I went to a close friend’s 40th birthday party over the weekend. The invitation said that it was a B.L.T. party, meaning that we were to dress in black tie, lingerie or a toga. Anyone not abiding with this request would be required to leave their pants at the door. No kidding.

Well, I love a good party. And I knew this was going to be one. And I didn’t want to disappoint the birthday girl or her husband so I gave a lot of thought as to what I was going to wear. And as to what my husband was going to wear. Part of me wanted him to wear a tuxedo. I’ve never seen him in one other than his high school graduation picture. In it, he was wearing a ruffled shirt. Very handsome and mid-80’s. I’ve never even seen him in a suit. He did buy a new blazer for our wedding three years ago but left it at our house 90 miles away from where the wedding was. So he had to borrow his brother-in-law’s jacket for the ceremony. It was too big but perfect for the 15 minute ceremony.

My husband enjoys being a little different, not just in how he dresses but in how he lives his everyday life. I think he’s always been like this. And it’s rubbed off on me. I’ve come to enjoy being a little different with his help and also with the help of just growing older. So a tuxedo was too staid for him. He opted for wearing a toga but not one made out of your usual white sheet. He purchased a plaid tablecloth and a mustard yellow table runner from our local Goodwill store. A few accessories from the costume store, plus the addition of his own camouflage flip flops, rounded out his costume. (The flip flops were bought on a guys’ only trip to Key West a few years back after he showed up at the airport with nothing but a toothbrush. But that’s another story.)

I knew I wasn’t going to go the toga route. Just not my thing. And the lingerie route? Well, I think that I look good but after two C-sections (and what my children affectionately call floppy belly) and a little (ok, a lot of) aging, it’s not my thing either. So black tie it was going to be. And I had a handful of choices. I almost wore a tuxedo but the outfit, though nice, looked a little too conservative. I have a few fancy dresses in my closet, previously bought for parties, cruises and weddings. And I tried them on. They all looked good but they also felt just a little too boring. Remember, I enjoy being a little different. My stylist, also known as my 10 year-old daughter, brought in a dress from her room. I had put it in her closet a few years ago for her to wear as a dress-up dress. She ordered me to try the dress on. I did and, while I was slipping in to it, I told her the story behind it.

The dress was bought for me by my mother 22 years ago at Bergdorf Goodman in Manhattan. My boyfriend at the time worked for a large investment firm and the company’s formal Christmas party was soon. And I didn’t having anything to wear. My mom was in town, visiting from Miami, and we went shopping. I clearly remember the experience. I tried on a handful of dresses but one was an immediate favorite. It was a strapless Victor Costa with shimmery, dark metallic green taffeta across the chest, a fitted, dark green velvet middle, more taffeta around the hips and then a full taffeta skirt. Underneath the skirt was green tulle so the skirt had some real pouf to it. And there were also a few strategically placed taffeta rosettes.

I was in love with the dress. What I didn’t know until this past weekend was that, at the time, my mother had some reservations about the dress. Not about the price, though the cost seemed extravagant to me, but about the fact that the dress was strapless. She felt it showed too much skin for the type of event I was wearing it to. But she withheld her concerns, which must have been hard, and bought it for me because I loved it so much. What a mom!

My daughter loved the story and she also loved the dress. She told me it fit perfectly and that I looked great. But the outfit looked a little too serious. It was missing a certain je ne sais quoi. We were going to be at a party with people dressed in sheets and teddies. So I bought a wig. A short, straight blond one. The perfect foil to my usual mousey brown, wavy hair. Now, my outfit was complete. And in a show of solidarity, my usually buzz- cut haired husband wore a short grey wig, the one in our collection that we affectionately call the “Bill Clinton”.

The party was a blast. The kind that you talk, and laugh about, for weeks to come. A real celebration. The birthday girl looked amazing in her sexy tuxedo with tails and fishnet stockings. Fun people, great DJ, yummy food, a plethora of alcohol and even a few visits from the police. At least one person had to leave their pants at the door. And my husband was the first one in the pool. I love his joie de vivre.

PS I don’t think that blondes have more fun but I can tell you that they sure do get a lot of attention.