My dad was for a long time a management consultant, because that’s what non-specifically “clever” people do when they suddenly discover there is an unexpected child on the way and they need to make some money.
Management consultancy is where all business-speak started. All, like, “let’s touch base” and “run it up the flag pole” – that started with them. Because they needed to invent a language that only they understood between them, so that clients thought they were smarter than they actually were.
They talk in this gobbledegook and their clients would think they were very modern and advanced… but in fact it was for another reason. It was to befuddle them.
“It was so,” my Dad has said guilelessly “they didn’t think they could manage without us. When they could! But we didn’t want them to know that.”
Then my Dad probably picked up his dinner plate and licked it all around, declaring: “Your mother hates it when I do this.”
(Dad’s book about Karl Marx is available here, by the way. Very reasonably priced. I could even get you a signed copy if you want.)
Anyway a genuinely useful business phrase I picked up from my Dad’s time was “opportunity cost”, which means all the alternatives you sacrifice when you pick one option.
So I want you to think about that for a bit and I also want you to think about the banking term of “optioning”. I’m actually not totally sure what this means but I think it means you like buy the option to buy something. Or some shit like that.
It’s like when you have a baby privately you have to pay a (whopping) fee for the anaesthetist even if you don’t intend to have an epidural because you might want one and how can you possibly know now? And anaesthetists are damned expensive so you have to pay for the option to have one.
And this idea of “opportunity cost” and “optioning” can be applied to what the fuck you are going to wear to any weddings you have to go to. Or frankly any event in the summer.
Dressing for events in the English summertime is a nightmare and it is a nightmare because we don’t know what the weather is going to be like. It might truly be 32C and sweltering. It also might be 17C and VERY WINDY. It might just rain and rain and rain. Who knows!?! Truly, truly – there is no telling.
So before we even vaguely discuss specifics of what kind of dress or general outfit, attitude or ambience you are going to adopt for your events this summer, I present to you A THING to get your head round.
What you are going to do – if you even need to buy a new outfit, that is – is to buy yourself OPTIONS. I know, it is a radical idea.
In approximately the fortnight before the event, you will assemble three different outfits to suit three different weathers and on the day choose whichever is appropriate.
You will then assiduously send back any item of clothing you don’t wear, (this is your opportunity cost), and any non-refundable delivery charges incurred will be the cost of your “option”.
Me? I don’t get invited to summer parties, and if I did, I would stubbornly wear the Christy Dawn Paloma dress – above – which I have just bought and think might be the answer to all my problems. (I often think this).
In order to avoid taxes and freight charge I am having this shipped to Becky B who is STILL in fucking LA, and sending her a box stuffed full of Curly Wurlys, Chomps and Fudges in return for her posting it on to me. Sort of like a bartering system. Not sure what Marx would make of it… but, like, who cares.
Ha! I did this very thing before a recent wedding. Only the decider on the day was “amount of pre-menstrual water retention” rather than the weather. And I ended up keeping the other option because I liked it and myself in it and how often does that happen really? I justified it by telling myself I might wear it to go and watch David Baddiel; I appreciate that might not work for everyone. So on reflection maybe I didn’t do this very thing, but, a bit?
as long as you were happy with what you were wearing on the day that’s fine. my real question is: why would you bother to dress up to go and watch David? he dresses like he fell out of a bin
It was the only thing I had coming up and I just really wanted to keep the other dress. I’m not going *with* David. Besides I’m sure he’ll have a smart jacket on.
Lol – no.
I have a wedding to go to in July, by which time I will be around 7 months pregnant. This is my first baby and I have no idea how big I will be by that stage so feel like I will need different size options as well as different weather options! Dreading the amount of shopping this could entail. Any advice? I’m not a massive fan of floaty maxi dresses.
When I was pregnant I had an Isabella Oliver wrap dress that was brilliant for weddings- because it’s a wrap dress you can wear it all the way up and all the way back down again (in case, like me, you don’t immediately spring back to your pre-preg figure).
Can I suggest something like this Issey Miyake dress? http://www.selfridges.com/GB/en/cat/pleats-please-issey-miyake-sleeveless-pleated-midi-dress_134-78050774-PP76JH105/?previewAttribute=Black
The pleats will stretch to accommodate a bump, and you can wear a silk scarf or something over the bump to be festive and add shape. You can do the same thing with a scarf when your waist returns to normal after the baby. It’s also really good for travelling, because it scrinches up tiny, so a good one for un-pregnant dress-seekers too..
Isabella Oliver seconded, also maybe try Mamalicious at Asos (if it’s still a thing – was a couple of years ago for me now)? Free returns and inexpensive. I got a black empire line, slightly floaty but not maxi, dress from there and wore it at a couple of different stages of pregnancy. I got my regular size and it had a bit of extra built in for maternity.
Heather Barrett says
Love that dress
Thanks! A wrap dress sounds like a great idea 🙂
Rosie if you are anything like me at 7months you will be a whale and require a forklift truck to go anywhere. In which case a wrap dress is a great idea x
Ummm Esther, think you forgot to credit me in this post!?! I recommended Christy Dawn to you waaaaaay back in response to your Reformation post, and also the old send to someone in America to avoid extra charges ruse. I like to think I’m solely responsible for this purchase of yours. Anyway, you’re welcome! Come back and tell me what the dress is like. I’ve only bought the Dawn dress style from there (so far) as it’s ideal for breastfeeding.
SORRY!!! Yes I should have done. I ignored your suggestion at the end of the Reformation post because I’m just idle basically but then saw the Paloma on Mandy Moore and dropped dead from lust
You’re forgiven! But only if you come and report back on the dress in real life. It looks gorgeous but, as always with these things, hard to tell.
I know, you are so right. It is out for delivery with Becky B, so I reckon it will be here in about 10-14 days
sorry you didn’t really need to know that. you will not be counting down the hours, as I am
Sadly, I sort of am. My husband is in America at the moment which in the one hand is good as it means yay he can bring back my Dawn dress but on the other hand is boo because I’m home alone with 3 kids for over a week.