We've all seen it. The scantily-clad, short-skirt, high-heeled romantic waiting to throw her arms around her love. In fact, usually she's waiting to throw her arms -- and her legs -- around him. And down rides that tube-top, up rides that skirt and ... Well, for the service member, that's quite the welcome home. For the rest of us, it's an opportunity to invest in a blind fold. Which, incidentally, could be number 11 for things you shouldn't wear to a homecoming.
Here are the top ten things NOT to wear to a military homecoming.
10. It's not the time to look like you're heading out to the club.
I'm not sure about you, but I'm not exactly dying to wrap myself up in skin-tight lycra bandages that reveal my navel and, um, maybe that pint of Ben & Jerry's I devoured in the months he was gone. But according to the wives I spoke to, club clothes happen way too often and are still a unanimous no. But even if you've got the body of a backup dancer in a Nicki Minaj's music video, this isn't the time to dress like one.
9. Too high to be comfortable? Don't wear those heels.
After 11 years in Manhattan, I'm used to seeing girls wear stilettos like sneakers, and I'll admit that I wear them approximately twice a year. But nearly every wife said they've made this mistake themselves: the heels that started out as comfortable didn't feel that way by the end of the day. You don't want to be so uncomfortable that you're forced to sit down, take off your shoes and spend the rest of the homecoming barefoot, so choose shoes that are cute and comfortable.
8. Don't wear something you can't chase your kids around, nurse or spend a few hours waiting around in.
Hurry up and wait. We all know the routine. And finding something that's cute and comfortable for that is challenging enough, but if you've got little ones in tow, make sure you're wearing something you can chase them around in. One wife I spoke with said she spent an entire homecoming chasing her two-year-old. Her husband loves to see her in dresses, so she wore his favorite -- she just made sure to wear a pair of shorts underneath. Every time she bent down to pick up her baby, everyone got an eyeful of Adidas, not London and France.
7. Don't wear something he wouldn't want his commanding officer to see.
It's important to remember that while you haven't seen each other in months, he still has to face his boss for months to come. Don't wear something you wouldn't feel comfortable wearing in front of his boss, or yours, for that matter.
6. Or the commanding officer's wife.
Every wife I spoke to whose husband had been career said this again and again: remember you're not just presenting yourself in front of your spouse's commanding officer, you're also there with his wife. We all know that the military really isn't like the love-fest "Army Wives" presents, so make sure that when she looks at you, she doesn't get more skin than smile. You don't want your husband hearing about what you wore to welcome him home the day he gets back to work.
5. Don't wear your prom dress. Really.
I was actually kind of shocked to learn that most of the women I spoke to have seen this. When I got past my sheer admiration that a number of girls still fit in their prom dresses, I had to agree: this kind of homecoming isn't black-tie. Leave the dresses for the balls, or get creative and do a fancy dinner at home. Candlesticks, cloth napkins, champagne, the whole nine yards. Homecoming has none of that fun stuff anyway.
4. Don't wear your wedding gown.
I have to admit, it'd be fun. But unless you have a pretty civil service dress that will let him share in a secret smile, leave the lacy ball gown secured in its box and put on something a little more everyday instead.
3. Lingerie is not real clothing.
I'm all for a little naughty underneath. He's been gone a long time; who isn't? But keep it in check. Just because it has some ties and a zipper doesn't make it clothing. And remember, thongs are never meant to be seen poking out your pants.
2. Don't forget to wear your knickers.
One friend told me that after her husband's first deployment, she welcomed him home with a hug, kiss, and a slip of some panties into his pocket. Her panties. Normally that's a recipe for a good night, but she wasn't planning on him picking her up and spinning her around. His whole family was there, too, and everyone, even grandma, got an eyeful. So if you plan to do a panty slip, make sure you keep a pair on.
1. Do not wear the Halloween store's slutty version of your service member's uniform.
Now granted, I only heard this happen once, and you have to admit, it's pretty funny. Minus being the bravest girl in the homecoming field, she was also the most talked about later. So leave the sexy military bustier until later ... it's more fun when it's taken off, anyway.
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