Saturday, May 12, 2012

Fashion Rant

When my friend Marilyn told me I was a month late looking for a mother-of-the-bride dress, I choked on my tortilla soup and made plans to drive to Nordstrom the next day.

I did a little pre-tripping on the website.

There are a lot of ugly dresses out there. A lot. In fact, they outweigh the non-ugly 50 to 1.

When I asked my bff Joyce if dress designers are all misogynists, she said yes.

Joyce knows fashion.

Pleats? Swirls of mauve vomited across the bodice? Random beads? Sleeveless?

This is not a look I am striving for.

The dress below is in the Mother of the Bride department. Clearly a typo. They meant step-mother of the bride. She graduated, what, two years after the bride?

Sleeveless? Gathered skirt? A great look for someone who is tall, hasn't had a sandwich since 1990 and knows from articulated arms.

In short, wrong, wrong and all wrong.

I am not a shopper because it is agony to browse beyond jeans and black pants.

My bride, however, is not keen on either of those looks.

Enter Rita, of Nordstrom Dresses. A stylish, thin woman of a certain age who knew the inventory and directed me to a dress that may actually work (particularly if I'm wearing body armor underneath.)

She is frantically looking for my size in this dress:

(I look just  like this.)

It comes in a dark navy.

I have hope.

And I love Rita.

I emailed her managers to tell them how much I loved her, her calm, her insight and personal service. We are definitely inviting her to the wedding.

So, what's your experience with dress shopping? Anyone else recognize the huge gap between what's on the hanger and what looks good on real bodies?



Pondside said...

You hit a nerve here! I am a survivor of the great MOB dress hunt. Two countries, three big cities and countless unflattering mirrors. I came home from Seattle (Nordstrom's) with a dress that was SO not me that it made me weep. The only thing I can say is that I was exhausted from a day of trying on dresses and was finally intimidated by the rake-thin, clench-teeth saleslady in the impossibly high stilletos.
In the end I found a beautiful coral silk suit - fitted dress with well-made, fitted jacket. It feels like me - no big draperies, no gathers, no glitter. I feel as though I finally escaped the conspiracy to make the MOB look like Veronica's mother in the Archie comics.
Good luck! If you're within striking distance of a Canadian city, I recommend the Jacques Vert boutique in the Hudson Bay stores.

noexcuses said...

I haven't shopped for MOB dresses YET, but my day will come. I can attest to, after leaving Nordstrom, feeling like a million dollars! I go in there just to be pampered! I know my day will come...and I will think about it then!

Good post! I love your pics!

Carol said...

The dress you picked out is gorgeous. I am a fan of the show "What Not to Wear", a show dedicated to making regular women, not emaciated clothes hangers, look and feel fabulous. They would definitely give your dress a big thumbs up.

Kathy and Freddy said...

That is a great dress. I only wish I had found something like that ...I bought and returned countless dresses. Why on earth are they all sleeveless???
One tip---I refused to wear the Spanx because I thought I looked ok. Not so, once the photos came!

Lynn said...

I actually own that dress, but in a different color, which I purchased at Nordstrom's (Clay actually picked it out). It is perfect and it is comfortable too. Hello Gorgeous!!!

Nancy said...

It is not just MOB dresses that are impossible. Every woman, after a certain age, has that horrid arm flab. (Doesn't someone call them "tharms"? Thigh + arm) I do not care how much she works out! So, go anywhere, anytime of year, and try to find a nice dress that has sleeves. Or at least a dress that comes with its own matching jacket or sweater so that it actually goes together nicely. I hate clothes shopping! It is an exercise in frustration!

Sharon said...

I actually tried that dress on in blue for Mother of the Groom!

Jenny said...

I am still laughing at the articulated arms part of your post!

Lovely dress! I hope, hope, hope they get it for you! It looks perfect!

Splendid Little Stars said...

sorry. no solutions. I hate dress shopping!

Jody Moreen said...

I love the dress you chose- I too am a mother of the groom in 6 weeks and am just beginning the dress shopping- I DO NOT want to wear any of those matronly outfits that make you look OLD and old-fashioned and frumpy! Where are the shops that have classic styles that are plain and simple- not gaudy and ridiculous/cocktail party dresses???