Belle of the Ball


I'm the one in the pink tablecloth dress!

A couple of years ago, I was lucky enough to be one of the Belles of the Ball — or maybe I should say Bell of the Ball!  I was at the National Conference for AICP in Atlanta, Georgia, and since I was one of the past officers and also a sucker who can’t say ‘no’ when asked to volunteer for something — I got to go to a local costume shop and pick out my ball gown for the gala event.  It was a Southern Theme and everyone was dressed as Southern Ladies and Gentlemen.  When else was I going to get the chance to wear a HUGE hoop, lace gloves and carry a fan around with me all evening! 

I now realize why women of that age had to take a nap during the afternoon and were considered ‘delicate’ — you were worn out from carrying all that darn material around with you – not to mention trying to maneuver around obstacles – and it is next to impossible to sit down – so you have to stand all of the time!  These women were TIRED!  Scarlet O’Hara was skinny because she did a Biggest Loser workout every time she took a step — not to mention dancing!  The dresses of that era were made with heavy tapestry type material — hence, why Scarlet thought it was perfectly acceptable to make a dress out of those green velvet curtains – those women were tough!

The one good thing about wearing those hoop skirts is that no one had a clue how big anyone else’s butt was!  Having been called ‘hippy‘ my entire life (and not because I was a teenager during the early sixties) – it was pure joy to see even the skinny women of the group look just as ‘hippy’ as I did!  Again — you had to be a sturdy woman to survive wearing those dresses to a ball and dancing with every beau in the place!

Another perk to wearing the dress was the fact that just by standing in one place and swinging from side to side, you could give the impression of dancing without moving too much — which was probably necessary in those days just so women could catch their breath!

The 'Bell' Dance

It was a great experience and I had a great time pretending I was a Southern Belle – or Bell – depending on how well I was swinging that dress!

5 responses »

  1. Thank you Katie another enjoyable read.
    May I ask .. Please can you tell me how to get my blogs categorized ? I have pleaded and asked everywhere but nobody answers me

    • It’s not too hard. Before you publish your post, look below the publish area and you will see the Categories. When you start, the only category will be ‘uncategorized’. You just have to add to your own categories. Click on the ‘Add new categories’ and an area will open where you can enter all the categories you would like – just separate them with a comma. Once you enter a category, it is there to choose from for the next post. That’s how I do it — so I can put in the categories that make sense for my post. I’ve also looked at what other people are using for categories to get ideas. Hope this helps.

  2. I used to wear a dress like that when I was in a Madrigals group, complete with hoop skirt. It was made of velvet! Having been on stage I’ve also worn a corset, and let me tell you, if you had been wearing a corset (which they did) with all the underlayers (there were lots of layers of petticoats involved), you would have really known what discomfort was all about. You can hardly sit in a corset anyway, so the hoop skirt doesn’t deter you too much from being seated, because you can’t even so much as bend when you’re in a corset!

    Picture me in High School with my other Madrigal friends, trying to pile into a car on the way to a singing gig! That was always lots of fun (it really was — we were in High School!). Let’s just say you needed all those petticoats to be modest, because if there’s no room for the hoop, it has to go somewhere, and mostly it went ‘up’, exposing everything underneath. Especially in a car. I can only imagine if a big gust of wind caught you!

    Still, it’s fun to wear a costume once in a while. That’s a great picture of you and the menfolks all dressed up. Welcome to Tara!

  3. Oh my! Imagine my surprise seeing this blog…I’m so glad you have fond memories of this event. I think I was, and will probably be the last of the big spenders for the Gala Event but it was worth every penny! Thanks for dressing up with us. You looked marvelous!

  4. I’d love to wear such dresses all the time. I probably wouldn’t be a slouch as badly as I am now. Not that I mean to be, but I, too, like to be comfortable. I remember wearing those corsets even though we were just teenagers. We were slim, but everybody wore them at the time. And the crinolines were so pretty. We didn’t wear hoops. They were shorter dresses, but the crinolines puffed the dresses out, and make us look quite debonaire. Very good write up. You looked great, and I bet you did have a ball. How can you place those pics where you just want them to appear?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s