"I don't want to look like a weirdo. I'll just go with a muumuu."
So yeah, I've been searching for a formal dress* this weekend. I am not outrageously obese... but I will admit to being in the "plus size" range. Unfortunately, there was very little choice out there for formal wear in my budget and size.
I started with Value Village. Not a lot of selection... one sort of fit but I decided to skip it. Sally Ann came up empty, too. Later I tried The Bay (at Mayfair) -- nuthin; not a single item of formalwear over size 12/13. Other stores in Mayfair were the same story (or worse). Finally we tried Penningtons. I found two outfits -- one was horribly clingy polyester and more suitable for a summer wedding than a black tie event; the other was .... well.... not good; it puckered in the wrong places and looked like something the mother of the bride might wear.
After seriously beating myself up last night, I set out again this morning. First stop was Full Effect Fashions, a plus size consignment store (where I sold my wedding dress). Four attempts there: one looked like a 1978 nightie, or "lounger"; one clung in a way that showed off lumps I didn't know were there; one was a skirt suit which was looking good until I put on the jacket and looked like a bargain basement real-estate agent; the last dress was perfect, but for my cup size, which overfloweth the design. Sigh.
Next up, Hillside Mall to check Addition-Elle where I found in the back corner of the store four formal dresses, all two sizes too big. When I asked, I was told that the company had stopped making formal wear and that was the end of the stock. She suggested Serena's (in the mall) or Something More (downtown). Well, I tried Serena's but the one dress I could find labelled "XXL" looked like a size 12 when I held it up.
Since we were in the mall, I tried Sears. They had a few "plus size" dresses, but only in the lower end of the plus. I asked and sure enough, that was the largest they had. By now, I was pretty much convinced that everyone in Victoria who was over size 16 shopped in another city, or just stayed indoors.
I threatened to buy a sweatsuit and a Bedazzler.
At hubby's urging, we went to Something More. More, in case you were curious, refers to the pricetag. The one dress I liked and generally fit had a price tag of $256; my second choice was $402. Oh My God. I figured I was doomed to the sweatsuit.
Oh, and I almost forgot the kicker. I had told the sales clerk that I had a black tie awards event to attend. When hubby and kiddo came in, I was in the changeroom. The clerk basically insulted hubby. WTF? He didn't tell me until later, because I would have stormed out. As it is, I made her run back to the stock room about half a dozen times and left without anything; I was feeling bad until hubby told me about their exchange.
Before going home, we went back to Value Village. Where I found three dresses that were suitable, two of which I bought -- a black velvet number that needs some minor alterations for $9.99 and a lilac gown which needs a good drycleaning for $14.99.
Value Village, why did I doubt you?
*In case I failed to mention it; hubby and I will be Press for Gameboyz at the Elans; the Canadian Awards for the Electronic Arts and Animation. The ceremony is in two weeks and will be hosted by William Shatner. Woo!
tags: clothing, plus size, Elans, awards, shopping