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Sequins don't go bang-bang

FOR Christmas this year I wish someone would give me a sequin-covered dress. It is something I have always wanted. I want to sparkle! I was reminded of this recently when attending a concert. The pianist, an older, rather heavy woman, swept on stage smiling and sparkling in a dress completely covered with silver sequins. Even her shoes, high-heeled and shapely , were sequin-studded. She was a superb musician and didn't need the sequins; nevertheless, they added something for me, at least. Radiance, joy!

I know there are those who deride sequins, who call them cheap, flashy, an offense to good taste. To me they are the ultimate in dressing up, the epitome of elegance. But I've allowed myself to be intimidated by the sequin-haters, who are many, and who take on an almost moral tone in voicing their disapproval.

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This attraction may be a hangover from childhood, when the only kind of fireworks that interested me on the Fourth of July were the sparklers. I never cared much for things that went "bang-bang," and sparklers had the advantage of being quiet, as well as exquisitely beautiful, whirling around in the night like Van Gogh's stars.

When I was young and single I did have a little fling with sequins. I bought a black dress that had gold, fuchsia-colored, and green sequins on it, spaced about two inches apart all over the dress. Then I found, quite miraculously, a black turban adorned with exactly the same kind of sequins. Still more astonishing, I was able also to find large button earrings covered with gold, fuchsia, and green sequins. I couldn't quite believe my good fortune.

Here was my ideal outfit for a concert I was to attend with the young man who later became my husband. I felt the greatest anticipation about dazzling him with this sparklingly synchronized ensemble.

When I met him at the concert hall on the appointed evening, I thought he looked a bit startled. As the evening progressed, I waited in vain for a compliment on my stunning attire. None came. Indeed, I thought he seemed unusually subdued that night. We did not really know each other very well at that time, and I concluded that he was a person who did not give compliments easily. I also reasoned that he could be in a state of shock over the extreme gorgeousness of my appearance.

Several years later, after we were married, I mentioned the sequin episode to him. He laughed uproariously and told me that he had thought it an absolutely atrocious outfit -- but that he had married me in spite of it.

I was crushed; all my glittering memories of that date were smashed to smithereens. I'm glad, though, that he didn't tell me at the time, for I did so enjoy twinkling my way through the evening! Unfortunately, the dress met with disaster at the cleaner's, and I was never able to wear it again -- and the turban and earrings didn't seem to go with anything else. Gradually my interest in sequins dulled.

Until the appearance a few weeks ago of the Lady of the Sequins; then it definitely revived. And to go with that sequin-covered dress I would like to have the shoes, too, to match. I remember how fascinated I was as a child with Cinderella's glass slipper, which was quite sparkly in its way. But a sequin slipper! -- that would be much more thrilling. Something straight from fairyland.

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To shimmer, to scintillate, to give off light! Sequins, tinsel, diamonds! Stars, fairy wands, teeth! Gold, crystal, silver! Lakes, rivers, blue eyes (even brown, sometimes)! City lights, fountains, icicles! Praise be to all sparkling things!

But especially sequins.

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