Recently my family celebrated my son’s bar mitzvah.
It was a wonderful, magical day during which our family was surrounded by our community and my son did a magnificent job leading services, reading from the Torah, and reading the d’var Torah (words of Torah) he’d prepared. We were so, so proud.
Less thrilling and satisfying was all the tsuris that went into figuring out what to wear for the big day — for me, not him. (His clothes deserve their own post.) You’d think I would have had it all figured out, but in reality, I was my own worst client by a long shot.
In the end, a good friend acted as a trusted and non-judgmental sounding board as I tried on many, many dresses (and returned almost all of them). In the end, I chose a dress based on the color, a warm, gorgeous champagne that I felt was possibly the best color in the world for me. I added a very lightweight olive green sweater I’d had but never worn, one sprinkled with bronze sequins. I initially chose a pair of gold shoes but they weren’t dull and burnished enough, so I switched to these bronze ones.
And for months I’d been eagerly anticipating the fabulous jewelry (like some of these) I’d buy to go along with whatever I was going to wear. My approach is usually to apportion a clothing budget so that most of the money is spent on pieces that will get worn again, which is usually the case with accessories. (Most women I know view occasion dressing in the reverse — spend money on the clothes and make do with accessories.)
In the end, I opted for a vintage J. Crew jumbo pearl necklace I’d had for many years, one that I still adore and that worked perfectly with the dress.
The result was a good one–I felt really pretty on the day of the bar mitzvah, which is exactly what I wanted. In fact, I looked like myself, only better. And isn’t that always the goal?
(Ketura Persellin is a personal stylist, image consultant, writer, and public speaker in Washington, DC, and surrounding suburbs. Please contact her for a complimentary get-acquainted session.)