Thursday, October 26, 2006

Christmas Choices

It's October, so it's logical that the thing on my mind at the moment is what I'm going to wear for the work Christmas party.

At my firm they don't go in for posh frocks and fancy dinners, and it tends to be very much more on the basis of a theme. Fancy dress, if you like. Last year it was wild west, and I refused to play along, wearing a nice dress with the small concession of a matching sparkly cowboy hat. (In fact, you can see the evidence here). I have to say that I stood out like a sore thumb, and everyone seemed to be far more into the theme than I expected.

So this year, I wanted to make more of an effort. The theme is back to school. This was clearly devised by a group of men (possibly the same men who said the firm would sponsor netball kit as long as it involved short skirts). And I'm debating what to do.

I've found a perfect skirt, and I can really go for the schoolgirl look. I look OK in it, it suits the theme without being too over the top. Thanks to running my legs are good enough to get away with it. There's just one thing holding me back. It's very very short. Not quite indecently short, it's just on the right side of decent. So while I wouldn't be flashing anything I shouldn't, I know that if I wore that and unveiled my legs in their full glory, people would notice them and talk about them. And although it would be nice for my legs to be talked about for the right reasons (rather than "how did she think she'd get away with that skirt"), I don't want to be known for my legs rather than for my work.

Stories of christmas parties past still do the rounds in the office, and my boss still talks about what one of my former colleagues wore to a christmas meal once (backless top). It was a few years ago now, but everyone still remembers what she means. I'm guessing that if I were to wear this skirt, it wouldn't be forgotten in a hurry.

I have more dignified ideas. It can be anything school related, so there's the "Grease" type American 50s look, or something like that. But maybe I want to wear a skirt like that just once in my life, and if not now, then when? Part of me really wants to go for it. It's so far away from what anyone would expect of me that I kind of want to see the look on everyone's faces. I can possibly get away with it on the basis that it's fancy dress. I've done so much hard work, so why should I hide my legs away if I can get away with it? But on the other hand, would it undermine my professionalism for the rest of the year and beyond?

So, this is a call for advice. Do I really get into the theme (I can only justify a skirt that length if it's disguised as fancy dress) and go for it, or do I play it safe and be forgettable but dignified?...


The second bit of Christmas advice is food related. My two main food rules are (1) no meat or fish, and (2) no mushrooms. I think you can guess what the choices for the team Christmas meal are. When I first started the "Veggie Experiment", or at least when it got far enough progressed that a veggie christmas was a possibility, I said that I might have turkey. For tradition's sake, and because I knew that this situation would crop up. I just knew it.

But now I'm not so sure. I essentially have three options

(a) eat turkey
(b) eat mushrooms
(c) ask for something special - apparently the restaurant have said they will do special requests, but I don't want to look like too much of a prima donna about this, throwing a strop and demanding they bend over backwards for me.

I'm almost (key word - almost, but not quite) tempted to take a deep breath and try the mushrooms. There shouldn't be many of them - it's "pasta with mushrooms, mixed herbs, peppers, cheddar and ricotta, cooked in a lightly spiced tomato dressing", so there will be other flavours too to mask them a bit. But I don't want to be in the situation where I really hate my meal and don't enjoy it. I got over my salad phobia, so why can't I do the same with mushrooms? I know that's the logical thing to do, but I just can't quite bring myself to do


Blogger Charlotte said...

What if you tried cooking the pasta with mushrooms recipe at home first? to see how horrible it really would be? also works to achieve your other goal of cooking more...

10:07 PM  
Blogger K said...

Well, I'd second the "try it at home" strategy for the mushrooms.

As for the skirt... I dressed up as a schoolgirl once, to be in the chorus of a show with 30 other fake schoolgirls, and felt (and was) remarkably unattractive. Mostly because my legs are not great, especially in knee socks.

But on the other hand, realistically I think if everybody is wearing silly outfits, individual ones make less of a lasting impression. If you like the skirt, go for it - but make sure you have reliable tights! You could even have some thicker opaque ones on hand in case you chicken out - they tone down short skirts quite a bit.

12:33 AM  
Blogger kathrynoh said...

I'd go for the short skirt and was going to suggest the opaque tights too.

As for mushrooms, ick. I just can't do them - the taste seems to permeate food even if you pick them out.

1:56 AM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

I vote short skirt and Turkey...

4:29 AM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

Ugh- hit "return" too soon!
The rest of my comment was:

Then again, I am no one to offer fashion OR food advice. I once appeared in Court in my full "bond girl" regalia (teased hair, false lashes, white go-go boots) because I THOUGHT I had the day off to perfect my Halloween costume, only to get called into an EMERGENCY "drop-everything-and-run-or-we-have-it-without-you" hearing.

...and I LOVE turkey.

4:31 AM  
Blogger Lee said...

Go for the skirt!!! Why not. I don't think that it would impact your 'professionalism'. You're proud of your legs, so show them off while you have the chance. And, we expect to see photos!

8:06 AM  
Blogger Sean Carter said...

I'm no expert in dressing but if you can carry off the skirt without getting paranoid at the party then you should wear it and stay confident... And as for food go for the turkey unless others are also taking specials.... Peep into this amazing Christmas Blog to check out some really cool stuffs and unique ideas

10:47 AM  
Blogger Lainey said...

GO for the skirt. The rule is legs or boobs - not both. As long as you are not showing off acres of cleavage you will be fine!

Go for the pasta too. The mushrooms will be big enough to pick out.

You're certainly organised with your plans. We're still got Halloween to get through.

11:10 AM  
Blogger Jackie said...

Can we see the skirt on you???? Maybe we can say if its too risque! which Im sure youll be okay!

3:21 PM  
Blogger Tamara said...

I say wear the skirt. And pick out the mushrooms. They won't really flavor the pasta much, usually.

4:04 PM  
Blogger Haloranch said...

Wear the skirt with opaque black tights and high heels. Sexy, but tasteful. Somehow when the legs are dark and not sheer they don't look "naked". Then you can freely bend over and not worry about your skirt flipping up and showing anything improper.

And black tights will show your legs off splendidly without being risque in any way.

7:17 PM  
Blogger modmonkeyqueen said...

Another vote for tights!

11:42 PM  
Blogger M@rla said...

I suppose I might be in the minority, but I think sexy outfits are inappropriate at work! I know what a transformation you've made with your body, and you should be proud of it - you put in a lot of hard work and there's nothing wrong with showing it off. I just think at the office is a bad place. To me, that's not where I want people thinking of me in those terms, or at least not with my own collusion... and it's not a powerful sexy image, it's something bordering on pedophilia, and an image of helpless or naivety - I think that can hurt your professional image.

Is there any alternative to "slutty schoolgirl?" Could you be a professor, or a graduate in gown and cap (no, that would be like wearing a tent!) or Willie the Groundskeeper? A coach, maybe, or a cafeteria lady?

2:09 PM  
Blogger K said...

If I understood it right, the party won't actually be in the office...

10:58 PM  

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