Sarah... as She Sees It: Dallas Women

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by SARAH HEPOLA

wfaa.com

Posted on November 1, 2013 at 5:36 PM

Updated Saturday, Nov 9 at 1:43 PM

North Texas author, Sarah Hepola, shares her thoughts about Dallas women:

I’ve been working on a theory about Dallas women: You cannot be overdressed. Every time I’m on my way to an event, and I get that anxious feeling that my red lipstick or my silk dress will expose me as a late 30-something trying too hard, I show up to find women in glitter heels and sequined tops. I was sharing my theory with a friend the other day, in the concession line at the Angelika, and two women walked by in cocktail dresses. At the movies. OK, they were probably headed somewhere afterward, but I promise that in other towns, you don’t see women in Marc Jacobs dresses waiting in line for Junior Mints.

Dallas has been described as a place “where women dress up to go to the grocery store,” and on grumpy days, I find this intimidating, if not downright irritating. Why is everybody trying so hard? Maybe that’s because I spent a great deal of my 20s and early 30s not trying at all. I pulled my hair back in a scrunchie and wore a series of stained hoodies. This is Texas. No one will kick you out for wearing jeans and flip flops.

But as I grew older, I stopped rebelling so much against our city’s glamorous reputation. I, too, have discovered the strange mental boost of wearing wedge heels in the frozen food aisle of Tom Thumb. Maybe this is some vestige of the South. Or maybe this is part of our inheritance as Dallas women. We live in the city that gave birth to Neiman-Marcus and the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders and Mary Kay Cosmetics. When it comes to fashion, it’s like we’re contractually obligated to go big.

And while I firmly support every woman’s decision to dress however she wants, be it hot pants or sweat pants, I have come to admire how the ladies of Dallas bring beauty to a city covered in asphalt and cement. It’s a relief to know that I can never be overdressed, and that I will never be faulted for trying too hard, and that maybe trying isn’t such a bad thing to do after all. And I’m glad to know that when I finally spring for some glitter heels, I have a place to wear them: Anywhere I want.

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