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DIY: Business Attire Emergency

DIY: Business Attire Emergency

I recently had the opportunity to be photographed for an article in an oil & gas magazine (I know, I know, it’s hard to be this cool…) with a group of other young professionals. It was an honor and such a great experience, but obviously my outfit had to be just right. Luckily I had a month to apply undue stress to myself and others figure it out, so after much deliberation and consultation I single-handedly Berly, my WBFF picked a light blush dress I already owned, I got some new shoes, and I learned how to contour my face which is the hardest thing I’ve ever done and I may or may not have shown up to work one day having forgotten to blend in the side of my nose. My co-worker Travis is my only real friend, because he had the nerve to address the situation head-on.

Travis: Why is there a weird brown shadow thing on your nose?

Me: *patiently* Travis, you see this is called con-tour-ing. It is applied to create the illusion of shadows to make your face look beautiful and less squishy and more… better.

Travis: No, this is more like a solid stripe of brown. Only on one side of your nose.

Me: You are my only real friend and everyone else is dead to me.

Moral: I’m good at other things and husbands can’t be trusted.

2 days before I flew to Houston for the shoot, I called to confirm what time I should arrive. While chatting, the receptionist casually mentioned the ‘tip sheet’ I should have received with guidance on what we should wear. Only one problem: I did not ever receive said tip sheet. I would have LOVED a tip sheet. 5 minutes later, having been sent tip sheet, my sweat and panic are blurring the #1 request on tip sheet: “Please wear solid, dark colors.”


So now I’m frantically sprinting through Dillard’s on my way to a PTA meeting trying to find a dress that is fitted but not too fitted and dark but not black and professional but not stuffy and looks expensive but is not expensive. It was delightful and I highly recommend this experience to everyone. You’ll be shocked to hear that I could not find this mystical Goldilocks dress. The best I could do was a beautiful dress, on sale, that did not fit me.

I’m not sure who this dress was made for, but in general terms she would be: small on top, large on bottom, with triangular protrusions from her hips.


I have never in my life seen a dress with this…feature. The fact that these were on clearance and the rack was still full of 3 of every size, in every color, suggests that we as a society just aren’t ready for this trend. I was out of time, though, and the color was gorgeous, so I bought it, took it home, and promptly ripped it apart. This was going to have to work.

I started by addressing the top: it was too tight. I knew only the front of the dress would show in photos, so I ripped out the darts in the back and let them out about ½ inch. It actually made a huge difference.

Next up, hip triangles. I turned the dress inside out, found the offending seams, and slowly started adding seams inside of the manufactured seam (making it smaller) that were straighter than the manufactured seam. Luckily for me, the bottom was a bit loose so I had room to make the dress smaller and didn’t have to rip out the original seams. After each iteration, I tried the dress back on to assess the progress. Slowly and miraculously, the protrusions started to fade until I was finally satisfied that they weren’t noticeable.

In a miraculous turn of events, the dress turned out pretty well if you stay 10 feet away and cross your eyes a little considering the circumstances. I'll share the final results when the article comes out!

No spilling!

No spilling!

UPDATE: Ta-da!


Toodles! TLO

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