Kelly In Catty

This blog is Kell's attempt to keep in touch with friends far away who complain that I don't e-mail nearly enough.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

How Not To Sell What Not To Wear

I'm back. And as you know, I've caved to my family's wedding plans... Including their desire for me to wear a fancy dress... (I thought wearing jeans for my living room wedding would be okay.... Ok, maybe not jeans, but surely my cool gray pants... with a cool silk shirt).

So at lunchtime today, I went to a bridal shop, and told the lady I was looking for a dress for an event. "What kind of event?" asked the sales lady. "Oh, just an event..." I really didn't want to get into the fact that I was guilted into standing in front of this woman because my sister believed proper wedding attire had nothing to do with personal style or even comfort...

Saleslady pointed me to the "events" rack - and focused her attention on another customer. As I scanned the racks, I was apalled... The bridal store forgot to stock sleeves! Not a stitch in that store was dedicated to shoulders, pits, or arms... (need I mention here that my least favorite parts of my body consist of where my arm meets my torso?)

Anyway. As I scanned the racks of halter tops, spaghetti straps, and straplessness, the woman next to me discussed her dress with Saleslady...

"What size do you need?"

"Oh, 24 or 26."

"This one is great. It'll look great with your hair."

Saleslady handed Customer a tan gown - The two headed toward the dressing room.

Frustrated, I scanned racks for anything I thought Stacy and Clinton from TLC's "What Not To Wear" would approve of. Empire waist. A-line skirt. Knee Length - and if there was a Fashion Angel, SLEEVES...

Slim Pickin's.

I turned the corner, and found myself confronted with Customer in Tan Gown. It wasn't in my estimation that this gown did much for Customer. No waist. No shape. No COLOR... I was trying to decide how to tell Customer I believed this wasn't her gown - when she and Saleslady continued their conversation.

Customer: "I LOVE this gown!!!"

Saleslady: "Yes, me too!"

I chimed in: "The back of that dress has some stunning detail. Very classy.

- I didn't lie. The back of the dress did indeed, have a stunning detail. I just didn't have the heart to tell this lady that the dress wasn't working.

Satisfied with her work, the saleslady turned to me. "Can I help you find something?"

"Ok. I need a dress. Knee length. Empire waist. Sleeves."

"Oh, you can't have sleeves right now. No one is making sleeves right now. You'll have to use a shawl."

Now we all know that a shawl is like a banner with "I have fat arms!" written on it... I didn't think I needed to mention this. Saleslady then took me to a poster hung on the endcap of an aisle. "How about this one?"

No sleeves, but empire waist and knee length... Green. Nice. I agreed to try it. She walked me to the dress. She handed me the orange dress in my size. "Try it."

I tried it. I liked the empire waist down. I didn't like the plunging below what's decent for my personal clevage (please don't laugh. It is what it is.), I didn't like the fact that it featured all of the skin that I really wanted covered up.

As I exited from the dressing room, Customer and Saleslady could not stop praising this dress.

"It's remarkable!"

"I love it. The size is perfect! The color is even good (it was orange)."

"But," I Interrupted, "This dress shows off everything I want to hide!"

And then Saleslady said the thing that made me walk out of the store... "But if you keep your arms down, you can't even see it!"

For crying out loud.

As a post script, a co-worker of mine is also getting married. She bought a dress from the same store I was just humiliated at. "Wait. Let me get the card. The woman who helped me was phenomenal." She got the card.

It was the same lady who "Helped" me.

For crying out loud.


  • At 4:55 AM, Blogger Sarabeth said…

    Those gray slacks and silk shirt are looking really good about now.

    You're going to smack me for this, but maybe try the department stores. The higher end ones do have some nice dresses.

    Or, you could put your foot down that you know what you want to wear. Tell your sister to shove it.

  • At 9:43 AM, Blogger Dan said…

    I'm partial to jeans...but then I got married in a barn.

  • At 11:30 AM, Blogger Kell said…

    Oh, jeans would be so great. And let me say, that the Barn Wedding was absolutely lovely.

  • At 2:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    So I just searched the bridal registries of Bed, Bath & Beyond, Target, Pottery Barn, And Williams-Sonoma. I don't want to push you faster than you're willing to go, I mean, I know the dress is a huge hurdle. But are you going to register, Dearie? (can't find my blog sign-in password but it's me, Audrey)

  • At 4:16 PM, Blogger Sarabeth said…

    Gift cards! Gift cards! Just tell people where to buy a gift card. You know--Home Depot v. Lowe's.

    I have to say that if hadn't been 22 when I got married, I would have insisted upon a wedding on the beach in my hometown. I caved to pressure from his parents and mine and had it in a church. I think living room with whatever you want to wear and your dad playing something for you. The wedding is one day--the marriage is what you need to spend time on.

  • At 9:38 AM, Blogger Tiecen said…

    Hey. I'm LDS (Mormon) and we have really modest dress standards. There are bridal shops tailored specifically to us. You can shop them on line. ALl of the dresses will include sleeves and little to no cleavage. Here are some web sites. Check it out. There's probably a store in your area. WE MORMONS ARE EVRYWHERE!!!

    I bought my dress on for $150 and it is stellar! They have a special section for modest dresses.

    Don't worry, no one will try to convert you if you shop there.:)

  • At 6:27 PM, Blogger Trixie said…

    Wear what you love. Be done with it. Be happy.


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