So I headed out to frou-frou mall this afternoon in search of a dress. Fifteen minutes into my journey I realized that my engine was revving hard and not switching into a higher gear. And I couldn't go any faster than I already was. So I took the next exit, and found that my Suburban seems to not be switching from 2nd to 3rd gear. Once I got off the highway, I couldn't go more than 30 mph, and within a few minutes I was topping out at 20 mph.
DH gave me directions to the nearest transmission shop, and I slowly made my way there at 20 mph. Fortunately I was in the 'burbs and didn't have to take any super-busy streets.
Once DH retrieved me, we went to the nearby not-so-frou-frou mall, where the highest end store is Dillards. My options were very limited, but I managed to score a basic black shift dress with matching bolero jacket for $27 (no, that is not a typo--it was 70% off!). It is cut like this one, but the jacket is solid black with 3" black-sequined cuffs. Just enough sparkle for an after-five business affair, and I can top the dress with a cardigan or suit jacket for day wear.
I also found a 60" strand of silver pearls for $15 (also 70% off) that look fab with the dress when triple-looped. I wasn't sure these would go well with the dress, but I figured they were versatile enough to work with lots of things, so i bought them anyway. As it turned out, they look great with the dress!
For the final touch, I picket up a pair of rhinestone barrettes at Target for $6.
No new shoes required. I have a fabulous pair of strappy black heels, but I think I will wear my basic black work shoes (3.5" stilettos) and probably add a pair of black hose. I HATE pantyhose, but the dress is a petite and just a tad short for business. And my legs are pasty white.
So, the whole outfit was less than $50. A good thing, since I am afraid to hear how much it will cost to repair the transmission in the Suburban.