So, it turns out prom dress shopping is way more fun than I anticipated. I personally dislike shopping. A lot. I’ve no patience for it and hate spending money on clothes for myself. But when it’s your little girl trying on the clothes, and she looks good in every color and silhouette and she isn’t worrying about how fat they might look because she has no fat…well, then it’s FUN.
We went to three stores. The first had a nice selection, and while they claimed to be able to order in different sizes, everything Gabrielle liked the most wasn’t available in her size. She didn’t approve of the dressing rooms (I can’t remember why…) but she found a couple of dresses that we said we’d think on over lunch. Gabby ran into a friend at the store there whose style was completely different then Gabby (think mermaid gowns with cutouts in the middle of the dress, or close-fitting sheaths. Gabby was thinking all princess! We ended up running into her friend at all three stores we went to, and she was as consistent with her picks as Gabby was.) The next store was a bridal and evening gown outlet store. This store was nice because on the tag it listed the size and colors that the dress could be ordered in, and Gabby liked the setup of the dressing rooms better. The problem was that the dresses had a cheaper quality to them, but for the same prices. (And boy, are prom dresses really, really expensive!) The third store was my favorite. They had a good variety, it was more spacious, and the area where you stood in front of the mirror was the same the brides used (it too was also a bridal store. Personally, the walls were dark so it was great for prom dresses, but I like the lighter walls you see on “Say Yes to the Dress” and similar shows better.)
At the third store, while Gabby was choosing her dresses, the sales associate pulled a dress for her and said, “I’ve been dying to see someone try this on. It’s brand new and we’ve only seen it on the hanger. You have the perfect figure for it.” (Gabby actually started the day off worried because she is 5’9 and a size 0, but it turns out that all dresses are made for 5’9 ladies, so if you are a bit shorter you just wear shoes, but if you’re much shorter you pay expensive alteration fees. Hearing that was a relief to her. She expected the smaller sized dresses to get shorter in length.) The designer of the dress was the wife of a Duck Dynasty character. It wasn’t cute on the hanger, but it was SO cute on. In fact, it didn’t even photograph great (so now I understand when fashion critics will say at the Oscars “It looked so much better in person!”) The sales associate ran and got 2 more women to come and they all sighed and cooed over Gabby. And then they heard another person come in for her shift as Gabby was walking towards the dressing room to take the dress off someone said, “You’ve got to come and see this!” and that woman came back, she too sighed. They rightly said how cute the dress would be with red shoes, a red belt, and red lipstick. And Gabby would have rocked that look, but again…princess tunnel vision! It was a fun dress, but not for Gabby.
Gabby narrowed it down to 4 dresses and she sat and thought about it, and looked through the photos on my camera, and thought some more, and re-tried on her favorites. One ended up being paler a color than she wanted, though she really loved its unique neckline. (The mint green dress.) The second one had the color she loved (turquoise) the fullness of the skirt she loved, and beading she loved, but it was over budget and a little too “typical” a prom dress. The third was the beige A-line dress with horizontal beading. The skirt material and drape was gorgeous, but it too was above budget. The 4th, the winner, I’m not posting pictures of. You’ll have to wait until May to see those! 🙂