Thursday, January 9, 2014

Debbie the Diva and the (Little) Taupe Dress

It all started in the dressing room.

Have I mentioned how much I hate clothes shopping? Well, I do. It's not so much the casual shopping that I hate; it's the commando shopping. You know... the kind that you have to do for what I like to call a Loomer.

Now, I don't know how you handle the Loomers, but I generally follow a few simple steps. First, I procrastinate. Then, since procrastination does wonders for my appetite, I move into phase II: The panic diet phase. It's during the panic diet phase that I realize it's time for the commando raid to find the appropriate Loomer wear.

It's not a good mix. 

That's because procrastinated panic dieting rarely does what it's intended to do. About an hour into my commando raids, I usually decide to surrender, buy yet another black dress, and loom in the shadows. 

Can anyone relate?  (please?) 

(Yes, I realize that the phrase yet another black dress implies that I have a multitude of them. I do. They're just never the right black dress for that particular Loomer.  Plus, they don't fit. Try to keep up, people...)

So that's where I was, standing in a dressing room in middle Georgia, crying because not one of the 4,726 black dresses I had tried on that day was working for me. 

That's when the size 2 clerk who probably never had a case of Loomers in her life knocked on the door. She handed me this:

Does that look like a black dress to you?

Now, the typical Debbie thing to do here would be to take the dress and pretend to try it on. However, I might possibly have turned into a Diva in need of a Snickers at that point because what I did instead was flatly refuse. 

And I said,
 "Sorry, I can't wear that color."

And she said,
 "Who says so?"

I was about to tell her that everybody says so, but I knew in my head that it was sort of a stupid answer. I'm pretty sure that every person on the planet has not weighed in with his opinion as to wearable colors in Debbie Land.

Instead, I murmured something about being a blonde so anything beige just washes me out

While she agreed that I should not ever wear the color beige, she said that taupe was completely different. It's all in the shade, she said, and she began to prove it by holding every piece of beige in the store against my face to contrast it with that taupe dress. 

The next thing I knew, I was checking out. Then, she gave me directions to the best little accessory shop she knew and the name of a woman there who would be able to help me find a pop of color to go along with it. 

I was thinking red or coral or something,
 but the color maven suggested this:

Does that look like a pop of color to you?

It didn't to me either. I guess I protested too loudly, though, because before I knew it, everybody in the store really was weighing in on the wearable colors in Debbie Land.

I was still unconvinced, but since I had dubbed 2013 the year to step out of my comfort zone, I did it. I bought the single most daring outfit I have ever owned: Taupe on taupe.

And you'll never guess what happened next. 

My daring taupe outfit was a big hit. Seriously, not since the electric blue pant suit of '83 have I gotten more compliments on an article of clothing, specifically about the color.

On me.

As in, why don't you ever wear that color?
 It's wonderful on you.


Then, since I never do anything in moderation, I began to buy more of that taupe-y stuff.

Taupe shoes...
Taupe sweaters...
A taupe scarf...

I even tried to taupe-stain a lace blouse with some strong coffee, but it was an epic failure. After three washes, it turned an unfortunate shade of beige, and my closet still smelled like Starbucks. 

You can't win them all, folks.

With all that taupe in the closet, it just seemed reasonable to go ahead and make it the 2014 Color of the Year. When God laid the word balance on my heart, it was a match made in Heaven. 

And there you have it: How Debbie the Diva learned to love taupe.

But now... if you have stuck with this too-long-yakabout for this long, I think you deserve a moral of the story as well.

And here it is:

Maybe you can do the thing you think you cannot do.
Maybe, just maybe, you need to do it a shade differently. 

(I have no idea why that font suddenly changed. I can't fix it either. Ugh.) 


Tricia said...

Great story! I think by mid-life most of us have a list of "rules" about what we can't wear, but this proves we aren't always right!

Creations By Cindy said...

I have enjoyed this post so much! Made me laugh out loud! Hugs and blessings, Cindy

Debbie said...

I loved this story! Reminded me of shopping with my daughter who OFTEN would bring me something I would have NEVER considered before. She has such an eye and she was always right. But the problem now is I haven't shopped with her since she married... : ( Guess I need a new person to push me into different things. However, as always your analogy on this was great. I need pushing out of my comfort zone in soo many areas! Enjoy your day!

Mrs.Rabe said...

That necklace is perfect with that dress! Seriously!

I love when things like this happen.


The Quintessential Magpie said...

I love that necklace with the dress, and I bet it looks great on you.

I will, not, I repeat not wear white pants. Talk about a marshmallow in a keyhole! ;-)

I will have to think of so etching else.



Denise said...

How can it be that I already knew the whole story and I was still sitting on the edge of my seat to see how it would unfold? You're just the best story-teller, that's why.
The dress and necklace both look fabulous on you as does the sweater and scarf. GREAT color choice. GREAT post.

Sharon said...

Vintage Debbie. Hysterically funny, great visuals, and a wonderful lesson at the end - (with a very clever play on words, by the way!)

Yes, God has a way of stretching us. I'm finding my word, JOY, a bit uncomfortable - for me, it's a *taupe dress*, for sure.

But, I have a feeling that He will find a way to "color" my life with this word until it "suits" me just right.

Here's to the wonders of taupe, and the joys of living outside of the comfort zone!

(I can picture you in that dress, and yes, I just know you looked beautiful!)

Beth Edwards said...

for me seeing the dress & necklace hanging on the hanger it is great combo. i would love to be a personal shoppers. i am great with colors & putting an outfit together with the must have accessories. now considering you are not wearing it? ( i hear some one clear their throat, hey, was that me??) i can not bring to tell you where to go from there. it looks great on the hanger!!! are you a high heel wear-er? if so go with a great heel. i always try to pull a color out of the outfit to wear with earrings & a necklace. do you have a long neck. that is the determining factor when it comes to wearing a earring & necklace. but with the busy necklace you will probably stay way from earrings. i wish i was there to help you more. depends on your height too. my mom is shorter than me ... so she has to wear a petite. there are so many things to think about. but if you are not comfortable ... it is not something to go with. you need to always be comfortable. does that make sense? i think the necklace can be worn with other outfits. i would say that if you have brown hair & sort of have an olive skin tone you are go to go. i have a paler skin so i would never pick that pattern but i have a cold skin tone. see what i mean? too many things to consider. i need to hush. later. ha. ha!! ( :

Vee said...

This once happened to me with a royal blue dress. Suddenly everyone was saying how great I looked. Sure, it only lasted for five minutes and a half...

I really like the dress and the necklace and the analogy and the lesson. I think that the lesson might also be to listen when more than one person tells you the same thing. (I prefer that they not be in a gaggle at the time.)

Barbara F. said...

I loved that dress as soon as I saw the photo! Sometimes sales clerks know their stuff! We have to be willing to listen! I bet you looked awesome in it. xo

Gayle said...

I love the little taupe dress, and would love to have seen you smiling in it.

Lynn@Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

Lovin' that great dress! Bet it was fun to wear:@)

Lorrie said...

Love. The dress, the accessories, the story and the moral. I can't wear taupe either. :)

Gina said...

Great dress and I love the story to go with it!

Laurie Ritchey said...

Love the word "loomer", and your procrastination shopping sounds identical to mine. I hate to shop for clothes. Unfortunately, it's not the same story for home accessories. I have cried in a dressing room too. Shopping for my Mother of the Bride dress. I had been to five different cities and tried on huge numbers of dresses. Finally, in St. Louis, I was sitting on the floor of the dressing room, crying, when my sister walked in with THE dress. I asked where she had found it, and she told me the sale rack. That dress just got better by the minute. I had to pay for the dress with sunglasses on, because my eyes were so red. Great looking dress you found, and I always love your commentary. laurie

Denise at Forest Manor said...

Debbie, this is a wonderful post for starting out a brand new year. I love it!! At the risk of sounding like a little sales person, that necklace really makes the dress. WHO KNEW?! Isn't it wonderful to find something that looks good on us that we never realized before?

I hate to clothes shop. My sister, my mom, and my MIL can pick out much better things for me than I can for myself. My sister gave me one of those infinity scarves for Christmas; I absolutely love it and I think it looks good on me. But...I would never have thought to buy it for myself.

I love the moral of your story, and in true Debbie-fashion, you've made it laugh-out-loud funny. :) It's great to have you back!



Barbara Neubeck said...

...Happy New Year, Debbie......
I like your dress and necklace...I love your writing natural and funny
Hugs and Blessings.... Barb xx

Dayle Allen Shockley @ A Collection of Days said...

The only thing missing here is a photo of you IN the taupe on taupe outfit. I'm sure it is stunning.

Lynn Richards said...

I think the other moral of the story is that you just found yourself a personal shopper. Which is no small thing. I would bring her a birthday present. Or a present just because. Oh, and flowers for the jewelry lady.
All that aside, I really, really like your word AND color for the year. It's going to be amazing to see how God works these two things into your life.
p.s. Never in my wildest dreams would you ever be a Rosanne.....

Yellow Rose Arbor said...

Yep, you are going to make believers of us with your taupe choices! The dress and necklace are really pretty. I wish you had posted a picture of you wearing them.

I don't make new year's resolutions, or choose a color, or word, but I enjoy reading about yours and others. You have such a way with words! I'm so happy that you are back to sharing your talent with us! Thank you!


elizabeth said...

It's way too late at night for me to think of any witty comments that your always witty posts deserve! I love the dress and necklace! I think beige washes me out as well. And, I do like to wear black and gray an awful lot. Maybe I need you to take me shopping where you went!

Kelley said...

I love it, Taupe Debbie! Beautiful outfit! I'm certain everyone spoke the truth: You looked great in that! *wink*

Enjoyed the yakkk!

Happy taupeways,

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

I love this, Debbie. I love that you are choosing balance and taupe. I remember, when I was MUCH younger, balance seemed so boring. Red was my favorite color. Passion was way more interesting than balance or moderate. LOL! Well, taupe has been my favorite color for years.... and I crave balance and steadiness these days. I think that could be the wisdom of experience... or could be just getting old. hee hee. But, welcome to taupe. I think you'll love it... your outfit is marvelous! blessings and hugs ~ tanna

kitty said...

I love reading your posts in the morning because they put a smile on my face. I can just picture you shopping, reluctantly trying on the dress and then buying it! The necklace looks so great with it and you still could find another one for a pop of color. Now I want to know what the occasion was, Ms. Diva??

Susan Nowell @ My Place to Yours said...

The only thing that would make this post better is if it included a picture of you wearing your show-stopping dress! What a "find" you made in that sales clerk. You should definitely get to know her better and let her style you more often. (What I'd give to have someone like her! I do NOT like clothes shopping either, especially "command" shopping.) A new fresh color -- and compliments to go with it... What a treat! Stretch it out as long as you can. :-)

Janette's Sage/Simply Your Decor said...

I am with Susan on a pic of you in it..and Susan and I both come from Texas, we know what we are talking about. Besides, I can't fit in that little dress so you have no reason not to let us see how beautiful you are and were at this event.
I hate to clothes shop. Let me shop for the house or client any day, but don't make me buy clothes. So two weddings and two rehearsals in one year almost did me in...and you know that I did go with a black dress to hide all forms of bumps.
I love your word and since I am using it so much in decorating and even if you noticed, it is the color on my blog this must be the year of Taupe..well again, it has been around for awhile.
Oh hugs and praise to your husband on one year on the job. Mine came home all smiles yesterday...his first contract signed for the company that finally employed him. The world looks new to him!! post! A pure Debbie post!

Debbiedoos said...

Ahhhhh you rock! What a great dress story indeed. See you never know, stepping outside the box worked for ya. Happy 2014 keep stepping:) XO

Ann said...

I know..."dress the body you have"....but I'm waiting until I can wear fuscia skinny jeans before I go clothes shopping again. ;)
Having said that, I LOVE your taupe success! Yay!

Glad to see you back, too.


Manuela@A Cultivated Nest said...

What a great story! Yes, a pop of color to me would mean red or blue not something in the same shade as the dress. But it looks very classy!

I hate clothes shopping. Also hate shoe shopping. Now I could shop for furniture and home accessories all. Day. I can look at a million plants and never get tired. But clothes...Ack really have to force myself!

xinex said...

Oh how funny, but I actually like the dress the moment I saw it here, really love the color. I am glad you bought it. The accessory goes so well with the dress too. I am in the same boat. I need a formal gown by Feb. 15 and I can never find one that fits nicely....Christine

The Polka Dot Closet said...

I read every word and loved the moral of the story!! I am thinking that not only did the color attract attention, but I bet it was the fit and design of the dress...Am I right?


Kathryn Ross said...

Yay! You're the Taupe Queen and I'm sure you will rule the color well this year! Great look, by the way - and you ought to post a pic of YOU in the taupe! Glad you're following me on fb - I will find you and be the perfect #7 of your followers. I'm working for a Social Media Expert doing her copywriting for clients so I'm learning lots of new stuff this year. Will be passing tips along. I want to see my move beyond the "just getting by" thingy and POP a bit myself this year. I used that word in my Pink Saturday post, too.

Knitty said...

Good for you for giving it a try and the looking smashing!

Blueshell said...

have a great Sunday

Blueshell said...

I mean:

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

The LOOMER!!!! I love it and am stealing it.

For years I thought I couldn't wear red. My grandmother said it would clash with my redhead complexion.

Just a few years ago I found out i could wear coral red and burgundy red beautifully.

Some old dogs can learn new tricks.

I personally would pair that dress with turquoise too. But I am not sure of your coloring. :)

Mevely317 said...

This may be my very favorite Debbie post EVER ... only on account I can SO relate on lotsa levels!

Except, taupe n' I've had this love affair going for years. Suppose it all began when my step-son was being married and someone said, "The mother of the groom wears taupe and keeps her mouth shut." LOL.

I'll bet you were a knock-out amongst all the basic black ... an understated bombshell.

Alycia Nichols said...

I have a masquerade ball looming (sometime in mid-February) and I wasn't able to find anything while searching during the holidays when I mistakenly thought there'd be tons of gowns out there for New Year' I just gave up. And now I'm starting to feel that pinch you describe. NOT a good feeling. You don't want to stay in the shadows. You want to SHINE! And not just want to outshine every other woman in the room by leaps and bounds. So what's the solution? That little black dress you speak of, OR something outside the comfort zone! You win!

I think this time I may have to simply rely on over-the-top jewelry and a kick-butt mask. As long as I shine! :-) Pretty dress and GORGEOUS necklace! Wear it proudly!!!

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

You know when you turn the comments off I just have to skip down. Debbie, I LOVED this post... something that has been on my heart... but I didn't know the word... Life is so busy, it gets easy to "skip" tending to "one another"... I keep getting the nudge, to hit the pause, put down whatever I'm doing and "be there" for "one another". I think you're on to something. I sure look forward to reading more. blessings and hugs ~ tanna

Red Couch Recipes said...

Debbie, loved your last post too. We have a song in our church that goes like this: "As I have loved you, love one another." Yes, I thought the word was love for this year -- I was duped. Only on one occasion have I enlisted the help of a salewoman to put together a wardrobe (for me first real job), and she did a great job. Like you, she put together things I never would have. Love your new dress and necklace. May you have a taupe-y year. Joni

Red Couch Recipes said...

Debbie, loved your last post too. We have a song in our church that goes like this: "As I have loved you, love one another." Yes, I thought the word was love for this year -- I was duped. Only on one occasion have I enlisted the help of a salewoman to put together a wardrobe (for me first real job), and she did a great job. Like you, she put together things I never would have. Love your new dress and necklace. May you have a taupe-y year. Joni

Red Couch Recipes said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Angel @ Finding The Inspiring said...

Debbie, You just don't know how it thrills me to see you posting again! I guess you can tell by all the comments how happy we all are to have you back. :)

I love the taupe! And that whole ensemble looks beautiful as I'm sure you did wearing it.

I also love the hopeful message at the end. It's a great lesson for someone like me who is typically afraid of change. Maybe change will look good on me too if I step out to try it in a different shade.

Thanks for sharing. Your words are a gift whether you know it or not. :)


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