personal style

Frocking

formal dresses

A close inspection of the chart dictating our life course would reveal various rites of passage dotted along its topographical contours. Weddings, debuts, and a myriad of other formal occasions would all be represented. From an anthropological viewpoint, the crucial element of these transitional events is the acquisition of one’s identity within the social group and thus the achievement of social inclusion. From a female viewpoint, it’s the acquisition of the dress.

The moment a glamorous social engagement is added to our calendar, a woman’s second thought is who will I get to mind the children, the first being, what will I wear? Something in our DNA (dress need addiction) switches on and the quest begins to secure the quintessential frock.

If you think back, this early gene flickering begins in the dress-up box, with bottom-up rummages taking place to extract that divine tulle fairy gown that the princess game cannot possibly proceed any further without. Soon after is the ‘party dress’ with the graduation dress following closely on its frills. By early adulthood, the formals are flowing thick and fast and dress pursuit has developed into an art form.

In fact, if a calculation was made of the number of man woman hours devoted to securing ‘a dress’ for an upcoming event, the resulting figure would possibly treble the timeframe of the event it was required to be secured for. Considering time spent perusing fashion glossies, undertaking online research, peer discussion and being curtained-off in hundreds of change rooms, it is amazing that anything else in a woman’s life is ever achieved. However, when finally that zipper is fastened on a swathe of fabric transforming your being from duckling to swan or simply from everyday to elegant, it is worth every moment.

embroidered lace dress

Postscript: and might I add, regardless of how exquisite the resulting frock is, how complimentary it is to your form or how euphoric you feel twirling in it on the night, it will never be appropriate for any other occasion – ever.

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