I tried on 28 dresses Saturday in a two and a half hour span. 28! I brought home 1. I’ve always enjoyed clothes shopping, until now. I don’t go that often, and thank goodness because the last two trips have been, pardon the phrase, a freakin’ nightmare. When you become a woman of a certain age, there are few stores that carry the right stuff for you. I am somewhere between Hot Topic and Sass shoes. I don’t want to look like my daughter, and I don’t want to look like my mother. I’m not ready for knit pants with elastic waistbands, but I don’t want to look like I’m trying to hard to appear young. My goal Saturday was to find two or three summer dresses that I could wear to work and church. My requirements were simple. I wanted something stylish, modest enough for those environments, not too expensive and comfortable enough to stand up to our stifling humidity. Apparently, that’s too much to ask for.
The first store turned up several beautiful dresses, but they were all $90 plus. I refuse to give that for a knit dress that cost about $8 to make. Do you know how many starving people in Africa could be fed for $90? I found a dress in the next store that fit perfectly and looked great. About three times in your life you find a dress that hugs your body just right and makes you feel special. This was one of those dresses. I was smokin’ in that dress. That NEVER happens, so I was quite smitten with that little rag. However, it was sex on a hanger, and I have absolutely no place to wear it. It would have been a total waste of money, so I stifled a tear and hung it back on the rack. Sorry, little black dress. I’ll miss you.
I trudged from store to store, trying on different styles and sizes. Nothing seemed quite right. One was so complicated I couldn’t even get it on. I got it wrapped around my neck and left arm and for about 5 seconds thought I was actually going to have to call the sales clerk for help in getting it off. Desperate, I even veered into the juniors section once and ended up in a baby doll style that looked like something you’d wear to a porn shoot. The problem was compounded by the fact that sizes vary from manufacturer, so I’m three different sizes depending on which store I’m in. I never know which one to grab off the rack. I know they’re trying to make me feel good by cutting sizes bigger than they used to, and that little size * incident in New York & Company did make me positively giddy for a few seconds. However, I know it’s all a big fat lie, and I would just love some consistency.
Oh, please Mister Dress Manufacturer, help me out. I know I’m not the only woman with this problem. I’m not interested in showing ¾ of my boobs and the bottom third of my butt cheeks. It’s just not appropriate at work. But I don’t want to be dowdy, matronly or plain. I want some style, a little bit of sass, something that says “over 40, but confident, fun and lively”. I do NOT want to scream “hoochie mama” or “grandma at Easter”. And while you’re at it, how about some shoes that don’t have a 4 inch heel? It’s really depressing to shop in the “Comfortable Missy” shoe section.
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