high heelsIt was tempting to poke fun at Adele's Grammys dress, wasn't it? It's the biggest night of the year for the British singer, and she showed up in something that one friend described as a tablecloth, another some curtains from the 1970s. I would have joined in, but it hit much too close to home. I've been facing my own red carpet nightmare.

I'm all set to join the celebrities at the premiere for the new Wizard of Oz movie -- Oz the Great and Powerful -- for The Stir. But I'm the kind of mom who embarrasses her 7-year-old with her awful style. Going clothes shopping brings me to tears.

So what is a mom to do when she's got a big event to dress for and she has no clue how to do it? You get brave ... and you hand over the reins to someone else. Take heed, ladies, this could be the most freeing moment of your life.

It sounds silly, doesn't it? Letting someone else pick out your clothes when you're a grown woman? The last person to do that was my mother, and I was a little kid.

But I have a body not unlike Adele's. And with it has come a paralyzing fear of wearing anything that shows it off. Add in a complete lack of fashion knowledge, and I'm more or less a walking wardrobe malfunction.

So I decided to take the stress off my shoulders. I gave my friend Cat a mission: find me a dress and accessories that were red carpet appropriate. I gave her completely free rein, asking only that she try to use at least one or two items from my closet and keep the whole ensemble from breaking the bank.

Could she really do any worse than I already do trying to cobble together a "look" for an occasion? As it turns out, she did -- not surprisingly -- much better than I could have possibly imagined.

She chose an A-line dress that covers up the belly pooch and wide hips that come from too much sitting at a computer all day for work. It's a dress I would have avoided, going for something completely shapeless to hide my flaws, but it may be the first dress in years that doesn't make me want to go running back to my jeans and sweatshirts. It even has flowy 3/4-length sleeves that hide my arms.

Then she took me to Etsy to find simple "statement" jewelry to go along with it that didn't break the bank. One resin ring and one resin bracelet later -- both with pressed flowers -- and I'm hooked. It's cheaper than gold and so much more unique! And yet, I never would have ventured in that direction if it weren't for her.

This is the thing about letting someone else dress you. They will walk you out of your comfort zone. They will try things you never would have tried. And they will be able to see what you can't see in you.

It was agonizing at first, handing over the reins like that, but in the end, it's the smartest thing I could have done. I probably would have gone the Adele route and tried to cover up as much skin as possible, to hell with what I actually look like. 

Instead, here I am, ready to go to Oz (and check in with Wreck-It Ralph while I'm there), and I've got a new way to conquer every wardrobe nightmare in my future: I'm not going to stress about it. I'm going to let someone else do the dirty work.

How about you? Would you ever let someone else dress you for a big event?

 

Image by Jeanne Sager