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Dress shopping

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Though I am interested in the US election, there’s nothing I can do about it, and I really have nothing to add to the huge, huge cacophony of voices on it.

So this is a politics-free post. About dresses.

This year, I decided to shop for a new Christmas dress. I’ve avoided having to do this for a number of years now, thanks to dresses acquired for other occasions (weddings) or on a whim (vacation) or so long at the back of the closet they’ve come back into style (more or less).

But this year, a new option seemed in order. It had been so long since I’d deliberately gone out dress shopping that I wasn’t sure where to go, but it turns out the web is pretty handy source for that sort of information. Chateau style was just not me, Bay just had too many options, Cleo not enough, Fairweather’s website sucks… But Laura looked good. So that is where I went.

Only… It turned out to be a factory outlet, so not too many of the dress styles I’d noted were actually available. Still, there were a lot of dresses, all neatly organized by size.

I grabbed some, tried them on, and found a pattern emerging: The dresses fit (good), didn’t look terrible (good)… But none were that great, either. I wasn’t too excited about any, and certainly couldn’t settle down to one.

But I didn’t want to have to find another store to shop in either (did I mention that though I do quite like dresses, I’m not overly fond of shopping, per se)? So back to the racks I went, picking out a few more options. I nearly ignored the sparkly, poofy prom / bridesmaids dresses, except… One sort of called to me. So what the heck. It joined the pile.

Round 2 in the dressing room went a little better, confirming that only one dress from Round 1 was really worthwhile. It fit well, flattering the figure, and had a fun color scheme. But it just didn’t seem quite dressy enough for Christmas, you know? It looked like this:

Black, red, and pink dress

Round 2 also included this flapper-style dress in a striking royal blue, which the saleslady said was quite popular this season. It was probably the most comfortable dress I tried on. It of course has that straight style, but it didn’t look bad on me. On the hanger, it looks like this:

Blue flapper dress

And then, there was the confection dress. Mauve, short, poofy, a bit sparkly… And completely adorable. Fit perfectly. Very flattering, really, as it hugged my thinner parts and poofed out over my thicker ones. Ended just above the knee, covering thigh, showing calf, all good.

I kind of loved it. But I also kind of thought I was 20 years too old to wear it.

Did I mention I was shopping alone? So except for the very busy salesladies, I had no one who could give me a second opinion here.

And at factory outlets? All sales are final. And, there aren’t multiple copies of each dress. Mostly, it was one, maybe two left. If you leave it, you might lose it.

On the other hand… At a factory outlet? Prices are way lower!

So you know how this story ends. I went shopping for one dress, and I now have three. Hey, I ballroom dance, I go to fancy restaurants… I’ll have opportunity to wear them. (You hear my justification.) Plus, all three together were less than the price of many of the new ones I was considering.

That night, I modeled them all for Jean, to see which he thought I should wear to his company Christmas party. This was his pick:

Mauve dress

So I’m thinking… a black throw of some kind, black hose—maybe with the seam up the back, if I can find that—and a cool bracelet. Even though I find bracelets annoying.

And quite importantly: Fresh dye job on the hair. Because this is not a dress that will go well with gray roots.

One thought on “Dress shopping

  1. Your third dress is the same material and colour my cousin wore as the maid-of-honour at her sister’s wedding in October…the dress was just longer. Beautiful dress….all three are beautiful!!

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