Dressing for the Occasion

I posed this week’s question:

“Do you dress in any particular color or style for holidays or special days?” I believe that I was misunderstood by some. I did not meant to ask about ‘dressing-up’ for holidays.

I wondered if anyone else like to dress in the spirit of a day or season, as I have for years and years. That isn’t to say that I dress in costume, except for the colorful Halloween-print over-blouse that I pull out and put on every year to wear when I hand out treats.
(I had no idea that I would wear it more than once when I made it about 15 years ago.)

When I was in a more jovial spirit, I made pumpkin earrings and some that were cute purple bats, (they may be around somewhere).

At that time, I also made Christmas tree earrings and ones that looked like red and green gift boxes…(they are probably with the bats).

I do have a number of holiday pins. I have some cute ones, but I also have the more “jewelry-looking” ones which I had bought for my mother over the years. They are quite stylish on coats.


Today you will catch me today in a red blouse for St. Valentine’s Day, (but you’d never find me in hearts).

I will definitely be in something green on St. Patrick’s Day, no fail. My Italian mother saw to it, because the Irish in her melting-pot neighborhood would pinch you if you weren’t wearing green on that day. It didn’t occur to her for many years that, hey, her kids were half-Irish. (Head-smacking time for Mom.)  She dressed us up for Easter and Christmas, but not necessarily in Christmas-looking clothes. She would don a fancy, useless Christmas half-apron AFTER the cooking was done.

I started wearing red, white and blue on Independence Day for the Bicentennial. We all did; it was easy to get all caught up in all the fervor of it all while living outside of Washington, DC.  We made all kinds of red, white and blue food for that day, as well. We went all-out, and it stuck.

Comes the Fall, (which I love), I go for leaf-themed shirts and browns more, although browns have been a staple color for me. I’ve always been told that it went pretty well with my coloring, especially when it still matched the color of my hair (!)

I go with red and green on Christmas. A friend gave me a Christmas vest that I wore just once;  I am not comfortable invests, but then, I am not comfortable in jeans. Go figure. I have a few subtle Christmas or Winter-print turtlenecks that get put away and only worn for about four weeks each year. I’ve had them for about 5 years now.

If something is comfortable and still looks good, I keep it!

Early one Autumn I saw a picture of a blouse and was captivated. I had never seen an ad for clothing and thought, “I have to have that!” before or since, but this beautiful blouse just cried out for me to wear it…or so I thought.


I said to my sons, “We have to go out. I have to buy a blouse.”  They were rather shocked to hear this. They were elementary-school boys and although we lived near a great many stores and malls, they never had to deal with me shopping for clothes before. They looked at me as though I had gone mad. Showing them the ad I said, “I don’t want them to sell out. Look? Isn’t it beautiful?”  (More questioning looks from them.)  “I really want this!”

That’s when one of them pointed out that I don’t like orange. Well, it wasn’t orange, per se. It was rust-colored, a subtle, dark shade that I imagined would look just orange enough to be classy with black slacks for Halloween, and then move into Fall and even Thanksgiving. Paired with brown slacks or  skirt, it would be dressy-casual. NICE!

The blouse was soft and feminine. It has a large layered collar and ruffles like it at the ends of long sleeves. The model in it looked to be in her 30s, with long brown hair. I was still getting attention in my 30 and I still had long, brown hair, so I was assured that this was perfect. Protest as they might, “Can you drop us off at Grandma’s first? Can’t you wait for Dad to be home?”,  I ran the boys with me to the store right away, because I wanted to make sure they didn’t sell out of that particular color in my, (then–nice, slim), size.

I was beaming when I found what I wanted immediately.

When we got home I ran upstairs to put the blouse on. Oh, I was going to feel chic and feminine!

I took one look at myself, took it off and put it back in the bag.

I went downstairs; I must have looked crestfallen. One boy asked, “Why don’t you have on the blouse?”
I didn’t want to tell him. I just said, “I’m taking it back.”

Oh, that did not sit well after all of what I had said and dragged them out for.

“What’s wrong?”

“It doesn’t look right.”

“Let us see it”
“No, I don’t want to put it on again.”

They pressed and pressed me. “WHY?” “We have to see it”. “Oh, Come on!”

For all the protestations that it wasn’t really orange, with the big ruffled color and cuffs I had to admit to them: “I look like a clown.”

They tried not to laugh. My oldest, (and always kind), boy said, “It can’t be that bad. Put it on, show us.”
Oh no, I did not want to, but I had been so nuts over getting it, I did. He took one look at me and said, “You look like a clown.”

Which made his brother, who had been trying not to laugh, burst out in a guffaw, and I did as well.
I said,
“All I need is a big, red nose!” And we laughed some more.

That was my last attempt at chic for Halloween. Now I go for ‘cute’, but I go for it.


About Tonette Joyce

Tonette was a once-fledgling lyricists-bookkeeper, turned cook/baker/restaurateur and is now exploring different writing venues,(with a stage play recently completed). She has had poetry and nonfiction articles published in the last few years. Tonette has been married to her only serious boyfriend for more than thirty years and she is, as one person described her, family-oriented almost to a fault. Never mind how others have described her, she is,(shall we say), a sometime traditionalist of eclectic tastes.She has another blog : "Tonette Joyce:Food,Friends,Family" here at WordPress.She and guests share tips and recipes for easy entertaining and helps people to be ready for almost anything.
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6 Responses to Dressing for the Occasion

  1. Jeff Salter says:

    love the story about that blouse you HAD to get, but then didn’t want. LOL
    I notice that you enjoy wearing SUBTLE Christmas turtlenecks. Lately — not sure when this started — I see more and more “ugly sweaters” events. Often these are during the Christmas season because — let’s face it — this season bright out the most garish designs ever seen on outerwear.
    I faintly remember a sweater that could have competed in an ugly sweater contest, but it’s long gone. I’m not much of a sweater guy anymore… if I ever was.
    For me a thermal knit Henley is the way to go.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Except for one that has rather large snowflakes in light blue, a dull red and black on a white background, the turtlenecks are quite subtle; I don’t do ‘garish’,(and I seldom wear that one, although it is not terribly loud). One has a poinsettia pattern in a dull brick red on a lighter background and the pattern is so large,I did not realize that it was a ‘Christmas’ shirt for a while! One has many, many small and differering Christmas trees, mostly in quiet greens and browns. The brightest one has a continual very small holly pattern. My doctor loves it; her name is “Holly”.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Patricia Kiyono says:

    As I mentioned on Monday, I did more of the seasonal and holiday color choices when I taught elementary school, but since I retired from that fifteen years ago I’ve found I don’t pay attention to that any more. Criteria for purchasing are #1 need, #2 comfort/fit, #3 price. I often choose blue or black simply because it’s easier to coordinate outfits.


    • You and I are on the same track, with the same criteria for clothing, Patty; all of the above for me. And black is also the basis for most of the wardrobe THAT I USE; black and then browns, pants and skirts. I do have a coupe lof blues and even a brick red pair. I wear patterned shirts, but it must go with my pant color. If I wear a patterned dress, I will have a basic black or brown jacket or blouse for over it. Shoes are black and brown. When I find comfortable ones, I buy dressier blue pair.
      Since I have a rather large scar on my throat now, if my top isn’t a turtleneck,I wear a scarf. (The scar fading a bit, but I still feel self-conscious.I look like I narrowly escaped a slasher.) Finding coordinating scarves has been a chore! I have always needed to coordinate colors!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. trishafaye says:

    I used to. Not hardly anymore. I do have a red, white, and blue tank top that I try to wear on the 4th. When I remember. I have a few t-shirts for St. Patrick’s and Halloween. When I remember.
    I don’t know if it’s age and I simply don’t care as much anymore – or if the past 10 years working in retail (6 years at Hobby Lobby and 4 years for Hallmark cards) has dimmed and almost extinguished my holiday spirit. Or, a combination of the two.
    However, I did catch myself looking at the brand new St. Paddy’s Day shirts that replaced all the Valentines shirts in Walmart yesterday…..

    Liked by 1 person

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