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Saturday, June 5, 2010

Fitting Rooms are My Ninth Circle of Hell

I've been shopping a lot lately. For those of you who know me, you understand that this is significant. I'm notoriously not the best shopper ever. Or the most eager.

But, I'm working in Connecticut again this summer and want to feel more like a lady than I did last year, during which I never seemed to have quite the right thing to wear on nights off. So I've spent a lot of time collecting summer dresses that will last through the physical demands this work will put me under, as well as keep me comfortable and cool.

I'm also planning a small birthday party mid-month and wanted something new and fun for that.

And last night, I stayed awake until 330 AM, worrying about what I could wear to the staff party at the end of the summer.

For somebody who not only already owns more dresses than I ever wear and who outright dislikes shopping on most days, I've probably tried on more than forty dresses in the last month. Nothing seems to be fitting me lately.

My goal today, as I reluctantly headed to Macy's in a last-ditch effort, was to find a comfortable pair of black flipflops (which have mysteriously been eluding me for weeks, until I resorted to a pair of Crocs--DO NOT JUDGE) and a suitable party dress that I could wear to both my birthday party and the staff party.

Now, I have chronicled my complicated relationship with clothes before. We have a checkered history together.

But I was bound and determined to leave with a dress that at least fit me right and wasn't ugly or over about $50.

I swept through the dress racks, taking every dress that didn't make my eyes fall out or make me gag between the sizes of 8 and 12.

My first round in the fitting room took me about half an hour, and I had to endure loud Chinese women through the entire ordeal. By the time I'd tried on over six dresses, I was sweating and feeling faint. And then, suddenly, my hip got a cramp.

Shopping is hard work.

But still no dress.

I wandered the floor again, limping with my sore hip, and prepared to fail.

I took a tour of the entire floor, and resorted to the Juniors' department, which, at almost 27 years old, is finally beginning to feel wrong. And also, what's with the odd numbers?

Another six dresses into the fitting room with me, and another loud conversation in a foreign language to overhear.

It's amazing how your standards shift when you're shopping for hours.

I was almost convinced I could pull off a black and white stretchy tube dress. It was $60 and seemed like the best option.

Until I tried on the last dress.

I looked at it and thought, "If this isn't it, I'm leaving, and I'll just wear a Tshirt and jeans to the parties."

It has a white bodice with thick straps, a large black belt, and a pleated royal blue skirt. And, while it's not PERFECT, I know it will make me feel pretty for two nights. And that's worth the $41 it cost, for sure.

Besides, I certainly wasn't leaving Macy's with just Crocs as evidence I'd survived.


gilsonwalker said...

Oh how I can relate to your dress search. I have done WAY too much shopping for my anniversary party dress, but finally found the right one after purchasing and returning around 8 dresses. But of course it didn't stop there. Then it was shoes, jewelry, ... I thought about makeup too, but I'm too damn tired of shopping.

Love you Annie! And love your blog as always.

Annie said...

So excited to see you! I'm sure you will look amazing. That's the thing, though, it doesn't really matter if EVERYONE thinks you look amazing. You (and I) have to feel amazing in the dress too. Sigh. That's too much to ask sometimes.

At least, I know what I'm wearing to YOUR party!!!

StephE said...

Congratulations on your dress purchase! I am glad that you were rewarded in a way for your suffering. I also love that you got Crocs. One of my favorite pair of dress sandals are Crocs. After mocking Jon for wearing Croc clogs, he bought me the sandals as an example of how not all Crocs are ugly. I still mock him for the clogs but I love the sandals!

Annie said...

unfortunately, these crocs are ugly. but they're really comfortable and that's what i'll need this summer.

thanks for the comment, steph!

Claire Marie said...

The dress sounds great! You should post a picture... and I hope the party is worth the effort. ;)

Annie said...

thanks, claire! i'm sure there will be a picture or two from the part(ies).

catherine said...

You don't give yourself enough credit, that dress is phenomenal and you got a great deal! But I understand the struggle, shopping is not for everyone.

Annie said...

thanks, lady!!