Fashion Dilemma Part 4: where was my memo?

March 11, 2011

Where was my memo?

We got up early for the first day of the regular conference. The breakfast buffet was a typical English breakfast… runny eggs, sausage (which I didn’t try–love the flavor, hate the texture), bacon (which is really our ham), baked beans, tomatoes, haggis, several types of butter drenched breads, cereal, yogurt… etc. YUM. Again, feeling so in trouble with the trainer.

I chose to wear my new “short” brown slacks, a fitted cream shell, and a jacket with florals in browns, creams, blues and greens. I also wore my new boots. I know–everyone said comfortable shoes for the distillery tour but at this point my feet were hurting from my comfortable shoes so what did I have to lose?

I needed a new winter coat but since it wasn’t the most pressing item of clothing I needed, I never got around to finding one. Also, being so close to spring I wasn’t guaranteed to find one even on the sale rack. So just before we left I grabbed DH’s weatherproof double layer company logo coat that is really even bigger than the coat I didn’t want to take. But it was clean and it had the company logo. Also being able to take the liner off was a plus.

In the lobby a woman was sitting by herself. She was a much older woman in black jeans and a smart coat. We identified ourselves and waited for others to join us. She told me where she was living but added, “But I’m originally from Liverpool. I guess my accent gave me away.” I had to chuckle–I wouldn’t know a Liverpool accent from a London accent.

Other wives started showing up. Another Brit, three more Americans (including the spouse we shared a cab with), a Canadian, and one from the Mediterranean who spoke no English. All were wearing smart, feminine coats and black jeans! When I mentioned I had just grabbed DH’s coat the first spouse I met said, “Well then you’re in charge–you have the logo!” This is funny on two fronts: first of all, I’m fairly certain I was one of the younger spouses if not the youngest; and second, DH is a chief engineer–not a captain.

Our guide arrived in a kilt and all the accoutrements. He was the perfect guide. He spoke slower so his brogue wasn’t too heavy. He told the right flirty joke at the right moment. He tried to engage all of us, even the one who spoke no English. Our “coach” ride to the distillery was pleasant and informative. It was nice to be out of the city and see the beautiful countryside.

Lunch was a stop away and was another three course meal. All the wives looked at the food choices and shook our head in dismay that we had the gala dinner in the evening. I forgot that sparkling water was really soda water and I should have gone for “still.” I learned that everything is a pudding when it is really a cake. The sticky toffee pudding was a spice cake drizzled with “sticky toffee.” YUM.

On the ride back I asked one of the American spouses what she was wearing to the gala dinner. She confessed she wasn’t sure but brought a pantsuit and two cocktail dresses with her. She had been to the previous conference DH had gone to where there was the cultural discrepancy with the Eastern European wives.

I’m sure all of us went back to our rooms and rested from eating too well. I know I did. I rested and waited for DH to get back. I still hadn’t decided what to wear, not sure if the other wives would be in dresses. In the end, I went with the pantsuit, because if I spent the money on miracle tailoring I better wear those pants! I dressed it up with pearls, including a pearl bracelet that DH had selected as his 10 year service award. I also added a pin to the jacket.

I could kick myself for not bringing a clutch purse but my lipstick fit in my camera case. I put on make-up, something I rarely do. I wear it well but I just don’t like to take the time. Unfortunately I also discovered another reason I don’t like to wear make-up: my glasses lenses drastically shrink my eyes and make them seem narrower than my face. Eyeliner and mascara just emphasizes this. Not flattering in my opinion. But I cannot wear contacts any more.

We all met in the lounge for cocktails. I was relieved to see all the American in pantsuits–though once again I must not have gotten the memo to wear dark colors. My teal jacket was a bright pop of color. The Mediterranean spouse wore a dress with a bit more flair but it was black and white. The Canadian who was really a transplant from India wore something more befitting her heritage. Her husband’s suit was also in the same vein.

It was the two Brits that had me laughing–they were both in dresses I would have worn to church and with OPEN toed shoes! And their dresses had a bit more color too.

After a company photo we loaded into three larger buses and head out of the city to a country club for the gala dinner. DH pointed out to his ship captain that I had the bracelet–the one he made DH wear when he presented the award to him. “Yeah, it traumatized me so much that she didn’t get anything for my 15th.” He’ll get his catalog for his 20th soon but I get to pick something again.

Next up: Fashion Dilemma Wrap Up–Lessons Learned



  1. […] Fashion Dilemma Part 4: where was my memo? (snipewife.wordpress.com) […]

  2. […] Fashion Dilemma 4 […]

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