Sunday, May 12, 2013

Outfit of the Day--Mother's Day 2013

I think that there's a general consensus among a lot of my friends that when I chose to major in history and English, it was a mistake. Not because I didn't love both of those things and not because I wasn't smart in both of those things. It's just that they think (and I tend not to disagree with them) that I really should have majored in fashion design and merchandising. As to why I didn't....well, that's a hard one. Part of it has to do with who I was when I was a tween/teen. Although I was often drawn to unique and one of a kind outfits, I was WAY to concerned with fitting in to actually wear any such thing. Oh, I had the occasional unique ensemble, but mostly I steadfastly clung to the idea that fitting in--at least with regards to my clothes--was a far better plan than standing out. To the point that it never even occurred to me that there was a whole world, a whole CAREER, where the PURPOSE was to look cool and cutting edge and maybe even help others do so as well.

That all being said, on the few occasions when I wanted to wear something different than everyone else, the lady who facilitated it was my mom. Which is one of the reasons that Mother's Day and today's outfit are a perfect platform for a reboot of a daily clothing post. Because like so many gals, my biggest fashion influence is my mom. This is a lady who facilitated my desire for: tweed knickers when I was seven, painted hair ribbons when I was nine, an entire new wardrobe when I was ten and started at a new school (even thought she knew the things I was buying were NOT my style at all and just my attempt to look mid-80s "cool"), wearing Keds without laces when I was twelve and a Rush wardrobe that was so awesome I STILL wear a couple of the dresses 20 years later. She has an uncanny ability to walk into a store that is TEEMING with customers and walk straight to the sales rack and find the most unique and spectacular piece on it. She taught me how to shop consignment and even better, how to shop thrift. If you can't find it in a store, she can probably make it (or knows how to find someone who can). I wish I had access to all of the family photo albums so I could show you her awesome clothes from the 60s and 70s. Alas, you'll just have to take my word for it.

What I wore today involves my mom, a consignment shop, her uncanny ability to find awesome stuff and a hilarious story.

Here's the deal with consignment shopping: There are consignment shops where you can tell they are super-selective about what they take to sell. There are consignment shops that have some truly amazing pieces, mixed in with rack after rack of relatively non-descript things from stores like The Gap. There are consignment stores where the staff is lovely and friendly. And there are consignment stores where the staff acts snootier than those ladies that snub Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. The one where I got the dress I'm wearing today is on the super-selective side--but not the toniest I've ever been to--and DEFINITELY on the snooty side.

Last summer, my mom and I were shopping there and she pulled out the dress. It's colors I don't usually wear--tan and yellow--mixed with a color a love--purple--but would never think meshed together. However, it turned out to be absolutely precious and I got it. The story, though, isn't about that. It's about the signs. This store has signs up that admonish you that if you try on clothes in sizes that are too small and you rip them or break the zipper, you'll have to pay for them. I first want to clarify that the dress I tried on was NOT too small. It was a size 8. I wear a size 4. I just wanted to see if the color, which I'm not naming to protect the innocent (because I feel sure that a store clerk from an unnamed shop is going to figure it out and hunt me down where I live, which is something like 10 states away. Or something like that.), would work and if it did, would it be possible to take the dress in. As it turns out the color was fine, but my Fashion Advisor (read: Mother) said that taking it in would be a chore because of embroidery issues. So, I go to take it off. Now, know that side zipper on dresses are the bane of my life. They are fussy and persnickety and tend to get stuck at the waist. Which this one did. Only usually, I can either zip it all the way down and start over (if I'm putting it ON) or zip it back up to the top and ease it down (if I'm undressing). Not this zipper. It. Was. Stuck. I don't mean that fabric was caught in the teeth or that it was hanging on the seam between the bodice and the skirt. I mean that this zipper REFUSED to move in either direction at about an inch above the waist. Now, since it was two sizes too big, I could move it around my waist to work on it. Nothing. And even two sizes too big in the waist wouldn't go over my chest and shoulders (to say nothing of my hips). Worse still? It was about 105 degrees outside and when I asked for a dressing room, Snotty Shop Girl languidly informed me that the air-conditioning in that section kept freezing up and stopping so it was really hot back there. And she wasn't kidding. Maybe...MAYBE on a February day when I wasn't sticking to my own clothing, I could have inched it over my head. But this was just impossible. So I called for reinforcement. And after ten minutes of working with the zipper and trying to get it over my head, my mother was like, "Okay...were going to have to pop the zipper off the teeth." And of course I freak out, because I don't want to have to pay for the dress and you could just TELL that the girls working were the kind who would love to call someone chubby and make them pay--whether it was there fault or not. And my mom, who is AWESOME, said, "Don't be crazy. You're not paying for it. This is a cheap plastic zipper. The dress isn't too tight. I'm going to take the toggle off the teeth. You're going to take it off. I'm going to take it back and hang it up. You are going to pay for the things you're buying. And that's the end of it." I know...it's awful. I should feel bad. But here's the thing...whoever bought that dress was going to have to replace the zipper. It wasn't a good quality and it was going to get stuck. I just helped in letting them know that BEFORE they bought the dress and took it home. There...that is my horrible person confession of the day.

In other news...
Dress:consigned; Sweater:Target (2009); Purse: Marley Lilly; Shoes: Target (now).

1 comment:

laurabeth1976 said...

It's so important to find good summer clothes. I love your outfit. I just bought some great new clothes for the warmer weather at Burlington. They have great prices and I love the new dress I bought.