Dress Quest 2010

Three weeks ago, I posted about the agony of finding the perfect dress for my sister’s upcoming wedding.  I talked about the bevy of stores I’d been visiting in person and online, and briefly mentioned the swing towards HOOCH many modern bridesmaid dresses have taken.  As Maid of Honor, it was imperative I find the right dress.  My sister didn’t want something too formal, but being an evening affair it couldn’t be casual either.  She wanted it to be blue, preferably lighter in color, and shortish.  No small order, given most of the dresses I was finding were 1) not blue, and 2) too short for someone as tall as me.  To compound matters, I’d found dresses for my daughters in a pale ice blue – a great color but uncommon – and wanted to try to match mine to theirs.

I am not being dramatic when I say finding this dress was akin to being forked repeatedly in the eye whilst receiving electroshock.  I spent hours online, cruising websites till my buns was numb.  I went from store to store to store, trying on anything that could even remotely work, regardless of price or quality.  If it was blue, I put it on.  Most of what I found was horrific.  Cheap fabrics, poor cuts, too short, too skimpy, too bad.  A few dresses were lovely, and of course those were inevitably wrong, in whatever way.  One was too casual – and waaaaaay too expensive.  Another just too big – and past season.  No smaller size available.  A couple fit fine but were boring beyond belief.  With each passing day my frustration and sense of desperation grew palpably greater, and I was sleeping poorly at night.  Rather than dream, shades of blue would wash over me like waves, till it was time to start looking again.

And then it happened.  I’d practically given up when SHE arrived in the mail.  One look and I knew.  The right size, the right fit.  The silk chiffon was featherweight – no way would I be sweltering in the Georgia heat.  Okay, she was dark, and long, but she was CLASSY.  Formal without feeling stiff, flowy and feminine and beautiful.  The minute I put her on, I felt like a princess.  FINALLY! a dress to do my sister proud.  I’d never have imagined it, but I knew she was the one.

Don’t I scream Matro(fu)n of Honor?  YOU KNOW I DO!!  And it even looks great with the shoes I’d bought!  Even though it’s so long no one will ever even see them!  YAY!!

Now, having survived this experience, I would like to share some of my newly-acquired shopping knowledge so that others may be spared a margin of agony in their own quests.


J.Crew may have nice looking clothes, but they have the very worst shipping policy of any company I found.  I ordered from them twice.  On both occasions I bought two dresses, each weighing roughly 16 paperclips.  The first time they charged me $17.50 to ship.  You heard me right.  SEVENTEEN DOLLARS AND FIFTY CENTS to ship mere ounces of fabric.  And of course the dresses didn’t work and had to be shipped back – for an additional $7.50.  That happened not the one time, as I mentioned, but twice.  I told myself it’d be okay.  Well, you know what, J.Crew, it’s not okay.  Your dresses were labeled special occasion but you lied.  They looked like office wear.  And it’s not right to charge 4 times what a normal office dress would cost, plus an extra effing dress for shipping.  BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!  (I am so sickened by this whole thing, I can’t even open my eyes – PS: the copier is broken and someone drank the last of the coffee)


If you’re seeking nice footwear for any occasion, Nordstrom ROCKS.  Cutest shoes ever, great price, and the BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE!! I ordered online, shoes arrived – mine fit, Maddie’s fit, but Georgia’s were way too big.  I called them up, Adam (my rep) placed an exchange order for me immediately, which arrived tout de suite and fit perfectly.  Oh, and no shipping charge either.


I like Macy’s.  They may have a pretty limited selection of formal wear in my local Portland store, but their website stocks it all.  The orders arrived quickly and without issue.  Free shipping (at least for me).  Can you guess where the Dress came from?  OOooh I feel preeeety, ooh so preettty, and … A+


Bluefly is a neat website and makes me wish I had buckets of money to spend.  Their packaging was great.  My dress came wrapped in tissue in a nice Bluefly bag and everything.  Just like I’d been at their store (which I don’t think exists, but still..) Nice touch.  Their return policy left something to be desired, as I was forced to print out a return slip.  You know I kept the bag as compensation.


Like.com is cool. You type in just what you’re looking for, color, style and POOF! there is it, up on the screen.  Little thumbnail pix collected from sellers across the internet.  Simply scroll down and eyeball the selection.  Easy breezy!

So, that’s it for now.  I would say I’ll post more shopping knowledge as I acquire it, but now that I’ve found the dress I am avoiding retailers at all costs.  So instead I will leave you with a parting shot of me & the Dress.  Proof (at least to me) that God exists & loves me more than imaginable.  Amen.