Monday, April 23, 2018

My Great "Dress-capade"

The company I work for held its board meeting at the local plant this past week.  Normally the it's held at the corporate headquarters across the country.  The night before the meeting, the plant held a cocktail reception at a nearby hotel's conference room.  I've moved just enough up the food chain to get invited to it.

When I told Himself about it, he suggested I find a new dress for the occasion.  I have a number of dresses in my closet, but most didn't seem the right thing to wear.  Too formal.  Too casual.  Too boring.  Hasn't fit for a while.

Unfortunately, I found out about this event just a week before it was to occur.  Not a lot of time to find something appropriate.  And, I have specific requirements for a dress.  I'm not exactly small, so it has to come in plus sizes.  I prefer sleeves.  No bold or garish patterns.  I don't want anything short.  It should come at least to my knees, preferably below.

Do you know just how hard it is to find a dress in a week that meets all that?  

Close to impossible.

I stopped at a couple of stores nearby.  Nothing.  So we went online and started looking.  I found several dresses that I liked, but they wouldn't arrive in time.  Himself found the navy dress, but when I finally went to buy it, it was backordered, to July.

So on Tuesday, the day before the reception, I went to a few stores at lunchtime.  The first one I went to had exactly two dresses in the plus size department.  They were polyester, shapeless, and looked more like beach cover-ups.  The next store I went to was worse.  The had exactly one dress, a knit dress with a palm tree print on it that looked like it should be worn to a luau.  The last stop had me shaking my head.  I suppose if I was nineteen and going to a bar, the dresses might have been okay.  But, then again, not.  They were so short I don't think I could have bent over without giving an unwanted view to anyone who happened to be looking my way!

I was getting desperate.  On the way home a made a few more stops.  One store I stopped at had quite a few dresses.  But remember my sleeves requirement?  Only one dress in my size had sleeves.  And it fit.  And it came to my knees.  So I bought it.

I made two other stops, just in case I could find something better.  The one department store seemed to have nothing but "formal" dresses - sequins and beads and taffeta.  The other department store had a few from which to choose, but again, where are the sleeves?  I did find one with sleeves and it appeared to meet the knee length requirement, but the fitted, cross over bodice  provided a view of my bust that no coworker should ever see.

When I got home and showed Himself the dress I bought, I think he had the same thought I did - why did I buy it?  It was pretty blah and shapeless.  So, after all that I decided to return the dress and wear the boring black one that I already owned.

One would think the story ends there, but no.

On Wednesday I packed a bag with my dress shoes, pantyhose (two pairs), slip and jewelry.  The dress was transported on a hanger.

After work, I locked myself in my office and started getting ready.  I start putting the hose on and noticed a run.  Well, I congratulated myself, that's why you brought two pairs.  Just in case.  As I put the second pair on, you guessed it - another, and much longer, run. No!

Thankfully, I had a little time before the event started.  I decided to run to the store for new nylons.  I finished getting dressed and slipped my shoes on bare legged.  It wasn't comfortable, but it was just for a short time.

I had to go to two stores before I found what I was looking for.  I grabbed the package and dashed into the dressing room to put them on.  And I found why my foot was hurting so badly.  I had a large, bloody blister on my heel.

I didn't know whether I wanted to laugh or cry.  I limped out of the store, drove to the hotel, and headed straight to the bar!

I haven't decided if I am giving up on wearing dresses or if I am just going to start sewing them myself.



  1. It really is so hard to find a decent dress! Just finding something that comes to my knees or a little longer is difficult enough but adding sleeves to the mix, oy! Oh and finding something that doesn't put my bust on display is another challenge so, I feel yah. I usually try and work with what is out there by wearing a sweater or wrap for sleeveless dresses and wearing a camisole underneath anything that has a low neck line. Don't give up! There are dresses out there but there is a lot of hunting we have to do to find them :)

  2. I think all women could relate to this post. Even if I find the right style (which is rare), I'm often disappointed in how thin the fabric is these days. Or poorly sewn. I bet you could sew a lovely dress!