Wedding Wear: The Aunt Wore Black

looking for a dress for neiece's wedding. nordstrom. Eliza J. $104.90

To get into this spandexy dress, I had to pull it down over bust and hips like a wetsuit. Very slimming, but what if I get out on the dance floor and the whole thing slides back up around my armpits? At Nordstrom, by Eliza J, $104.90. Photo by Barbara Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

My niece’s wedding was just days away and I didn’t have a thing to wear.

A beautiful, talented young woman was marrying a terrific young man. They’d known each other for years. This was a handsome pairing, and it was going to stick.

It called for something pretty and danceable. Something to signal my auntly pleasure in this happy turn of events. Wedding at 6, followed by dinner and dancing — I wanted to show up with all the glitz and pomp I could muster

A visit to the evening wear section of my closet – all four inches of it – turned up two pairs of

red eileen fisher dress with shirt. . looking for a dress for niece's wedding. nordstrom. Eileen Fisher $248 for the shirt and $378 for the dress

To show off my still passable legs, the diagonal hem of this crepey Eileen Fisher dress, a pricey $378, needed serious professional shortening. With the wedding just days away, there was no time for that. The matching red shirt, $248, did nothing to improve the look.

looking for a dress for niece's wedding. nordstrom. Eileen Fisher $378

An Eileen Fisher dress. Photos by Barbara Newhall

baggy black slacks and a couple of cautious, loose-fitting tops with sleeves down to the wrists.

None of this would do. This wedding needed A Dress. Wedding wear. A festive evening confection with panache and color and sparkle.

And skin. Lots of it. Arms. Legs. And, what the heck, décolletage.

The dress couldn’t be white, of course. That’s the bride’s prerogative. And it certainly couldn’t be black. People might conclude that I was an old fussbudget mourning the match. That meant that finding The Dress would be a bit of a challenge.

I put on my best bra and off to the mall I went.

looking for a dress for neic's wedding. nordstrom. Blue Eileen fisher sheath on sale for $93.98. Photo by Barbara Newhall

I tried on a lot of colorful, but shapeless, dresses, including this Eileen Fisher sheath on sale for $93.98 at Nordstrom . . .

looking for a dress for niece's wedding. nordstrom. Classiques entier red print dress on sale for $160.80. Photo by Barbara Newhall

. . . and this Classiques Entier red print dress on sale at Nordie’s for $160.80 . . .

Grey and black chiffon print dress by eileen fisher. looking for a dress for niece's wedding. nordstrom. Eileen fisher. $248 extra small

. . . and another Eileen Fisher, $248. I know what you’re thinking — why did she wear those sox?  Photos Barbara Newhall













looking for a dress for niece's wedding. white, blue and gree print at nordstrom. $268. Photo by Barbara Newhall

This was $268 at Nordstrom. Pretty, but still a little shapeless. And too much arm.

looking for a dress for niece's wedding. nordstrom. White, blue and green print on sale for $529, down from $875. Photo by Barbara Newhall

At $529, marked down from $875, this was out of my price range. I didn’t even try it on.

looking for a dress for niece's wedding. macy's. american living. $69. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Only $69 at Macy’s, but busty. Photos by Barbara Newhall

looking for a dress for iniece's wedding. nordstrom. Eliza J. $148. Black lace bddice with plunging v-neck and knee-length balloon skirt. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Eureka! I found it — The Dress. It made me look terrific. If my waist is a little rounder than it used to be, people won’t notice because they will be too busy looking at that nifty plunging decolletage. That or my legs, which show up nicely below that short skirt. (Next time I shop, I’ll take along my strappy sandals.) The Dress is by Eliza J, an doable $148 at Nordstrom. Yes, I know. It’s black, but I gotta go with what looks good and makes me want to dance. I’ll dress it up with some splashy jewelry. And sandals. No problem. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Strappy sandals show off a middle-aged woman's feet and calves. Photo by Barbara Newhall

The sandals. Photo by Barbara Newhall



  1. Liz Nystrom says:

    I love the socks! They are so cleverly unmatched. Oh wow, pretty dress!

  2. Chris James says:

    And how do you suggest we differentiate between “old wisdom” muslims and radical muslims? Your article talks a lot and says nothing.


  3. Sharie McNamee says:

    You got another good story in. And yes you look really, really good in black for the wedding.

  4. great socks, and the right color for the dress!

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