For my wife’s 40th birthday, I bought her every article of clothing in the Soft Surroundings “Signs of Spring 2013” catalogue. Now, when she has trouble deciding what to wear for a big night out, I refer to the catalog copy to help her make the right selection. I did this last Saturday, in fact, as we prepared for the annual Botanical Society fundraiser. It went something like this…
Wife – Pants or a skirt?
Me – Skirt. That’s a silly question to ask a man, by the way.
Wife – But you like my Parisian grey Harlow Pants.
Me – Yes, I’m a sucker for glamorous crinkled chiffon. And it really is movie-star chic, given the flat front and graduated pintucks that open to a fluid, flowy drape. What about your Suzette skirt?
Wife – I don’t know. The embellishments are kind of elaborate. I mean, hand-sewn beading, embroidery and tonal soutache? I don’t want all the attention on me.
Me – What are you talking about? You’ll look boho chic with the double rows of petite ruffles accenting the scalloped hem.
Wife – I’ll think about it. Maybe my Silk Tiered Skirt? True, it’s structured in design. But it’s also soft and flowy. Perfect for meeting and greeting, don’t you think?
Me – Yes. And it’s amazingly flattering, vis-à-vis the diagonally stitched, multi-width tiers of shimmery raw-edged silk. You’re sure to pick up a few business cards.
Wife – Now you’re making me feel like a slut. I suppose you want everyone to see me in my Régale Skirt!
Me – I don’t think tonight’s the night for embroidered medallions and a border motif, highlighted with radiantly glistening platinum metallic sequins. I’m not that sick. Why don’t you pick a top first? Then the skirt will be obvious.
Wife – Good idea. What about my Chemisette Shirt in soft citrus? It’s pretty versatile. The only drawback…
Me – I know what you’re going to say – the edgy antiqued brass studs.
Wife – You’re a mind reader.
Me – But you have to admit they bring a contemporary contrast to what is essentially a soft, silky shirt with a crepe-like drape. And don’t forget the thoughtful details – partial placket, shoulder yoke ruching and back inverted pleat. A home run every time.
Wife – Yeah, but I’m not in a shoulder yoke ruching mood. Know what I mean?
Me – Unfortunately, I do. Oh, wait. I got it. Wear the Gossamer Tunic!
Wife – I was thinking maybe the Cote D’Azure Tunic.
Me – No way! I want to see you in a feather-weight sheer tunic that floats over the body with graceful ease. Plus, the shimmering golden studs at the wide partial placket add modern metallic contrast. How can you go wrong?
Wife – Isn’t the scoop neckline a bit sexy for the Botanical Society?
Me – In soft pink or vanilla crème, yes. But not in spa blue. That’ll neutralize it.
Wife – The Gossamer Tunic is definitely worth considering. You think it’s too warm for the Empress Jacket?
Me – Come on, we don’t want to be late. Gossamer Tunic in spa blue, Harlow Pants in Parisian grey. Page 40, upper left corner. Perfect combo.
Wife – I know another perfect combo…. for when we come home. My long Bella Gown in tea rose and Country Weekend Rainboots.
Me – Grrrrrrr!

Joe Fumo is a Milwaukee-area business writing consultant who has published two humorous fiction collections: “God’s Web Site” and “Things To Do This Week” (purchasable on Amazon.com) He has been a newspaper reporter, corporate newsletter editor and public relations account representative. Thus, the need to write silly pieces.

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