As I clung to my one little skirt, I set out to continue my needle-in-a-haystack search. I started in “dresses”. I found a really cute little black Ellen Tracy that was down from $180 to $75. But I could find that on a sale rack in my local department store back home. I grabbed it just in case since it was cute… maybe it would be an “add on” buy at the end of the day. Most of the rest of the dresses were pretty formal so I moved on in search of other items.
I gravitated toward the “European Couture” racks, giddy with anticipation. This would most likely be my mecca. Almost immediately I found an amazing lavender Vivienne Westwood Red Label suit… I checked the tag hoping against hope… it was my size! Well it was the European equivalent of my size…probably. I grabbed it up and hugged it to me. This was what I was here for. The skirt looked like it could be a little slender in the hips and the jacket was a little fashion forward even for me, but I was pretty sure I could make it work. I then checked the price. Amazing for what it was, the suit was marked down to $375.00. But that was still a fair amount to spend on something that I wasn’t sure about fit-wise (considering there was no way I was waiting 30 minutes for a fitting room). Especially something I wouldn’t be able to return. I pushed those thoughts to the back of my mind and continued on my quest.
I headed toward a rack marked Viktor and Rolf and delighted in just touching one of the amazing skirts. Even “marked down” they were still $1200 and I knew I’d never have anywhere to wear something that unique, but I let myself have the joy of simply holding one. As I placed it back on the rack, sighed happily and turned, it was then that I saw it… the Dolce & Gabbana dress I had come for. Of course I hadn’t known this ahead of time, but when I saw it I knew at once that was it – my trophy piece. The way you know the right man, the right wedding dress - I knew.
It was a beautiful cream, short-sleeved (slightly puffed), tailored, knee length dress with a low scoop neck all done in a beautiful twill. It was the perfect “wear anywhere” dress, from work to evenings out. And it was the kind of dress that would make a girl look the way she should. Even better, there were about four on the rack. I all but ran to grab my find lest someone else grab the very one I wanted… no, needed. I checked the price tag first – not any too worried actually. This dress was going home with me no matter the cost. Oh rapture – it was reasonable at $275.00! This was too good to be true. I glanced at the size of the one I was holding. It was the equivalent of an American size 2. That won’t work. No worry, there were three others on the rack. I checked the tag of the second – a size 4. Well we were going in the right direction. I checked the third tag. Another 2. Drat. Suddenly I realized we were down to one dress remaining. Saying a desperate prayer to the fashion gods, I took the tag in my hands and gently turned it over. Size 4. I blinked. It couldn’t be. They had to be wrong. Out of four dresses at least ONE had to be my size. Its just not fair.
Stunned, I stood there for a moment gathering my thoughts. Wisftully I grabbed one of the size 4’s and held it up to me – perhaps it was a generous 4. Yeahhhh nope. My hips were not compatible with those lines. Ok, I just had to think. Where there is a will there is a way. Think think think! Ok, I’ll just have to diet. That’s all. I can go down two dress sizes if I really try. And what better motivation? I can do it right!? Then that annoying little common sense voice nagged me from deep inside – I had only managed to go down one dress size in 10 weeks on Weight Watchers. At age 35 with a 1 year old at home there was little hope of ever being a size four again. But I just couldn’t give up. Maybe there was enough seam allowance to have it tailored. I grabbed the dress and held onto it – refusing to admit defeat. I heard the five-year-old inside of me saying “This is THE dress. I don’t want any other stinky dress. I want THIS dress!”
After an hour of picking through a fabric jungle trying to find “it” – not having any idea what “it” was – after dealing with cranky sales staff and even crankier patrons, after realizing that there was a good chance something wonderful may be out there somewhere that I would never find, and after finding my dream only to see it start to slowly unravel, my patience was wearing thin. Shifting my load from one arm to the other, I decided to go find Sarah. Maybe she had the skinny on some fabulous finds…
…to be continued.