Further from my post about serial multi-buying, I now have a situation which anyone could have predicted: I have nothing to wear. I do have several decent and nice outfits to wear to the office, or at home, or to see friends or go shopping. But there’s a specific occasion coming up: My son’s graduation.
I’ve always had a problem with school events. When the the children were younger I ummed and arred about what would be suitable parent’s evening attire. If I was coming straight from the office there was no problem as I always wore a suit and it would be obvious it was a work outfit. But if not: would jeans be too casual? Would one need to wear something more respectable to show the teacher one appreciated and valued her efforts? Then there were the other parents: the competitiveness didn’t end with the children’s achievements. If I wore something too flashy I could feel the eyes of the other mothers bore into me; if I was too casual same thing, or if I wore clothes deemed too young, there’d be some snide comment about, ‘That suits you so well, I’ve seen those but haven’t dared to get one myself’ (this was about Karen Millen jeans jacket). ‘I think I’m too old for jeans now’ (false laughter). Women can be so cruel.
When the children grew up and started to have their own opinions about my outfits, it became even more difficult. Any sexiness, including high heels, too tight white shirts (yes the white shirt/jeans combo has been with me for a long time…) or dresses that were too short were banned. So I wore black trousers with low pumps and a sober jacket of some sort. Mercifully their critical phase didn’t last long.
Then came the university visits. Whatever you wear to those, you do not want to look like your daughter. I’ve seen mothers who obviously share their wardrobe with their off-spring. To me this looks weird, and shows some lack of individuality. By this stage the children didn’t care what I looked like as long as I drove them to the various establishments, criss-crossing the country, gave them enough money and didn’t say a word. (Asking a question at Q&A sessions during the final marketing spiel by the uni were particularly banned). Finally I could be myself. So jeans and jacket and a white shirt it was.
Now I have a completely different challenge: what does one wear as the Mother to a Oxford graduation ceremony? The men have it easy with a smart suit and tie. But us girls, what do we wear?
A dress? A suit? I have some ideas, but cannot think whether these would be any good. So, over to you.
Isabella Oliver Classic Wrap Dress – Too boring & casual?
DKNY Wrapover Dress Net-a-Porter – Too evening cocktails?
Diane von Furstenberg Net-a-Porter – Too young? I would need to wear a cover-up which could make it too casual?
Issa at Net-a-Porter – I love this dress but it’s beyond my budget…and is this right for the occasion either?
Please all you fashion bloggers out there, help!
I would say the Issa because it's quite covered up but is still individual and figure hugging
Robin Wilton says
The DKNY would be my bet. And take a cushion… that graduation ceremony is interminable!
North West London Girl says
I really like that Issa one, isn't that always the way. However, if I tell you a secret promise to keep it to yourself. I recently found myself in Wallis (I was actually looking for THAT leather top) when I came across a fabulous dress, I swear it looks like Issa, it even looks like silk jersey, and wait for it….£40, so even if you only wear it once, which you won't because if you're going somewhere smart no one else will be wearing it. I will see if I can find it somewhere on a website and send you the link….xxxx
Helena Halme says
Wow, you're quick off the mark people. I agree with you Rose, but cannot spare the cash…
Thank you NWLG, it sounds too good to be true.
Robin, thanks for the warning (never knew you were a fashion blogger too…;))))xx
Follow the link… that sounds great .. before I scrolled down to the photos I was going to suggest a wrap dress DVF style or similar with sleeves as weather is difficult to judge xxx You will know when you see it. Its just getting the right colour and cut sod the bloody label xx
Our son graduated in Cambridge. People had very different kinds of outfits…
I agree with Robin plus a nice, scarf/shawl (it's not a coctail party) and don't forget a cushion! 🙂
Sharon Longworth says
I've just come back from a day's shopping, wishing I was 20 years younger and two stone lighter, so I have no hope of offering a solution to your outfit dilemma. Your post did make me smile though, when I remembered the lengths my sister would go to just to stop my mum turning up at school events in a hat (which included setting off the school fire alarm one year). So all I can suggest is to steer clear of the headgear…..
That's Not My Age says
I'd opt for the DKNY – classy and you'll wear it again. In fact you can wear it this winter with your sandy coloured wrap cardi. The Issa's fab though possibly a bit lairy for graduation don't you think?
Kirsten Lesko says
When in doubt, go for the little black dress! I think with the right shoes & jewelry you can avoid the cocktail dress look.
Let us know what you pick 🙂
I'd say, go for the pink wrap dress or the black dress, both so simple and classic you can dress them up, down or sideways. The orange looks too "beach-y" for a Degree Ceremony, to my mind. And if the Issa one is beyond budget, it's beyond budget.
People will be wearing all sorts, though (my stepmother and my late father turned up for my Graduation Ceremony in track suits – my mother [in carefully-chosen navy linen "Corolle"-cut dress and beaten copper necklace] wanted to pretend she didn't know them!).
Love the orange DVF.