Monday, September 27, 2010

the homecoming dress debacle

I'm not sure when I stopped enjoying shopping for clothes, but I'm guessing it happened about the time my middle kid decided she was more than capable of selecting her own garments. So, that would be about 15 years ago when she arrived on the planet.

My darling fashionista hauled me over to the mall yesterday so we could begin the search for a homecoming dress. Long gone are the days when a new sweater from the Limited satisfies the teen aged girl's need to look 'haute' for a football game and dance.  No. Now they need a party dress to attend the dance and forget about going to the game. That time is spent locked in the bathroom with enough cosmetics to make Lady Gaga proud and a flat iron hot enough to make grilled cheese.

Before we left I suggested we do a bit of preshopping via the internet and take a look at her favorite store's website. This website has lovely party dresses at a reasonable price, but they don't carry them in the local store. You have to take a chance on size and fit and order online.  She found two dresses she really liked and it gave her an idea of what to expect at the major, fancy, department store. I closed the laptop and we drove to the Mall.  There is a reason Mall is a four lettered word.

She tried on 8 dresses at the big store and we left after putting one on hold. It was a bit snug in the top so we decided to try the other major department store and see what they had. They had a whole lot of nothing compared to the first store. She did find one dress, marked down to an amazingly reasonable price.  I thought it looked adorable on her....and truth be told the price tag helped my enthusiasm. But, it had a halter neckline/tie and she didn't care for that. I could have modified the tie and made it look like shoulder straps, but then she decided that the classic black bodice with an ivory skirt was just too ordinary and plain.

Off we went to two other stores. She tried on one more dress which didn't fit her hips properly and at that point we were two hours into the search. I suggested we come home and order a couple of dresses online and see if one of those wouldn't work. 

An hour later we placed the order only to find out the dress of first choice won't even be available for shipping until the day before her event. That. Won't. Work.  I made a phone call to their Help center and a lovely woman helped us delete that dress, (sob, sniff, tears) and replace it with dress number three. Her second choice dress was available and ready to be delivered. The help desk lady even threw in free express shipping so the dresses will arrive on Friday for my fashionista's perusal. She wound up with a solid black satin dress and a black and purple brocade dress, both strapless and both very adorable.

I hope to heaven that one of the two dresses will fit and be The One.  We can return them to the local store if they don't meet her approval and get a full refund, but then that will mean another trip back to the mall. I'm even hoping that they both fit so that she can keep one in the closet for the winter semiformal dance and thus avoid a trip to the Mall in January.  I was about done in yesterday with the tulle, the satin, the sparkles, the ruffles, the pleats and the straps. Anything to avoid another party dress buying trip in the near future sounds perfect to me.


Elizabeth said...


haydenblair said...

Liz, this has been one of my favorites of your posts. You had me literally laughing out loud. I love the lady gaga reference, and i can imagine the heat and steam cinging off that flatiron. I know I don't comment as often as I should on your blog but I"m here and I'm following along....and loving the the question you follow our blog? !!! :)

Liz said...

Elizabeth...just you wait. Your day is coming, my friend!! Hayden, I do read your blog:) You are quite the photo queen....which adds so much to your posts! I am not a good picture taker and always try to make friends with people who are so I can 'borrow' their photos!!