A High Fashion Hippie

Well, slap my ass and call me Nancy, we’re on the last day of the #PNIWritingChallenge.

What do you consider formal wear?

I’ve always had an interesting relationship with formal wear. The way I view it is very different than many other people.

Regular readers will recall that there is a bar I used to frequent when I was underage. I held three 21st birthday parties there, including a brief bounce through on The Bacchanal That Was 21.

It wasn’t just a bar, my friends, it was also a finer dining establishment. Two people could have dinner and drinks for about $100, and that was a lot of money back in the early to mid 90s. Everyone dressed nicely for the most part but there was this weird flip side in the bar itself.

The cafe was located off of the lake I grew up on, so it was quite common to take one’s boat instead of car to go out to dinner or for drinks. Boats mean windblown hair, and shorts and things like that.

The bar area was overrun by neo-hippies. The bartenders used to play Widespread Panic, and Grateful Dead bootlegs were our soundtrack on the weekends. The owner had no problem with this. In fact, I’m pretty sure he was a recovering hippie type himself.

Dressing up to hit the cafe meant wearing our shirts and shorts that didn’t have holes in them. Often we were in cargo shorts and tie-dyed shirts. Generally we went ahead and wore the holey shirts anyway.

The only entrance was through the bar area. When customers of the restaurant would come through in their nicer clothing, they had to make their way through a sea of hippie kids blowing cigarette smoke every which way.

I assume they were less than impressed with us.

As I grew older and worked at more business casual jobs my wardrobe changed, but I’m still more comfortable viewing formal wear the way I did as a teen. I can dress properly, don’t get me wrong. I’m pretty damn good at it, as a matter of fact, but those outfits feel more like costumes. For me, that can ruin the feel of a formal event.

When we held our wedding in May of 2015 we had a decision to make. How formal/casual did we want to go? Our decision was to go “beach formal”.

If your own wedding isn’t the exact definition of a formal event – and therefore the clothes being formal clothing – I wouldn’t know what is.

My Companion ended up in linen. It was cooler feeling and it looked very nice. If you get married on a beach in Florida, this is what I would recommend.

I bought myself one of those flowing white skirts and added a bathing suit top and called it good.

Oh, look, I have a photo. Surprise! (My Companion’s face is blanked out as per our agreement of keeping his anonymity).



I wanted to be barefoot (I had wanted that at my first wedding and no one would let me walk down the aisle without sandals. Thanks, ya buzz killing bastards) but the beach was rougher than the white sandy beaches I had been expecting. And the ground was hot as hell.

It worked out very well in the end.

As it is now, I’m prepared the way  most women are. I have a little black dress hanging in the closet, and a longer black and white one for when needed. I don’t think I have shoes to match, but that’s okay.

As stated above, today is the last day of the Potatoes Not Included Writing Challenge. I hope that you’ve enjoyed this 30 day journey as I know that I have. As is our habit now, Author JC Wing and I will be starting a new challenge tomorrow. We’re hoping many others take part with us in what we’re calling the #FreeWriteChallenge.

Here’s the photo of what we’ll be working with. I hope that you’ll take the new journey with us!


(And I’m posting the wedding photo again to get around a WordPress loophole in how it features my photos. Sigh.)



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