It’s not even black. It’s grey, becoming my little black dress because it fit for every occasion. Planning, not required. Throw it on. Look sophisticated! But there’s a snafu. I’d nearly written off the dress as something that would never be again. It hasn’t zipped since the eleventh day of June of 2012. Because I lost my yoga and got fat. Here’s a picture from that day.

Man, you can see the struggling in my body. But when I look back on that, I think nothing. Thinking is reserved for the present, and my, oh my! The present is, indeed, a present because this weekend, I wore the dress. And I’m here to tell you the thrilling story.

Once in every blue moon, we find ourselves with a day or two available for good, old-fashioned play. Just me and my dog. This past Saturday and Sunday, deemed as play days, involved a list of three things that we wanted to do:

  1. Dine.
  2. Explore.
  3. Read.

The only condition mandated that we needed to be somewhere other than Pittsburgh. So we chose Washington, D.C.! But first, a pedicure.

We love Amanda Manol’s studio, set into the heart of the historic Pittsburgh North Side.

Lavender and cucumber in my water, served by Amanda.

The plan was to leave for D.C. immediately after the pedicure, driving the four-hour shift, then shopping for a lovely sundress for the nighttime dinner affair. Shopping would happen somewhere like Anthropologie or FreePeople because the floppy bohemian stuff would be certain to mask my fat. I’d buy a dress. And shoes. But instead of leaving, I hopped onto my bicycle, Flashdance Girl style, for two hours, setting back the rigid schedule.

As I packed and began fretting that I’d have no time to find an outfit before dinner, something played in my head. Remember when the groomer complimented my body? Honestly, I found it humorous. She said, “I bet your old clothes fit again. You know, the dress clothes. You wear this uniform everyday that I bet you haven’t tried to wear your cute dresses in ages.”

Well, actually, I did try a few months ago before dinner with Becky. My little black dress wouldn’t zip, and I looked like a stuffed sausage. I simply couldn’t believe that my hips were so square looking, stomach so protruding, breasts so humungous! It’s never before occurred to me to chalk something up to age, but honestly I said to myself, “Is this really what happens when one gets older?” Right around then, two months ago, I REALLY began practicing yoga again. And I’d totally forgotten about the dreams, or aspirations really, of ever wearing that dress again.

Just before zooming out of the door for D.C. on Saturday, I said, “Gwendolyn? What the hell. Let’s try it.” So I ran back to the closet, grabbed the dress, held my breath, peeled off my shirt, and threw the dress over my body. Still wearing my running skirt, I was a bit shocked because the dress fit nicely over it. I thought, “Huh? There’s room for the dress AND my skirt AND my hips AND my breasts?”

So I took the challenge. Pulling off the runner’s skirt from under the dress, the dress flowed around my body. Reaching behind, slowly and hesitantly, I ZIPPED THE DRESS.


Picking up my dog, we jumped up and down, dancing around the room, finding a pair of heels that matched. Here’s a photograph of the suitcase as proof! Tahari by Arthur S. Levine.  Size 2. Bam.

Even my dog couldn’t believe it!

So we set on our merry way.

With lots.




Arriving to the Hotel Monaco by Kimpton, we were floored by the reception, and you can read about that at my dog’s blog! Here we’ll just talk about my little black dress. A bit worried that it wouldn’t fit after that four hour drive (ha!), I was overjoyed yet again! It fit! Yay! Maybe it was the wine! But my face was so smiley that I snapped a selfie. And I chose no bra, finding happiness that I haven’t lost my perk through all of these body changes.

Time for yoga!

The shoes. By Donald J. Pliner. Made in the mountains of Italy like my grandfather!

And a picture with my pretty little dog. 🙂

Next would be dinner at Fiola by Fabio Trabocchi. We chose this restaurant by interviewing the hotel on dog friendly nice places, and oh! Fiola, the hotel’s first recommendation, was so accommodating! Submitting a nine o’clock reservation for “one human and one dog,” we became so thrilled when exploring the menu online before leaving Pittsburgh.

“Cuisine must be balanced between Tradition and Evolution. I love the respect for ingredients in the original recipes of my country, but my creativity can reach new levels if I consider the globalization of cuisine in my own style. – FT”

Could that be anymore spot-on with my philosophy on existence, ahem The Swedish Chef of Yoga? I spy the first martini!!


Her dinner.


The best dinner date in the world, my dog. 😉

The next day delivered three hours of exploring!

Cranes excite me.


And reading.

It was everything that I wanted. A perfect little weekend with my perfect little dog.

Have a good day, and namaste. 🙂

Please tell me about your little black dress.