Nothing to make one feel like a complete fat-ass than trying to find a formal dress.
In the years since I've known Daniel, I've gotten to go to more fancy dress events than the rest of my life put together. And, yes, despite my normal REI-supplemented fashion sense (which I am working on), I do like to clean up and get pretty every once in a while.
My first stop is usually Nordstrom's. They have a bajillion dresses there, for all sorts of events, and I can usually find something that doesn't make me look like an idiot. I used to try the independent clothing stores in Seattle, but Daniel hates it when I wear deconstructed attire, so to Nordstrom's I go.
This year, I bought a dress for the Navy ball in April. It's knee-length, Barbie-pink, and gathered towards the waist so it hides my gut. It is an asymmetrical one-shoulder strap. Here's a link to it.
So I got hoisted and zipped into it by the nice lady at Nordy's, and they took a long look at my Smartwool socks and suggested, "Maybe you should look at it with a pair of heels on...to get the full effect..." Point taken. I slipped into a drag-queen sized pair of heels covered in iridescent rhinestones, and damn if my legs didn't look amazing. Heels, I hate you but you do make me look good.
So, off I happily went with that dress, and headed straight for the MAC counter, wherein they set me up with a new makeup look. You may think I eschew makeup, but I actually do love applying it and experimenting with it... I just work in a place that's so lackadaisical about dress standards that it makes it hard to care about looking good when people around you can't seem to brush their hair or put on non-elastic waist pants.
After that, I stopped off at the shoe area. I saw a similar pair of rhinestone-encrusted heels. They were gorgeous. They were also Gucci, and priced in at almost eight months' worth of car payments. Too bad you can't just move decimal points over at will, eh.
Maybe I've been reading too much Tom and Lorenzo, but I still need a fabulous clutch, some heels, and hair to go with this. This may be the last time for a while that I get to doll myself up (save for the GE Christmas parties at work) and I'm getting excited...