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the occasions lady and

Virtual Event Attire
by Audrey Poff, illustration by Brittney Guest Osborn

Spray tans, fresh manicures and pedicures, high heels, sparkly dresses and perhaps a voluminous hair blowout at the salon. Stop it. We are still in the midst of a global pandemic, and none of that is necessary for the virtual events we are all now attending.

As Jonesboro’s largest annual philanthropic gala goes virtual for the first time in its 50-year history this month, there’s no reason to rent a tuxedo for your husband or splurge on a new cocktail dress. There’s no need to search through the formal attire stashed in your closet either, unless you feel the need to shake off the dust. Can’t remember where you stashed your best Spanx shapewear? It really doesn’t matter.

As a life member of Junior Auxiliary of Jonesboro, I have enjoyed attending JA’s annual Charity Ball for many years. Although I sometimes dread the process of getting ready for the event, I have always enjoyed attending with friends and colleagues. It is fun to see everyone enjoying an evening in their finest attire to help raise funds for a nonprofit organization that strives to improve the lives of children, youth and families in Craighead County. Charity Ball is JA’s sole fundraiser each year.

As for this year’s virtual event, I have stressed less about this year’s Charity Ball attire than ever before, and my ensemble for the event was complete before the end of January. Here’s a look at my virtual event essentials for enjoying my first Charity Ball from home:

• A perfectly oversized cotton terry sweatshirt in feather pink. It is designed for “on the move,” but I don’t really think I will be moving much at this year’s virtual event. The relaxed fit in a bun-covering length has made it a favorite addition to my pandemic wardrobe.

• Super soft snakeskin print pajama joggers in winter white. They’re cute, soft, lightweight and loose-fitting with pockets for your phone or the medicine that you are supposed to remember to take before bedtime.

• What’s the equivalent of cozy pajama pants for your feet? A fluffy dream of a house slipper. Two of my favorite things about house slippers are that they are extremely comfortable and typically not that expensive. To complete my outfit, I’ll be wearing a plush faux fur crossover design in pink silver. My favorite thing about these slippers, other than the fact that they cost less than $30, is their fluff factor. With an abundance of faux fur, you can hardly even see your toes. No pedicure required, but why not splurge a little?

• Last but not least, the all-important laptop will be a necessity for viewing the virtual program and bidding on auction items. I’m a Mac girl from way back, so my personal go-to is a MacBook Air in rose gold.

I am excited about attending Junior Auxiliary of Jonesboro’s first virtual Charity Ball. Most importantly, when we stay home, we help protect ourselves and others from COVID-19. And, with all of the money Rodney and I will save by wearing our pajamas, we can still support the work of the ladies of Junior Auxiliary and possibly win a few fabulous auction items, all from the comfort of our home. I think we could get used to this, and for the time being, we probably should.