Angie's post about shopping mistakes got me to thinking about a mistake I made multiple times before listening to Angie and keeping "occasion outfits" on hand in my closet even when there was no occasion coming up soon.

I had never done this because it seemed silly to keep a semi-formal or even a cocktail dress at the ready unless I needed it, like, next month. And then when an event would arise, I would be thrown into a shopping panic.

I am tricky to fit, can't wear heels, and am in my 50s, producing a total shopping nightmare. If you're very petite at my age, your options for dressing up are hoochie-mama juniors-style plunging neckline micro-mini latex clubwear, or dowdy grandmother-of-the-bride styles. Not much in between.

More than once we did not go to events because I returned five dresses without finding anything close to appropriate. Some of you will relate to this part of the nightmare: many stores have a policy of not carrying my size in their brick-and-mortar locations, so I had to order online, which slowed the whole process.

Now, I have learned my lesson. I keep a warm-weather dress-up outfit and a cold-weather dress-up outfit in my closet at all times. Not full formal -- if an occasion like that should arise, I turn to Rent the Runway.

Thank you, Angie, for saving me from Event Anxiety Meltdowns.

ETA: I also learned to remember that the "outfit" includes SHOES, BAG, and any jewelry or other accessories, such as the undergarments required by the dress.