Sunday, May 8, 2011

Wardrobe FAIL

For those who don't know, I am a martial artist who spends way too much time in a karate uniform/sweatpants and a tank top to train/teach or when I head to the gym for a date with my old nemesis, the treadmill. As a result, when I do get the chance to dress up in real, live, girl clothes, I usually jump at it.

Last night, opportunity knocked. A black-tie scholarship/awards diner was held in NYC for a karate organization our dojo frequents. Wow - an occasion to wear a swanky dress, cute heels and a little blingy jewelry? I'm there! And thus, my dress hunt began.

The problem was the 3/4-inch wide divot to the right of my sternum left from the removal of a rib during my breast reconstruction. Anything I found that was swanky enough was cut just low enough in the cleavage area that my divot was on display. Just. Great.

But eventually, I found not one but TWO gorgeous dresses for the event. The first was a simple but elegant sleeveless black tea-length dress with a high bodice (just under the bra-line). It crossed in a "V" in the front which made only the corner of the divot visible. The other was an amazing sleeveless/backless wonder that was almost ankle-length. Long, scarf-like pieces of fabric extended from the drop waist to cover my boobs. The idea was to tie them at the neck and let them hang down the back to flow oh-so-gracefully behind me as I entered and exited the room. Dress #2 was HOT! And the divot wasn't a problem because the fabric was wide enough to cover it while still letting a little bit of skin peek through. Wearing a bra was not an option because the back was completely out. Only a very low-riding corset-type bra would have had any chance of not bring seen from behind and I wasn't able to find one that dipped all the way to my waist.

When I stood posing in the mirror with my arms to my side, all was well. But as soon as I moved my arm forward a few inches or above my waist, too much skin was visible on profile - and that skin included the edges of the scars from my IGAP. Hmmm...that could potentially made cutting the dinner chicken I'd be eating, bringing a fork to my mouth to chew it or especially the "throw-my-hands-in-the-air-and-waving-'em-like-I-just-don't-care" dancing I was planning after dinner out of the question.

So off I went to find some kind of under-dress solution. Thought I had my answer with a mini-corset bra that had no back but stuck to the body about mid-way between the armpit and elbow with some kind of re-usable adhesive. I was game to give it a try, but I could only find it in "nude" - which is a euphemism for "day-glow" on a brown girl like me. Grrrr...

Eventually I found and bought invisible two-sided tape designed to stick to the sides of fabric and skin to hold the dress in place, but it only stuck to the dress and not me. $10 totally down the drain...

With the departure time for the event getting closer and me still with hair and makeup to do, I finally changed into dress #1 at the very last minute. Yeah, I looked great (not tooting my own horn here, just sayin'), but what an exercise in futility and frustration...

Wardrobe issues. I know it's a very minor blip in the grand scheme of things, but sometimes, it can feel like a very big THING - and yet another gift that keeps on giving from the cancer gods.

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

Thanks for sharing about the basic issue of getting dressed! I don't think people realize what effect this can have - I didn't until I was standing in front of a mirror trying to find a bra that would work.
I'm sure you looked great for your event!