dress you up in my love

So a friend is getting married in two weeks, in a spectacular concert venue in San Francisco, and I am starting to think about arranging for someone to care for my Fangor, thinking about making a packing list, about planning outfits for planned outings. And starting to panic about the dress for the wedding. This is not something that is usually a problem, or very dramatic or full of magnificent hair-tearing. But this time, I am pretty sure I am going to end up at the venue wearing a tuxedo T-shirt and yoga shorts, carrying a bunch of balloons.

Here is the dramatic saga: The first dress, a find, from J. Crew! Very much on sale and pretty much perfect–elegant, leopard patterned shift dress in silk twill. Size too small, but I took a chance and pounced on it. I waited a week and a half and then called, and they said woops! We’re out of those! We have totally cancelled your order without telling you. I grumbled and was cross, but I had plenty of time.



Out of curiosity, I peeked back at the site–and there it was! On more
sale! In a size that would totally fit me! It came so quickly! It was a
sack. A sad, ironic sack of silk twill. I looked like the world’s most
expensive match girl. That dress, seeing as how it was on clearance
and is unreturnable, is sitting on the floor of my apartment, a
monument to the great evils of vanity sizing, waiting for me to figure
out what the hell I’m going to do with it.

Dress two: marigold yellow nanette lepore in a beautiful silk linen
blend, and on so-great sale, and appeared at my house within a matter
of minutes–seriously, ninjas burst from my freezer with a package
marked “Urgent!” and I stripped down and climbed in and zipped up and
was so excited because it fit, like a glove. A sexy, sexy glove. It was
a spectacular color, even though it was yellow! I could wear it again
at the formal Christmas party at E’s work and I think I will wear black
shoes and what is this? Did it not zip all the way? It must be stuck.
On the imaginary seam. It is not going up. This must be some kind of
crazy mistake. I packed up the dress and took it with me to meet E for
dinner, and made him wait while I changed in his work bathroom and came
padding out and demanded he zip me up.

“It’s not zipping, baby,” he said. “Nooooooo!” I wailed. “It’s very
nice,” he offered. “It’s just–it doesn’t zip all the way up.” Because
my ribcage is freakishly large and outsized and made of LIVING EVIL. I
packaged my beautiful dress up and sent it back, scrawling hopefully on
the invoice: Can be exchanged for one size up, please? Please
exchange yes please SAY YES. They refunded my money last week.

Dresses three through seven: two hours at the mall, trekking from store
to store, from Amish Town (J. Jill and Ann Taylor) to Hoochie Town
(holy crap, Bebe and Arden B. are hilarious…and stretchy). I spent 45 minutes with a nice lady at Banana Republic and a cavalcade
of pretty dresses, trying them on and taking them off, her assuring me
that they were lovely, me wishing she’d find someone else to help
because I felt guilty about taking up all her time and like I had to
buy a dress just to repay her. I didn’t.

Dresses eight and nine: things, getting ridiculous, and time running
out. Me, getting impatient and a little worried. Why is this hard? It
ought not be hard. Beautiful Anthropologie dress in a beautiful color:
incredibly, weirdly heavy, weirdly damp-feeling jersey. And I look
stupid. Next! Beautiful silver wrap dress, makes me look like I’m
wearing a beautiful silver trash bag. Send it back.

My last resort, a red sheath dress, is heading this way now, and if it
does not work out, I am going to be flying into San Francisco and
trying to convince friends that the way we should totally catch up
and enjoy each other’s company is by watching me fly from store to
store, trying dresses on and maybe crying a little bit. Please cross
your fingers for my dress?

  7 comments for “dress you up in my love

  1. jessica
    September 15, 2008 at 1:37 pm

    Can you have any of them tailored? Particularly the one that won’t zip — usually a good seamstress can let out the seam a little bit and get you at least another 1/2 inch!

  2. anon
    September 15, 2008 at 1:46 pm

    I wish you good luck, I do, for I know from personal experience exactly how this goes.

    But surely you have (you should…you must!) a little black dress in your closet?

    I mean, yes, you want the special/stellar/wow dress that you bought to celebrate just this very wedding, but for occasions when you can’t find it and time has run out, there is always the mandatory little sexy black number hanging in your closet, yes?

    Just waiting to be made special/stellar/wow with fancy costume jewelry and knock ’em dead heels and a tres chic wrap (you can afford fancy accessories when you didn’t have to spend money to buy the dress!)

    The little black dress in my closet has seen many, many a fancy occasion when I couldn’t find The Special Dress and didn’t want to spend a ton of money on a dress that wasn’t It. So out came the little black number and off I went to buy an adorable bag and sexy earrings and so on….

    By the way, what’s up with all your SF friends waiting until you moved out of state before they got hitched?! :)

  3. September 15, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    Maybe a skirt and top? An evening-quality black pencil skirt, with some kind of shimmery bit of thing on top? Have you considered that route? Something to think about, anyway…

  4. M.
    September 15, 2008 at 3:59 pm

    Have you tried Bluefly.com?

    Also, BCBG outlets are da bomb. BCBG isn’t Amish or Hoochie. Usually it’s very tasteful and quite pretty. Dunno about fit, because I don’t have boobs or an hourglass figure (read: much of a ribcage) so dunno if it would work on you.

  5. September 15, 2008 at 4:53 pm

    This doesn’t happen to be the wedding of my friend Valentine, which I will be attending in 2 wks in San Francisco, is it? No, it couldn’t be. That’d be too big a coincidence…

  6. Anne
    September 15, 2008 at 5:03 pm

    Jessica: I wish I had time to see if I could have had it tailored! Instead, I had to send it back–only 3 days turnaround time, for clearance items.

    anon: I don’t, actually, have a little black dress! I am thinking my fallback plan of attack is to just go ahead and get one, for this time around and future times around. Multitasking!

    mare: I try that, and every time, I look weird. For some reason, the fancy skirt/fancy shirt thing never works on me. But I may try again this weekend.

    M: Heh, I had a red vera wang dress sitting in my bluefly cart for an hour while I debated. I think bluefly’s a little too spendy for me, in general. But I longed.

    Pamela: ha! That would have been awesome. But no!

  7. M.
    September 16, 2008 at 12:14 am

    Yeah, I’ve never done bluefly, although I have looked at it to get ideas. I’ve never bought from them for the same reason you haven’t… :-P

    There was a picture you posted somewhere of yourself in an awesome dress with purple shoes. It was a v-neck, kind of shiny-ish, I don’t remember really. Post it again? But you looked killer! If I remembered correctly and it’s still in your closet, you can change it up. All you need is a wide belt in a good color to wear over the dress where it’s articulated at your natural waist (makes you look taller, accentuates your waist and curves, very retro, and gives you the option of adding color or texture), you clearly have great shoes (if not purple, you likely have other awesome ones), choose a good necklace, earrings, maybe a cuff bracelet or bangles, purse, and you’re ready to go. Rawk.

    The only new thing you might need is the belt. But you can wear it over a tunic length anything or even over a 3/4 length coat when it gets cold to make it go farther.

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