Thursday, June 24, 2010

Classy and Formal

I love my life. My last two weeks in Provo before I ship out have been the best of my entire summer. And I've had an awesome summer.

Last night I was privileged to attend the most exclusive private society in Provo - Minae ut Congregatio (Latin for "Menace to Society"). This is a professional Gentleman's Society, roughly 6 months old, and very active here in Provo. Twice a month, these Menacing Gentlemen gather with equally classy females of their choosing, best dress, of course, and enjoy an evening that speaks of a different age.

If there's one thing I love, it's formality. If there's two things I love, they are class and formality. Being classy is always my goal, but it's not for me to decide or determine if I reach an acceptable standard. But formality I think I achieve. I often get asked why I wear head-to-toe black, skirts and dress pants often. It's true my office doesn't require that level of dressiness. I just like being and looking formal. I often overdress. Don't get me wrong. I get home from work and throw on sweats almost every night. I guess it's the girly side of me, but I love getting all dolled up for stuff. So naturally I was absolutely thrilled when I was asked to attend a best dress, formal event.

Especially if it's a classy Cocktail Party.

Except we are all nice Mormon individuals so I guess it was "mocktails" but that just sounds stupid.

I was immediately inspired by the fashion-forward musical Chicago. I watched the 2002 film before I left to visit the city in focus, having always wanted to have seen it. The best part of the whole movie was how much I incorporated their style and looks into my own look after watching it. They could have stepped right off the set of the movie and into the downtown area of any city and looked maybe a little overdone but very chic. I think I must be obsessed a little bit with the "Roaring Twenties," maybe because I'm a roaring twenty myself right now, but I LOVE the formality, the classiness, the society of the '20s. Society itself had an unwritten dress code. People had swagger, but the kind that is still polite and looking to earn respect, not just expect it. The men were confident, smooth and pursued what they wanted directly. Women were recognizing new rights and freedoms, having fun, being independent, but never "wore the pants." Femininity was still important. I love that.

And most importantly. The Style.

If I could rock a finger-waved bob, you better believe I would. I told my mom that when I was 14, and I've repeated it several times since. Also, the short, blunt bangs have always intrigued me, and a couple years ago I worked up the guts to try it. I loved that too. At H&M in Chicago, I saw a Flapper-esque dress, and was inches away from buying it and thought "But really, when am I going to wear this?" Am I kicking myself now? Absolutely. An hour or so after that, I came across a headband in Aldo that I couldn't resist. Black with a silver embellishment, very Flapper. Recently inspired by the movie Chicago, my new headband and a new red lipstick, I got ready with a 1920s cocktail party in mind. Muted cheeks and eyes, winged black liquid eyeliner, matte red lips, an outfit similar to this one with sparkly silver accessories. I was kind of loving it and wishing I could dress up every day. I think I found my Halloween costume. Katie Derrick - What do you think?

The party was held in the classiest room I've ever seen in Provo. "The Cigar Room" is lushly decorated, with a nostalgic, vintage feel. I wasn't really expecting anything other than my outfit to pay tribute to a different age, so imagine my delight at the decor of our venue (complete with a crystal chandelier-my favorite!). I should have snapped a picture of it. I didn't take any pictures and now I'm wishing I had. :( Anyways, everyone arrived, classy and formal. We sat in a large circle and the members opened the meeting with announcements and proposals. Drinks were served with classy lemons, limes and the optional umbrella. Andrew was leaving the society in a week when he was getting married and moving to Colorado, so he had the honor of leading the discussion. Each meeting there is a discussion about things that are and create Menaces to Society. What they are, why they are, how they can be changed, prevented or used for the betterment of society. Andrew chose to introduce the topic of egoism. We talked at length about pride, the Fundamental Attribution Error, and becoming better people in general.

When's the last time you sat with a group of peers and discussed deep moral topics, with some formality and plenty of humor? I spend a great deal of my time in conversation with all different kinds of people, often about life and moral issues, but never in such earnest and honest conversation, meant to edify all those present. "We like to think of ourselves as influencers of Provo. For the better," claimed my date. After this discussion, I found that he was not being pretentious or conceited at all.

And then.....



and it was the best social event I've been to in the past year.

Why can't we go back to the 1920s way of socially interacting? Why can't we be classy and formal? Why can't we live our lives richly and with flair?

This was a great night, not just because of the company, the outfits, the discussion, how much I smiled, or laughed. This was a great night because it gave me hope that Provo (and the world) isn't entirely given over to the social agenda of (and I will recognize that I do actually LIKE all of these things, I just think they shouldn't be the only social interaction/dating method, which they are becoming) frozen yogurt dates, random Neon/80s/Jersey Shore/Techno/Stoplight/House/Dessert dance parties, redboxing movies and homebody hanging out.

You stay classy, Provo.


  1. This is one of the coolest blog posts I've ever read.

  2. Can you please please please edit this post and add Chuck and Blair somehow in the mix?!?! PLEASEEEEEEEEE I need it.

  3. Ok kderrick, you got it.

    And thanks Kel! I'm glad you guys read this stuff! :)

  4. I share your passion for 20's fashion!

  5. I don't believe I've ever become quite so Envious of a single individual in such a short amount of time. Simply Remarkable.