13 November 2008

Dress shopping hell

In case you were wondering, I hate dress shopping. This is not a regular activity for me, as I rarely have occasion to wear dresses (other than hippie dresses that I can wear while chasing Doodle or riding my bike). The occasion prompting my latest dress hunt? My mother-in-law's wedding, which is occurring a week from Saturday. I have eight days to find a dress before we leave for the wedding destination. AAAAAAH!

This is why I'm struggling:
1) I'm a cheapskate. I hate the idea of spending $80+ on some crappily-assembled chiffon and sequin ugliness that I'll only wear once or twice.
2) Our local thrift stores are not helping me AT ALL. They offer lots of kindergarten-teacher-from-the-90's garb or the occasional size zero summer dress. Not much else.
3) I hate shopping, especially when those stupid dressing room mirrors make me realize how much my body has changed in the past few years and how my boob perkiness level will never be quite the same.
4) Have I mentioned my high standards mixed with cheapskateness? This is really not working well for me. *le sigh*

Any suggestions? I've tried Kohls - found one dress that was kinda meh. Haven't tried Dillards or Penney's yet. Those are the only other department stores we have. I guess I can look at the little mall shops. I really don't want to go into one of the Women's Boutiques downtown, as they specialize in outfitting the age 50+ ladies in the community and I'm really not shooting for the Relief Society President look (no offense, ladies, but you know what I mean).

Any ideas for even a style of dress to shoot for? The wedding is at 2pm on a casino riverboat in Nevada. Mother of the bride says we should dress nice, probably no pants for me. Added complication: Doodle is still breastfeeding on occasion. So ideally it wouldn't be something that I have to unzip or completely disrobe in order to nurse her. A skirt could work, but I need a nice top then too. Don't want anything with too busy of a pattern, as we'll probably be in some pics. Solid colors ask for Doodle to smear food on them, which stands out badly. GAH!

Any advice would be awesome. (Oh, and if you include footwear advice with your dress advice you get double the virtual hugs/cookies).



Amy said...

Oh come on Kristal, the age 50+ stores aren't your style or looking like a molly mormon wouldn't suit you?!!!! Just kiddin'! I would try the stores in the mall. As for shoes, are your shoes from Maya's Corner really hammered on, cause before I couldn't bend down, I wore those to church, those should work. I know Melanie gets a lot of her skirts and tops at Kohl's or Shopko. Those are my suggestions. Good luck. I'm like you and don't like shopping for dresses.

Karin said...

Hehe, I have absolutely no help to offer you. I hate dress shopping with a venom that is unbecoming and outside my normal realm of animosity. ;-) ditto on the body changing and still trying to figure out what my new beautiful is(and I've had lots more time than you to get used to it). The only thing I can say is that my mom has a "closet" of dresses in a range of sizes that are dresses my sisters and I never wore very often, but "pooling" them together means a veritable store of ugliness that we can call on in a pinch. Some are more dressy than others (think high school dance leftovers). Unfortunately, I think the smallest ours go is 6ish. Maybe someone you know has something similar. Talk to a couple of friends that are the same size vicinity as you and see if they have anything you can borrow. I notice that my expectations approach more realistic heights when I am not the one shelling out money. :-)

And of course, there's always the option of sewing something, but then you'd have to sew *real* fast. :-)

Kim said...

You need a wrap dress. I don't know where to find one, as I never get to go shopping for myself.

I agree with you, I don't want the RS President kind of dress either.

Daktari said...

Suggestion #1. Borrow a dress.

Suggestion #2. When it comes to shopping for clothes that I will only wear on special occasions, I have one rule: timeless classic style that will span the ages. I have a basic black, elastic waist stretch cotton calf length skirt that goes with freakin' everything. Also, I have one that is a more sophisticated knee length black skirt, still with an elastic waist but made of polyester blend (I think), both are so comfortable you can't imagine. For a really classly look, partner that with a black turtleneck shirt/sweater and a lighter colored jacket. Everyone looks classy in a black turtleneck, and the jacket will lighten the look.

Ok, so all black at a wedding might be thought rude. I'm a big fan of those stretchy, fitted tops that Penneys and Kohls always seem to have a great selection of. I wore the upscale black skirt + a pink fitted top to Bek's wedding and got nothing but compliments. (Of course, I worried all day that someone was going to compare me to a Good n' Plenty candy box, but--hey! it never happened!!!)

Shoes. I learned long ago that you need only one pair of dress shoes. These should be all leather, extremely comfortable and built to last. Black only. The pair that I settled on were Hush Puppies. Comfortable, even for dancing.

If you insist on a dress and nothing else will do, follow the earlier rule: go with a classic fit and style and you can't lose. Think of something along the lines of Jackie Kennedy or Audrey Hepburn. In fact, google "Jackie Kennedy fashion" or "Audrey Hepburn fashion" and you can get scads of images with ideas. Of course, I am a big fan of stylish clothes with sleek lines. But I'll be honest, I think this style looks good on just about any shape or size.

Hope it is of some help.