By: Jaycie Cash
I grew up with my bra strap showing.
From the age of 11 on, I was aware that if something could go wrong with my clothes it would. Naturally, it wouldn’t happen until I was in the most embarrassing spot possible, but happen it would.
A treasure-trove of broken zippers—the most memorable in front of the punchbowl at a formal dance when I was practically doing a backbend, trying to avoid the unwelcome advances of a drunken chaperone (don’t ask)—broken heels, popped buttons, hooks that lured eyes away from the cloth to which they’d been sewn, snaps that insisted on being free and single and letting their freak flag fly . . . you name it and I’ve experienced it. And, no, none of this was the result of wearing a size or three too small. Not that I’m above that sort of thing, just too well versed in the likelihood of disaster to give it a try.
All of that to say I’m in no position to judge others for a wardrobe malfunction.
Before I go any further it’s important for me to stress I deeply admire Dolly Parton. What’s not to like? She’s not just her own person, she’s kind and polite to others (at least while on talk shows), witty and seems sweetly confident. And lets not forget she’s a brilliant businesswoman: she wrote—but more importantly kept the rights to—a lot of hit songs. Plus, she has her own darn amusement park. Who else do you know who can say that? There’s no Jayciewood out there, my friends. And one isn’t likely to pop up anytime soon.
What I like most of all, however, is that quick though Dolly is to admit her style has yet to be universally adopted, she isn’t afraid to embrace it publicly, proudly, completely and pretty darn tightly (something I could never bring myself to do for all the reasons mentioned above). I’m particularly fond of something I’ve heard her say more than once on a talk show or some other venue: “It costs a lot to look this cheap.”
Come on, admit it, ya gotta love her.
So when I heard she was gonna be a guest on a late-night talk show recently, I made it a point to watch. Never one to disappoint, Dolly was her usual delightful self. It was when she performed at the end of the program, standing on an extremely bright stage, that my eyebrows—in need as they so often are of a bit of judicious plucking—reached new heights on my forehead. Dolly was wearing a tight-fitting top and a full, rather gauzy skirt. She was not, however, wearing a slip.
A slip would have been a good idea.
Two slips probably wouldn’t have hurt.
Essentially, standing in front of the light as she was, she needn’t have worn the skirt at all. But it’s only fair to point out that Dolly Parton has the most toned thighs I’ve ever seen on a woman living deep in the heart of her 6th decade. Now, do I think she wanted some publicity and as a result schemed and planned to display her well-toned gams, and therefore intentionally left her slip on her tour bus that night? I most certainly do not. Caw caw happens, my friends, even to the best and most famous of us.
Do I think less of the magnificent Parton for having this type of thing happen while appearing on national television? How could someone with my clothing history in good conscience do so? How could anyone who’s read this far even ask that question?
There’s no question in my mind that Dolly at some point realized or was told about the skirt issue. Heck, it’s not like it happened in a non-public manner to an unknown person. If she was someone who wanted or needed ANY type of publicity, I’m sure her publicists would have been all over that story, building it into a major event the next day. But they didn’t and it wasn’t. Five will get you ten, it you weren’t watching that night, this is the first you’ve heard of the whole thing.
I’m convinced that being who and what she is (a seasoned, professional performer) Dolly laughed the incident off after making a mental note to always check to make sure her skirt is lined or her slip is on prior to performing in the future. Then she most likely went on her way without giving the matter another thought, because Dolly Parton is comfortable in her own skin.
Elyse Smith, the protagonist of my debut novel, Mrs. Goodfeller, however is not. The Rodney Dangerfield of Scissortail, OK, Elyse has never gotten any respect and has had more than her share of malfunctions in her life, wardrobe and otherwise.
How about you? Have you ever suffered through a public wardrobe malfunction? Have you witnessed an incident where someone else (other than Janet Jackson) had this problem? If so, I’d love to hear about it (please leave out the name of anyone who might have reason to be embarrassed) . . . along with any lessons you learned as a result.
Jaycie Cash blogs on a regular basis for Writerspace.com. Her debut novel, MRS. GOODFELLER, is available through most major eBook outlets, including Amazon and >Barnes and Noble. She’d love for you to like her Facebook Author page.