Monday, November 13, 2006

I went to see The Color Purple on Broadway with my mother last night. She surprised me with the tickets when I was having an exceptionally shitty week. For as long as I can remember my mother has always fostered my love of theater. I remember going to see Annie on Broadway when I was about 4 or 5. I became a bit obsessed afterward. I had Annie coloring books, an Annie Doll. I was Annie for Halloween one year and I even wanted a new dog, one that looked just like Sandy. While I remember going to the show, sitting on the edge of my seat, and trying to memorize everything about the show, the one thing I remember most was dressing up to go. I wore a pretty emerald green velvet dress with white trim, white tights, and black patent leather Mary Jane shoes with tiny gold buckles. I remember being estactic that I could wear my favorite pink "church coat", with the pretty gold buttons with my pink and cream gloves, being careful not to touch anything while I had them on. From the moment we stepped out of our apartment to the moment we came back after the show, I felt special and I knew that where ever we were going had to be just as special. Arriving at the theater there were scores of little girls and some little boys (hehehehe) dressed to the nines (what does that mean anyway???). Everyone had on their Sunday best. While I can't put my right leg in that emerald green dress nor can I put my left pinky in those pink and cream gloves, to this day I have always dressed up to go to see a play. So last night was no different. I wore a form fitting calf-length tan suede dress with chocolate brown leather boots. It took me an hour to do my hair and makeup. Everything was just right. My mom, the wallflower, wore a beautiful black tunic with silver buttons, over black pants. She even did her makeup; anything above a little lipstick for her is an accomplishment. Imagine my surprise when we stepped out of the taxi and I saw a man entering the theater in sweatpants. Yes you read that correctly, SWEATPANTS! I made a little face and thought that was odd but dismissed it as being the exception to the rule. WRONG! My mother and I, along with maybe 25% of the crowd, were the exception. Everyone else was dressed like they were running errands. I saw sneakers, t-shirts, jeans, baseball caps (which stayed on during the performance). Let me be clear this was not only Black people. There were white people there who were dressed like they were going to their kids' soccer game. Now the occasional tourists who got the tickets on a whim, and may not have packed anything for the theater (as my neighbors sitting next to me were talking about) are excuseable. Yeah I know I sound like a snob right now. But come on, people. Think about it: how many chances do we have to dress up in our society anymore? In the words of Katt Williams "Go 'head. I'll wait!" LOL

We don't have too many. Us average folks don't have the red carpet rolled out for us with the paparazzi snapping our pictures and reporters shouting, "Who are you wearing?" Even if we don't have Oscar De La Renta on speed dial, we can still pull ourselves together with an outfit from the Gap. Jewelry from Claire's will do when Harry Winston laughs at your request to borrow his multi-million dollar baubles. And guys, blazers and button down shirts are in style. Your man, Jay-Z has issued the decree that it's cool to dress this way. They don't have to be Armani and Hugo Boss; Today's Man is fine with me. I don't care where you're from. Whether you're from New York City, or Kissyocuzzin, Kansas, you should know how to dress on your budget and how to do it well.

Maybe my point of reference is skewed. I grew up with a grandfather who wore slacks, button down shirts with hard bottom shoes to pick me up from school. He wore a fur coat and a fedora to my 5th birthday party. Even when he wore his "dungarees" around the house he was still stylish. (Yeah I know I took it back with "dungarees"! LOL ). My grandmother used to wear makeup and pumps to go to the supermarket. I will never go to that extreme but I was always impressed by how "so fresh and so clean" they always appeared to be.

I guess all I'm trying to say is there is a time and a place for everything. If we can wear our "hot shit" at the club to show we're "BALLIN", then we can show some class and style for other functions as well.

By the way, The Color Purple was amazing. I laughed, I cried, I thought about life and its many blessing. It's a beautiful story and everyone should see it. I can't wait to see it again. And when I do see it again, you best believe I will be stepping in style on my red carpet. Paparrazzi, photgraph me on the right; it's my best side!

1 comment:

rashad said...

first, let me say that i'm jealous you saw A Color Purple, i've yet to see it. second, this whole not dressing up thing makes me angry. now i'll admit, i hate dressing up in the club, because by the time i sweat and drink, my nice clothes are jacked anyway. but a nice play is cause for a nice outfit. no jeans, sweats, boots or anything. a nice jacket and some khaki will even shows respect for what you're about to see. plus, if you're single, it doesn't hurt to be clean, sharp and dressed to the nines(i'm clueless as to what the means..its just like dressed to a T I guess).