My son is getting married. Great happiness and joy! Yes, there's a young woman out there willing to take on my son. This means I need something to wear to the wedding. I've got three months to go, so this seemed like a good time to begin the torment, um, to begin looking. It's going to be a morning wedding at the end of March in North Carolina. This defines the choices nicely: not a long gown, something with a jacket to because the weather will be absolutely unpredictable. Dana's colors are light blue and, well, light blue. (She talked about having daffodils on the tables, too, but have you SEEN me in yellow? No, you haven't, and with good reason.) So I'm looking for something in blue or, if needs be, purple because I know that if I'm looking for something in blue, there will be nothing in blue.
I went to the spiffy stores first because this is an important occasion, and I am not going to be afraid to spend some money on it. Neiman Markus was a bust: there were long gowns for fancy soirees and short (very, very short – although, hmmm, not as short as I wore in the early 70s)) gowns for the young. There was one sleeveless dress that the saleswoman tried to pretend would coordinate with a bulky, dark blue, spangly jacket-- yuck -- and some severe suits -- bleh.
On to Sax Fifth Avenue. Most of their gowns were strapless or one shouldered so even shortened, they wouldn't work. There were two nice Kay Unger jacket dresses, the right length and, well, with jackets, but the colors were all wrong. It's still before Christmas, and the saleswoman told me to try again in January when the spring line came in with lighter hues. One possibility.
On my way out, I walked through the designer section. Glowing at me from a hanger was a Lila Rose V-neck silk in watercolor blues with an inverted pleat in the front. Lovely. Perfect. $1,295. Are you kidding me? $1,295? I know it's not everyone, but personally I would far rather (if this were the choice, which it's not) give Dana and David $1,100 or contribute $1,100 to the wedding and have a nice $200 dress. Hey, folks, a $200 dress is not chicken feed; it's not chopped liver, you know what I'm sayin'? It's a DRESS! Not only that, it's a dress I'M going to wear which means the possibility – no, the likelihood -- of tearing and staining. I'm not afraid to spend a little money on this dress, but there's no way I'm going to spend $1,295, not while I'm in my right mind.
I was going to try Nordstroms, but that would mean navigating Tyson's during the business lunch hour. I have to be far more desperate than I am here in December to face that. Instead I drove through Vienna and stopped at White Swan Bridal. I have a soft spot in my heart for the White Swan because when theat crummy and here-to-remain-nameless bridal store took the money for my daughter's wedding gown and then forgot about us, the White Swan did the alterations quickly and beautifully, working around the beading and even having the idea of putting two of the beautiful appliqués on her shoes. They had a wide selection of mother-of-the-bride (which I assume were also of-the-groom) dresses. All of them were floor length but could be shortened, and several had jackets. One was a dark blue sheath with a jacket that sported a low, ruffled neckline. It looked great on me, even smoothed out my tummy, but I'd be obligated to pay for it before ordering it, have it shortened and then hope it lived up to expectations. I wouldn't mind spending $500 on a dress (although alterations on top of that would hurt), but I'm leery of ordering one somewhat blind. Then, dresses from a bridal shop take from four to six months to com ein, although the girl assured me this one would come faster. Think about that: there are people who decide on and order their dress SIX MONTHS in advance? Who are these people? And what universe do they live in?
In one final splurge of energy, I drove over to Fair Oaks Mall and went to Lord and Taylor. Good old Lord and Taylor, where, ten years ago, in the last moments of panic I found an ensemble (I want to say "outfit," but, really, "ensemble" sound far chic-er, don't you think?) for Stephanie's wedding. I tried on a deep, pale blue (if that makes sense) faux-silk suit. It has a slight sheen to it, an A-line, knee length skirt. The jacket had a scooped neckline with panels rather like ruffles that aren't ruffles around the neck. Half price sale! Three months out, and dress anxiety is gone. I am free!
Oof, now I need a pair of heels.