Dressing up is fun, and going to the opera theater here makes me extra excited about it. I can completely relate to this blog post on Oriana’s Notes about her own choice of outfit for going to the Opera Garnier in Paris. There’s just something undeniably elegant and pleasant about walking down the Staatsoper floors mercifully suitable for higher heels in attire that makes you feel festive, before you go on to enjoy the performance. Incidentally, it’s not an opera, it’s Duse performed by the Hamburg Ballet.
One of my clearest memories related to style moments and my mother is seeing her seated with a blouse in her lap, nail scissors in hand, as she carefully removed the (unnecessary) shoulder pads sewn on inside. She said they weren’t comfortable for her, and as I grew up, I quickly discovered that I shared the feeling. The 80s gave us a lot, and while I have mentioned my leg-warmers more than once in this blog, I’m sorry, but shoulder pads are simply not for me.
Which is why I found myself repeating a tiny slice of family history, as I took out the shimmering pale-gold (I’m guessing) crushed velvet blazer I’d been wanting to wear for a while and thoughtfully looked at the inside. The shoulder pads were there, alright, but they were not hanging down from the inside of the shoulder. No, they were cunningly sewn in between the velvet and the lining. But I come from a long line of women resourceful in getting rid of what they don’t need. As I carefully open up the stitching with nail scissors so that the hole is wide enough to pull the pad through, and then in turn work on the next bit of stitching, I find myself remembering key points on my extensive journey to self-knowledge.
I can’t sew and I was never keen to learn. As I continue to rip out the shoulder pads, a vivid memory of my sewing classes in middle school surfaces. No, I’m not from the 19th century. We really did have sewing class, girls only. When we would bring up the results of our work on what looked like antique sewing machines, if the teacher didn’t like what she saw, she tore the stitches out with her teeth. I do not remember being afraid, just being filled with a sense of, albeit horrified, amusement. What if she accidentally swallowed some thread? Nevertheless, there are three things I can do well with a needle and thread, and which I also enjoy: sewing on buttons, sequins and stitching up holes. I’m covered.
The blazer’s minor makeover is done. A long sleeveless chocolate-brown tank top goes underneath, black leggings and black lace-up high heels that I can walk in very well. This is also a fitting occasion to take the black glittery envelope clutch. The lipgloss choice is a fancy darker berry shade that I get out on special occasions.
The Phantom of the opera