the last time I wore them (over a year ago). I think a brushed/muted gold shoe and dangly brushed gold earrings will be perfect. But I have to ask, do you think it's too bright and almost shiny for a graduation? I know that I could wear it, but should I? I don't think it's looking as cute in the picture as it does in real life, and I got one a size too big so it doesn't cling and stretch out the ruching, it hangs just right and looks very soft and Spring-y. Or so I think. JP is no help - whether or not something "should" be worn is way beyond his "that looks great" or "um, what else do you have?" capabilities. It is a really bright color. What do people wear to grad school graduations?

*Super bonus points to the person who knows what TV show that title quote was borrowed from!


  1. Being male, I have no opinion whatsoever on your dress, but the picture of Landon with the BarBri books at the top absolutely makes my day.

  2. Can you post a picture of you in the dress?

  3. I don't know about US law school graduations, but I presume you're wearing a hood and gown?

    What colour are they (here we have a black gown, and a pale blue hood). Rather fetching, and suits my colouring well!

    What is Chicago Law's regalia style?

    PS: the best part about graduation: the moment when the parade through the town from the old University to the Town Hall.

    The moment when everyone,moved in unison, a sea of black with bright satin and fur hoods bobbing along on top.

    It was magical, and linked back to the ancient Medieval times that the hoods and gowns come from.

  4. I love the dress, but I have to say, it would have been a little out of place at Dan's Chicago Law graduation. I mean, not really, because at the actual ceremony and hooding, everyone's wearing their regalia and all you can see is the guys' shirt collars and everyone's shoes. But it was clear that under the robes were shirts/ties/slacks and muted dresses/pumps, so gold shoes might stick out a BIT. :) If you wanted to change into it for a fabulous post-grad lunch, that could be fun.

  5. Great dress, and the ruffles are perfect since you're a little on the skinny side!

    My first thought was that it might be a little over the top for a graduation, but if you accessorize correctly it'll be fine. I'm thinking a tactful little scarf, knotted at the side of the neck, in the same-ish color as the shoes you're planning to wear.

  6. wear it; you could use a little JOY! in your life ;)

    Of course, it *would* help to have a picture to FULLY make up my mind ...

    Also? LOVE the new header!!

  7. Love the new banner.

    You'll be wearing your robe on top, so I say, wear whatever you want underneath. I think jeans and a T-shirt would be inappropriate, but a fun dress? It's your graduation day, you should look festive!

  8. completely agree with CM! Have fun, I think you should go with it!

  9. I think Barney once said that on How I Met Your Mother, which, incidentally, is one of the funniest shows on television.

    And the dress is great for graduation. I'm wearing bold bright pink and black print for GULC graduation. You're really dressing for post-graduation dinner anyway, since the giant robes cover everything for the ceremony. Go for it.

  10. I'll let you know what I wore if I ever get to graduation! I think it's great! A bright springy color will be perfect!

    LOVE the new banner.

  11. OK, please tell me how you did that header? That is SO cute!!

  12. I wore a black (sexy) halter dress to mine, that, although not bright pink, was not at all typical law school graduation attire. But it looked good, and all the compliments I received made up for anyone who might have been thinking I wasn't staid enough. Three years later I'm still glad I went for it.

    And during the actual graduation you'll have a robe on anyway.

  13. I think the title quote comes from Sex and the City. Or maybe Project Runway... Or perhaps I should try watching television with a little more substance.

  14. I forgot to announce it- Shelby R won the super bonus points. The quote is from "How I Met Your Mother" (a fantastic show, btw). Barney, who always wears suits, is trying to explain why he isn't wearing one at a funeral - because "a suit is the sartorial equivalent of a smile." And given how good JP looks in his, I'd have to agree ;)

    I'm pretty sure I'm wearing the dress. There are some quasi- fashionistas in my class who I'm sure will be decked out in far more ridiculous outfits. Plus, I'll be covered by a robe, it's a midday event, and it's just so pretty and ruffly :) But I really appreciate the comments, and my indecision means I can keep my eye out for other (less magenta) options.

  15. I say go for it -- all I remember about my graduation ceremony is the moment when Erin Brockovitch and I compared shoes on the stage. (And I have the picture to prove it!)

    Yes, my Tier 2 law school had a non-lawyer do the commencement speech. But hey, how many other lawyers can say 36DDs were mentioned about ten times during their commencement event?!

  16. Chicago 20065/18/08, 7:45 AM

    It would be cute for graduation. Most people wore summery dresses. I wore a white, lacy spaghetti strap (maternity) dress to mine and I felt appropriate.

    You won't see it at the actual graduation, but afterwards, at the lunch, most people take their gowns off. The gowns are black and maroon - with maroon being the main color - so you may want to do black shoes instead, but gold would look nice too!

  17. I like the dress! It's your big day, who cares what everyone else is wearing!

  18. yayy! you bought it! you will be fab!

  19. and maybe this is sort of what you're going for with brushed gold strappy sandles, but I was thinking some cute nude heels.

    very cute dress! love it, love the color, just use a little Jergens gradual skin tanner if you're worried about being too "porcelein" (how nice he is...I just get told that I'm too pasty...ha ha!)

  20. Pretty dress! I'd go for it unless you find something you love even more.

  21. I just wore a very similar dress in this exact shade to my UVA graduation. It looks fabulous with the black robe. I do agree about the nude heels rather than gold for daytime. I got some sandals that looked sort of "rattan" but in a very clean way. Perhaps nude leather strappy sandals with a wedge heel? makes all the walking and standing so much more bearable.

  22. I wore a black and white polka dot sundress and red peeptoe shoes - that stupid velvet is hot!

    Also, word to the wise if you have long hair - take your hair out of the hood after you get hooded before you shake hands with the dean. I look kind of like a man in my pictures. I was so excited to have the hood on I didn't even think of that!

  23. Nude heels sound good with black - rather than gold. Or take 2 pairs - a black pair for walking across the stage, and gold for lunch afterwards. If Whoopi Goldberg could wear 4 dresses at the oscars, you can wear 2 pairs of shoes to graduation.

    Am thinking of you btw - as you are in study mode. I'm great at doing things under pressure at the last moment too.

    Although my law degree was under another system, I agree that reading cases is not at all necessary for success. In fact, I found that the people who spent ages reading cases got bogged down, and couldn't see the woods for the trees.

    My analogy - they could describe the vein structure of every leaf in the forest, but lost sight of the path. Answering a law exam question requires overall that you know your way through the forest - which you can get from an outline.

    Good luck! And enjoy the wedding - nothing like laughter to lighten the load and oxygenate the brain.