Operation Chelsea: 24 hours later

Alison did it. She got the guest of a wedding style dilemma dialog going. It’s amazing how I can feel so close to a community of women who for the most part don’t know each other and in some cases don’t know or barely know me. Regardless of whether they are strangers or dear friends, they understood my style needs immediately, suggesting dresses that I adore as well as making suggestions that push my style envelope a little. They were honest when they didn’t like something, and even Kaitlan (the Bride) weighed in.

Since I am on a deadline, I need to start narrowing choices, and today will be about doing that. My goal is to choose three dresses to ship (not keep) to me. From the comfort of my own room I will play twitter (and Facebook) fashion show. The rejects will be returned (even if I love them all) and a winner will be declared. While I know it would be more traditional to gather some locals with a good eye and have a shopping excursion, my schedule between now and the wedding looks something like this:

Today: kids

Sunday: kids

Monday-Wednesday: Boston (no shopping time)

Thursday: New York (no shopping time though wouldn’t it be great to take a later train back and carve some such time out?)

Friday: Kaitlan’s last day in the office (i.e. work)

Saturday until ten days from Saturday: kids

This 21st Century version of brick and mortar shopping will have to do.

I know you are dying to know the top contenders, so here they are:

1. The Nicole Miller Open Back Jersey Sheath Dress: This dress was pinned to my board in a couple of different colors, including this gorgeous red version. In the spirit of full disclosure, I own this dress in black and wore it to the first #BlackChampagne fake funeral event where I first met Alison and other valued pinners in this community fashion building experiment. It feels a tad anticlimactic since I have this dress and know it works, but it’s also a relief to have an option regardless of what happens with the other selections.

2. Navy lace: After getting the blessing of the bride that a navy lace dress is fine even though I happen to know her bridesmaids are wearing navy, this dress jumped to the top of the contender list.

3. Wildcards: I haven’t narrowed down a wildcard yet, but in a nutshell they range from pink and swingy to totally vavavoom (but hopefully not too MILF-y) to channeling the esteemed Jacqueline Kennedy’s classic style. And I still can’t get this one out of my head.

Contributors, you have until mid-afternoon, when I hope to place an order, to bring new options to my attention.

For the moment, I’m burned out on dresses. It’s time to start contemplating shoes.

Operation Chelsea

Remember a year ago when Kaitlan got engaged under the cherry blossoms? Remember when I said I was going to be entirely focused on helping her find a dress but that I had plenty of time to find my own?

Yeah, well, that wedding is in two weeks, and I have nothing to wear.

With nothing appropriate in my closet (I swear) to wear to a wedding such as Kaitlan is throwing, a few weeks ago I started my on-line search for the perfect dress. Rather quickly, I identified a particular DVF as being “the dress.” I already own shoes that would work perfect with it. Within days, it went on sale at Bloomingdales, but by the time I tried to order it in my size, it was sold out. But luckily, it went on sale on the DVF retail site and was available in my size. I nabbed it.

But it was wrong. So very wrong.

Yesterday, I issued a call for help to my favorite DC “I’m a smart and savvy mom who loves style too” blogger, DC Celine. I tweeted her. She tweeted back. We took the conversation to email. Our messages were flying back and forth so quickly (yes, we have jobs, but we are great multitaskers) that I suggested g-chat. She asked if I’d be game to take the project one step further. Of course. I’m always up for a challenge. She advised that I needed to create a public board on Pinterest. Check. I immediately set up a new board, The great “guest of a wedding” dress search, and if you want to be part of the conversation, I can ordain you contributor privileges. We (and by “we” I mean she) created a few #hashtags for those who want to follow the discussion on Twitter (#guestofawedding #styledilemma). There will be Facebooking for those who do not tweet or pin. But most special to me of all, DC Celine wrote this post: Style Dilemma: Guest of a Wedding. I’ve never been anyone’s social media project before (at least not that I’ve been told).

She promised readers I’d post pictures (twitter fashion show anyone?) and I can’t let her public down. But I need to get on it. I need help. I need suggestions. I need a dress.

Help me rock Kaitlan’s wedding.

Then Kassie and the angels at SimplySoles can help me find the shoes.

stop pinning and start writing

I never thought it would happen, but in the last 48 hours I have turned into a Pinterest monster. Finally.

Admittedly, I have come late to every social media craze. I resisted Facebook initially, but then I realized I could write really amusing updates. A blog? I barely ever read any before I started my own last year. I figured out Polyvore so that my blog readers would have something visual to connect to some of my posts, but I was going to draw the line at Twitter. Then one bored day, I bit the bullet. The Twittersphere is still somewhat of a mystery to me, but the friends I have made from this universe compel me to stick with it (plus it has great cyber-stalking capabilities).

I don’t remember when I was first invited to join Pinterest, but I do remember it was my friend Janna who said “you will love this.” However, like all interweb-related crazes, I took one look and was scared. Too complicated. Too time consuming. And what’s the point?

Then on Thursday night, as I was making my internet window shopping rounds searching for a dress for Kaitlan’s wedding, I started thinking, wouldn’t it be great to have a clearinghouse where I could keep track of all the looks and clothes and shoes I desire. Three hours later, I had finally given the scores of Pinterest followers I already had amassed something to actually look at. Friends were re-pinning my pins, liking my pins, commenting on my pins… all fuel for my Pinter-ego.

Friday morning, instead of making pancakes for my kids or heading straight out the door for the strep culture that would register positive when I finally went to the minute clinic later in the day, I pinned more. I organized my pins. I put thought into what categories I would like to pin. Pinterest is going to be the home of a humongous Chelsea wish list with economy-improving capabilities. After all, it’s fantasy. I don’t know how often I will pin recipes, inspirational quotes or arts and crafts, but if you want to know what dresses I covet or what lipstick I like to wear, look no further.

After 24 hours of being a Pinterest-aholic, I lamented to a real blogger, DC Celine (one of the dear friends I thank Twitter for) that Pinterest was going to be the death of my neglected blog. She had the brilliant idea of writing about Pinterest to break the writer’s block that has plagued me. She encouraged me to read her post on pinning and crib her idea.

I am proud to say that my writing took a different direction, but I’m happy for her inspiration. If I could pin her as a friend, I would.

But then that would be Facebook.