PaperCity Magazine

March 2019- Dallas

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Page 41 of 87

an old-school dress code remains. (Those chicks at The Bird Cage would approve.) Isn't the idea of dressing for lunch best imagined in the spring? Hydrangeas are blooming, and we've shed our bulky coats and cashmere knits for sleeveless shifts and sensible slingbacks. If Episcopalians were to have runways shows, these would be their looks: youthful, slightly studied, and planned. Planned, you might ask? Outside of the lunch-world ecosystem, our girl is all about calculated casual. Even while running her most mundane errands, she strives to look like she just rolled out of bed, for she — in her Vince jeans, James Perse tee, Gucci sneakers, and Goyard tote — couldn't give a hoot about how she presented herself to the world when in carpool lane. (We all know she cares.) But for lunch, rules apply. Planning is required. No T-shirts. No heels taller than three inches. No shabby jeans (but perhaps some crisp white ones from Brunello Cucinelli). And most definitely, never, ever anything that dare fall into the category of athleisure. Instead, to be accepted, one must dress in an attitude that presents a serious nature, whether it be an Emilia Wickstead or Lela Rose day dress or an Anne Fontaine blouse, Prada cigarette pants, and Charlotte Olympia flats, with a Mark Cross bag. The lunch bell rings, and all arrive in unison to the valet — a pack of Range Rovers, Porsches, and Teslas queue up outside Grange Hall. Air kisses are exchanged, and the ladies check in with the darling boy behind the hostess desk (they're on a first-name basis). A deal is made, and our ladies are ensured that their group is given ideal placement in the room — a table where everyone is able to properly examine other lunch patrons. What do they do after they lunch? Gone are the days of hurrying home to dress for tennis lessons or to the carpool line to fetch the kiddos. No, our ladies who lunch are signing their checks and calculating tip within a prompt hour, so as to return to high-powered jobs at law firms, hospitals, tech companies, and Fortune 500s. We could spend hours writing about how ladies who lunch have completely usurped the notion of the power lunch from their gentlemen counterparts — but more on that another time. In short: The girls own it. These women might seem silly to some — those rare-air few who lead lives of leisure, seemingly without a care in the world. But that is the exception, not the rule. And so, a quick note on the dreaded wannabes who give a bad rap to the ladies-who-lunch moniker … These are the overdressed types, parodied on Saturday Night Live, who steer clear of thoughtful, deep topics for fear of showing ignorance, or the fact that they haven't read a current newspaper in at least a half-dozen years. Those are not the true ladies who lunch. The conversations from the ladies I appreciate range from art to politics to current literature. Strategic plans are sometimes laid to raise money to fund cancer research or dance companies in under-served communities. We all play roles in this great and grand film of life, and depending on your tastes, it might be Shakespearean or Woody Allen-ish in content. The actors who would play the roles in the "ladies who lunch" film I would write would be the most accomplished and understated: Meryl, Reese, Helen, Salma, Halle. If I have to share those last names, then you likely won't appreciate the movie anyway. IN DEFENSE OF THE LADIES WHO LUNCH (continued from page 38) 40

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