Married to the Empire

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Christmas Shopping Frenzy Begins

Steven's company has a holiday party coming up the first weekend of December. This means dressing up. The invitation stipulates cocktail dress, which is exactly the sort of attire I don't own. With the exception of the Star Wars stuff and the fact that we work with teens, our lives are pretty boring. We're not partiers. We don't hang with the fast and fabulous. We don't tend to have reasons to go to things that require me to wear a cocktail dress. We're Baptists, after all.

I had to shop.

I went to the mall on Tuesday. Nothing says, "Let's honor our vets!" like big sales to try to make us spend money. Regardless of the crass nature of consumerism, I bit. If I have to buy a dress I'll likely only wear once, I might as well get it cheap.

I learned something while shopping: My body isn't intended for today's cocktail dresses. I spent 3 hours shopping, and it wasn't fun. I must have tried on 30 or 40 different dresses. It got to where I was just grabbing anything in my size in the hopes that it might be the one thing that looks nice on my short, but curvy figure. I started with the pretty, colorful stuff:

Nothing fit quite right. And some of the dresses were more revealing than my lingerie! I want to look nice, not like a stripper who managed to get a legitimate date. Oh my.

After trying on and rejecting way too many dresses, I finally narrowed things down to these 3:

I wound up buying the 2 solid black ones. I bought both because I couldn't decide, and I figured hose and shoes, plus my husband's opinion would help me decide which to keep. One was seriously discounted (from $160 to the $35 I actually paid after sales and a coupon from the newspaper), and the other was full-price at, um, much more.

Turns out, I'm keeping the one on the far right. Steven thought it was cuter and more fun-looking. The best part? It was the cheap one! I was feeling a little guilty at the cost of the other one, but it was just so flattering to my figure. Steven is actually in favor of my keeping both of them, as the other one isn't quite so cocktail-ish and could be worn to a wedding or the theater.

The responsible side of me thinks I should return the more expensive one. But part of me wants to keep it, too. Right now, the responsible side is winning.


Vader's Mom said...

I like them both, but tend to agree with you guys. The far right would be perfect for a Christmas Party, while the middle one seems more wedding/nice night out like.

I'd say if you can afford them, keep them both. If not - the keeper can still cover all bases. You just need a fun wrap :)

(But my responsible side and your responsible side must be related. I'd probably return it too.)

Beth said...

What pretty dresses! If you add the cost of the dresses together, and then divide by 2, do you come out with reasonable per dress prices? If you do, it might be worth keeping the second dress. Then you would have it, so when the need arises you don't have to shop again. I should do this, I am a SAHM of 3 boys and I never have anything dressy when I need it!

AnneK said...

I know exactly what you mean! Shopping for party dresses is such a pain for me too. Most of them made me look like a ho*ker. I love the ones you selected.

When I was shopping for the cocktail dress, I bought two also, but hubby also said to keep both! And I did. Although I was severely tempted to return it. Both are black and can be accessorized differently. I relly loved the black on the left. It looks really classy. But the other one would be great for a fun party too!

Catherine said...

I say keep the more expensive one (unless you need the cash now) and staple your receipt to the tag. Check out the return policy of the store and see how long you have to return it - if you don't wear it by then, take it back. :-)

becky s. said...

Your hubby and mine definitely *aren't* related. Mine thinks spending money on apparel is absolutely foolish, as long as you have something to cover your nakedness! LOL! I did *finally* get him to give me a clothing budget this year, after 12 years of marriage!

*carrie* said...

I hear you on that dilemma. I would feel the same way. I have a couple fancyish dresses that I never have occasion to wear anymore! Too bad I can't loan you one. Enjoy dressing up!

ann said...

They are both beautiful dresses!