Jan 14

A Jazzy Evening

There’s nothing quite as special as a jazzy evening. This past September I attended a benefit for The Cleveland Jazz Orchestra.  The evening started with a cocktail party and hors d’oeuvres.  This was followed by a concert by the Jazz Orchestra with a wonderful guest vocalist.  Then there was dancing, which included some instructors who helped with various dance stylings.  It was a truly enjoyable evening!

In my introductory article, I talked about all of the organizations that have me as a volunteer.  In doing this, I have met so many wonderful people.  One such person is a delightful, cantankerous lady who is a very significant benefactor for at least two of these organizations and she was the honoree for this benefit.  I felt the pull to attend to let her know how much I valued her friendship.  She was genuinely touched that I attended and paid quite a bit of attention to me.  This evening, like many, I got dressed and went out all by my lonesome.  With the exception of the honoree, I went without knowing a soul there.  It was thrilling to go to a formal affair wearing a lovely dress, being one of the beautiful women there.  This was not even conceivable a scant three years prior.

Once I got there, since the honoree touched a few organizations I’m involved with, there were a few people there I actually knew.  That allowed me to really relax and have a great time.  We had a few drinks and a few more laughs and enjoyed the concert.  I even allowed one of the instructors to try and teach me to waltz, but I have two left feet and it didn’t go that well.  But the feeling of dancing in heels, in a dress…….well, if you’re reading this, you get it.

So, what’s a girl to wear?  I spent an afternoon working my wardrobe, looking for the right dress.  My goal was to be pretty, dressy but not too formal.  I wanted to be noticed, not for what I am, but for how I presented myself.  This dress was the exact right choice for the event.

a jazzy evening in a Liz Claiborne print dress

I selected this lovely Liz Claiborne number, picked up, of course, on one of my thrifting sessions.  I liked the length, just above my knees and I wanted some arm coverage for this type of event.  I just loved the colors in the dress and immediately knew how to accessorize it.  The nude pumps were a no-brainer; they pulled that beige color from the floral pattern in the dress.  I knew my wife had this cute Kate Spade purse, a lovely shade of powder blue.  This again echoed a color in the dress.  The necklace, I picked up at Francesca’s, is a favorite.  The flowers are so feminine and again tie in well with the dress.  A pair of gold earrings with small diamonds (faux diamonds, but it’s our secret), wedding ring and a few gold bracelets all made me feel so wonderful.  Powder blue nail polish and a fairly muted makeup pallet completed the look.

As you can see here, I was pretty happy that night!…a perfect jazzy evening

a jazzy evening in a Liz Claiborne print dress

When you are putting an outfit together, consider what you want to accomplish.  How you wish to be perceived.  Think about how the other women will be dressed.  Find something or an article of clothing that makes you happy, comfortable and build from there.

I still cannot believe all that I have been able to do by simply walking out the door and carrying myself with supreme confidence, a confidence buoyed by the sheer joy this gift has given me.  The gift of being a woman, the gift of acceptance, the gift of friendship.  This is a gift!  Ladies, you can see that I am completely and utterly “unpassable”, I fool no one.  Yet I somehow pass, I go out, I do as I wish and do so joyfully.  I hope to continue to share my adventures with you to do my very small part in helping you feel that joy.  If you see me, know one thing, I will be smiling!  See you soon.

Kandi Robbins

Sister House Fashion and Style Columnist