21 July 2008

Simply Divine, Darling

It is 100 degrees Saturday. In other words, it is the perfect day to crowd into poorly ventilated fitting rooms and try on layers of satin and taffeta and whatnot. So I do.

The material clings to me in all sorts of unflattering ways but I insist on showing each one, even the ones I can't zip up, to my husband who is a master of minimalist facial expressions that get the point across ("Dear god, no!") , no matter how many times the saleslady coos "Oh, that looks fabulous on you!" Over the years, hubby has learned not to say, "The material isn't supposed to bunch like that around your ass, is it? Because if that's intentional, it's not a good look."

We wind up going to three different bridal shops in search of the perfect evening dress for a formal affair in September. Yes, I need to start two months in advance because the dress will, at a minimum, have to be hemmed, and then there's the shoes and the bag and the make-up and the foundational garments and the jewelry and who needs grocery and gas money, right?

I don't know why my relatives are so into black tie affairs but it seems they know no other way. And because it is the same crowd that I've seen for several black tie affairs last year, I can't possibly wear any of those perfectly serviceable, ridiculously expensive, impossibly constructed gowns. Heavens, no.

I wind up with this dress:Unfortunately, it does not come with the 18-year-old model with the 18" waist to wear it. There's just me. But I sincerely hope to find a room strewn with flowers and plaster lawn accoutrement in which to pose for pictures.

I take my charge card out to pay for the gown. I am surprised, with all the expenses we've had this year, that the card doesn't simply burst into flames when the saleslady scans it.

Saleslady: This is a final sale. It's non-returnable.

Hubby: Why is it a final sale? Is it reduced or something?

Saleslady: No. All our "special occasion" dresses are final sale.

Hubby, looking around at the room full of bridal gowns and evening dresses: This is a bridal shop. Aren't all of your dresses "special occasion"?

Saleslady, sheepishly: Yes.

I guess they're tired of people tucking the tags, wearing the gowns and then trying to bring them back. I say there ought to be special occasion dress swap meets. Wouldn't that be fun?

I know people sell gowns on E-bay but I'd hate to buy something just to get it delivered, try it on, and hear my husband ask "Were you going for Linda Tripp-y on the bottom and Li'l Kim-y on the top?"

18 comments:

Bilbo said...

Don't be too hard on hubby...all of us married guys learn very early that when we're dragged along on dress-shopping expeditions, the only acceptable response to "how does this look" is "wow, dear, it looks great on you!" The truth is that women don't want to hear the truth. Oh, and by the way...are you SURE the dress can't be bought WITH the model, perhaps as an accessory? Just curious...

Capitol Hill 20210 said...

That is a pretty dress!

Narm said...

Lil Kimmy on the top? It is a prison jumpsuit?

rs27 said...

I didn't make it past the picture. Did the model get naked?

Oh, that's not what this was about.

Kristen said...

I wish you lived around here because there's this fabulous store called Zu Zu's Petals and they have the most divine designer dresses and they're gorgeous and unique. They're all final sales too, but GOD they're gorgeous. You wouldn't want to return them. I like the dress you chose. It's very pretty.

lacochran's evil twin said...

Bilbo: No, no! You miss my point entirely. I want him to be completely honest and I count on him to do so! But if the saleslady has already declared it FABulous on me it's awkward for him to declare it DREADful and not get into a throw down with saleslady. Why would I want him to lie only for me to be the butt (har, har) of jokes later? That's why we've developed intricate signals. It took years to develop. Very hushhush.

CH20210: Thanks. It was the best of the > 30 I tried.

Narm: Hubby prefers Lil Kim from the VMA days, complete with Diana giving her a jiggle.

Rs27: That's your life, not mine. (Note to self: Show no one else this picture due to inevitable unflattering comparison.)

Kristin: Me, too! And, thanks.

GreenCanary said...

Does the faux bed come with the dress? Because a faux bed would totally seal the deal for me.

lacochran's evil twin said...

I think the faux bed goes with the model (purchased separately).

restaurantrefugee said...

The last time I was tasked with aiding in formal dress shopping we had to tell the sales woman to shut her pie hole and get away from us. Everything from her mouth was all sweetness and light. After we both agreed on THE dress and THE sheer mid-thigh trench style wrap that was the most logical accessory ever, we hated that this snake-oil saleswoman got the commission.

lacochran's evil twin said...

At least she got away from you. Some sales-droids are unshakable.

LivitLuvit said...

Lurve the dress! Perfect shoes are definitely required... silver? (I'm a sucker for some bling.)

lacochran's evil twin said...

Livitluvit: Thanks. Decisions, decisions! :)

Tina said...

Fab dress - and I agree on the bling shoes. I am sure you will be Mhauvoulus Dhaling...

My hubby fortunately has very good taste - I let him dress me for anything important - I totally missed out on the fasion sense gene along with make up application.

lacochran said...

Tina: Thanks. At least you had the good taste to pick him!

charlotteharris said...

Saw this post quoted in the Express Print Edition - very cool ;-)

And no matter what a chore it was, at least you weren't at the bridal store shopping for a bridesmaid's dress!

lacochran said...

CharlotteHarris: Wow. Twice in a week. When do I get my Express pay check? Thanks for the heads up... I don't read it regularly and would have had no idea.

Yes, bridesmaidism is often the stuff of nightmares!

Bethany said...

We were both featured in Express yesterday! How cool is that?? Your post is hilarious!

lacochran said...

Bethany: Congrats! I hope you are feeling better. Your post was touching and insightful. Oh, and not only do I love the faux-hawk on Stella but I think the name Stella is fab! Very 1930s! Classic!