Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Dress shopping (rant)

I'm going to a wedding in two weeks, and I went out yesterday to buy a dress. UGGGGH. Does anyone else hate dress shopping as much as I do? I mean, I'm sure that part of it has to do with the fact that I have a somewhat poor self image, so I don't like how I look in anything, and some of it has to do with the fact that I'm cheap (and dresses are freaking expensive!). But yesterday, I had money in my hand (or my budget anyway) and a mission, and - to be honest - a pretty good figure, and I just couldn't find anything I really liked. I started walking around department store dress sections and just became overwhelmed and anxious. So much so that I almost started crying in the middle of the store. Overreacting? Yes. But there are some things that just make me so angry about stores.

Why isn't there anything designed for people between the ages of 25 and 55?

Every dress I saw looked like it was either designed for a size 0 sixteen year old, or a 65 year old retiree. No offense to either sixteen year olds or sixty five year olds, and honestly there are dresses out there that would be great for you! But I find it almost impossible to find something that doesn't either age me or make me look like I'm trying to be a kid.

Why must everything be the same styles?

If the current style is something that doesn't flatter your particular body type, like a halter or an A-line, you're out of luck because everything that year will be that style.

Why can't something be pretty but tasteful?

I am a young married woman with some shape and all I want is to wear a dress that makes me look attractive but not trashy. It seems (or seemed yesterday at least) nearly impossible. I need either be covered head to toe in polyester or . . . uncovered head to toe.

Why do stores clearance items about five minutes after a season starts?

I need to wear this dress in two weeks which means I needed to buy it 3 months ago. Since I waited this long, if I want something summery I need to pick through clearance racks that don't carry my size in anything not horrible.

Why is everything classy always black?

I don't like to wear black to weddings because of tradition and superstition and all that nonsense, and it's REALLY HARD to find a dress that looks classy and semi-formal and isn't black. Then I get to weddings these days, and I'm the only one not wearing black.

Why are they so freaking expensive?

One piece of cheap fabric that covers maybe half my body should not cost as much as an entire week's worth of my play clothes. It just shouldn't.

After much whining and nashing of teeth, trying on, taking pictures of myself with my camera phone to send to my husband for advice, and generally throwing an internal temper tantrum, I did manage to find a dress which I didn't hate for within my budget. It took just about all my patience though, and I will find ways to use this dress again because I am not doing this again for a long time.

Deep breath. End rant.


PiggyBank Raider said...

I feel your pain. I have the exact same problem. I get a lot of dresses tailored (hemlines shortened, for example) so they don't look so dowdy on me (but still cover my private parts LOL).

Birdie said...

Amen! I suspect there are quite a few of us who suffer from the same shopping woes these days.

SavingDiva said...

I agree! I went to a wedding last weekend and I had the same struggle. I have another wedding in two weeks and then an additional wedding in April. Unfortunately, they're going to be all the same people, so I need to get at least one dress for the July wedding!

Anonymous said...

I understand. I've had money in my budget for a new summer dress since last summer, and I still haven't bought one. When I went shopping a month ago, I finally found a dress that was in my size, flattering, marked down to far below my budgeted amount, and neither matronly nor slutty. Naturally, it had a broken zipper so I think I'll wait another year before I try dress shopping again. It isn't worth the frustration.

Ewokgirl said...

Did you try any boutiques? Department stores are not always the best place to look. Talbots and Ann Taylor are great places for well-made, stylish, not-trashy clothes. Just a suggestion.

Fiona said...

I know what you mean. I personally like White House, Black Market as it is classy, not trashy, but can be a bit expensive. Half the clothes are black, but it's nice anyway - wouldn't work for your wedding scenario though.

Another one that is decent, I think would be Ann Taylor or Ann Taylor Loft. For me, their clothes are ok, not my favourite, but ok.

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