UPDATE: Because I know much sleep has been lost over my recent dress dilemma, I thought I would go public with the fact that I’ve decided to return one of the dresses. I won’t keep you in suspense. It’s the purple and grey tweed one.
I know what you’re saying: ‘But it’s so cute?!”
I know, I know. But I tried it on in three sizes, and not one of them fit well. A little too snug here. A little too loose there. Back to Nordstrom it goes; I’m sure I’ll have no problem finding a thing or five to spend that money on.
Bummer is, The Stylish Eye actually went through the trouble of devoting an entire post to recommending shoes for each one of my frocks. She’s a talented stylist, so I love all her suggestions. However, I adore the shoes she paired with the purple tweed dress. I was excited to wear the ensemble, the crystal flower on the shoe echoing the crystal center of the flower on the dress.
I may have to distract myself from the grief of this ensemble-cut-down-in-its-prime, by instead buying the boots she recommended for the black and white dress.
Life is tough.
Would you ask a librarian to line up beloved volumes of Shakespeare and choose whether to get rid of the sonnets or the plays? You wouldn’t ask an Oenophile to choose between red and white and stop drinking the other forever, would you? Would you, dare I say, ask a mama duck to give up her least favorite duckling?
So how can I choose from among three beautiful new dresses? But I certainly don’t need them all.
This is how I find myself in this predicament:
I have a wedding coming up. I realize the wedding is, gulp, two weeks away, and as it’s an afternoon wedding I realize I don’t have anything that quite works.
Thanks, guys, you couldn’t make it black tie? I’ve already got three dresses for that!
Guess I’ll just have to go shopping. You know how I hate that.
But I actually set out with a sigh, because dresses never fit me quite right. Either the top half fits, or the bottom half fits, but both? Almost never. I prepare to wrestle the retail beasts for several hours.
Instead, I come home with four dresses. Four! Three of which I can’t bear to part with.
From the “it’s so crazy it just might work” files, there’s the stretchy mod-style shirt dress, with a floral and geometric pattern in black, white and accents of crimson.
When the saleswoman at White House Black Market brought it over I said something pleasant like “that stretchy fabric usually makes me look like the poster child for the obesity epidemic. But sure, I’ll try it.”
I couldn’t believe my eyes. Maybe the crazy pattern hides my, um, flaws, but I actually fell in love at first sight. Plus, hello? Twenty-five-percent-off coupon? I couldn’t leave THAT beauty in the store.
Then, from Nordstrom, a purple and grey tweed short-sleeved plaid dress, very Mad Men. The best part is that it has a jaunty little flower pin with a purple crystal center. I had seen it the week before and passed it up, then found myself thinking about it. A sure sign I had to go back for it
So, two dresses, very different from one another. Fair enough.
But then, while I was at Nordstrom, I couldn’t resist trying on a Tahari dress, also purple, also Mad Men-esque, tailored on top, narrow knee-length skirt with a slim patent leather belt around the waist and a cute little button at the collar.
It looked perfect.
The two purple dresses are similar enough in color and style that I can’t REALLY justify both of them. Or at least, so says my archnemesis, Really Irritating Internal Voice.
RIIV: That Mad Men thing is going to go out of style soon, and you’re going to be sorry you got all these dresses.
ME: I know, but it’s so hard to find dresses that fit. I should strike while the iron is hot, no?
RIIV: You could also burn some hundred dollar bills.
ME: I really think I will find places to wear all three of these dresses.
RIIV: You have four.
ME: The grey one that doesn’t fit. I’m returning it.
RIIV: Still. Three dresses. Don’t ask me to bail you out of debtor’s prison.
ME: There’s no such thing as debtors prison unless you live in a Dickens novel.
The thing is, once something has come home with me, it’s hard to give it up. I’ve already made it… well… part of the family. I’ve paired it with shoes and tights. Introduced it to the earrings.
So choosing which of the two purple dresses to return… well, you wouldn’t ask me to choose between chocolate and ice cream, between red and white wine, between Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets… would you?