What are Designer’s Thinking?

Prom dress shopping ended without a dress, and with my friend and me wondering who is designing these dresses for teenage girls.  I’m okay with short skirts and short shorts (as long as the rear end is covered when bending over), and I was once known for the short skirts I wore.  As a student employee I had a skirt or two I was asked to not wear to the office again.  But compared to the prom dresses I saw I was dressed for a convent.

The worst ones were two piece outfits; a long skirt, and then a top the size of a sports bra covered in sequins.  It looked terrible on the hanger, and I can’t imagine it actually looked good on anyone.  Not what I want to see any teenage girl wearing at prom.  Then there was the dress Oldest One tried on that was quite deceptive on the hanger.  It was so low in back underwear couldn’t be worn, and the cutouts were so deep the front was compromised.  I’m okay with a low back, but I would like her to be able to wear underwear without it being seen.  And I want her front covered.

Do these designers think us parents want to put our daughter’s in these dresses?  I saw dresses where the material was in strips on the top, so skin showed on the top and there was no back.  Or the dresses that have the see through material on top; it doesn’t look good on a wedding dress and it sure doesn’t look good or appropriate on a prom dress.  I have an idea where the designer’s heads were when they designed these dresses, and it’s too bad that this is what they think a prom dress should look like.

We didn’t see any girls trying the inappropriate dresses on, but we didn’t see anyone without a parent either.  It isn’t like these dresses are affordable, because some of them were in the $300 range, which was well outside of what I was willing to pay for a dress that had all the material.  I understand why many schools ban certain types of prom dresses these days.

I know, I sound really old, but these dresses were just so awful and inappropriate.  I don’t want a picture of my daughter I wouldn’t want to put out because of what she is(n’t) wearing.  Her taste might be different than mine, but last year she chose a very classic and elegant look, which the dresses with low backs and barely there fronts will never have.  I think designers need to quite trying to be cutting edge (or their idea of it) with prom dresses, and keep to the cute and the classic.

Prom Dress Search, The Sequal

Saturday is prom dress shopping for Oldest One.  Two of her good friends are going, and one of my good friends is coming along.  Little One opted to stay home and babysit my friend’s son.  That says a lot about what the experience was like last year, since Little One usually loves to come along.

Last year Oldest One decided to go to prom shortly before it happened.  I figured we wouldn’t have any problems finding a dress, and since we were already going shopping to get two dresses for Little One for her Bat Mitzvah I thought it would be easy.  I was so wrong.  We found Little One’s two dresses fairly quickly.  Oldest One was more difficult.

We started out at the mall, where we had 3 department stores, plus some of the smaller stores that were carrying prom dresses.  Everything Oldest One tried on looked great, and she didn’t like any of it.  So we went to David’s Bridal, where she tried on more dresses that were lovely on her that she said she wouldn’t wear.  From there we went to a mall nowhere near where we live, but that had several stores our mall didn’t.  More dresses tried, more dresses found lacking.  We went to another mall, no luck.  I’m getting tired, she is getting frustrated, and we are a week and a half out from prom.  So we go to one of the oldest and biggest bridal stores in our town on a Saturday morning with my friend and her son, with Oldest One sick, to hopefully find the dress. Which we did!

The dress cost a lot more than I wanted to spend, even though it was half off, but at that point I didn’t care because We Had Found A Dress!!!  We took the dress to her friend’s Mom, who took it in and added a slit in the side (it was a long dress).  She couldn’t find shoes she liked, which was another round of shopping, so she wore a pair she owned that matched beautifully.  She went on her own to buy the jewelry, and when it came time to leave for prom she looked stunning.

This year we are starting earlier, and she has done some research on the internet so she has a couple of styles in mind.  Long and strapless, which is what looks best on her.  She is too tall for the shorter, fuller skirted styles.  Our plan is to start at the mall, hit all the stores there, and if nothing is found (and I am so hopeful it will be found at the mall) we will go to David’s Bridal.  If nothing is found there, then we have to go another day to another place.  I promised her we would get ice cream in between stores at the mall to keep all of us going.

I didn’t go to prom (I had a date my senior year, but he ended up in jail; I didn’t go to prom and didn’t see him again) so I really want to make prom special for the girls.  Oldest one will get a manicure and pedicure and have her hair done, and my friend will do make-up.  She gets to stay out past curfew with her friends.  Little One will get the same treatment when it is her turn.  As long as I survive finding a dress this year I’m sure the rest will be smooth sailing.

I Don’t Like to Shop

I am not into shopping for clothes for myself.  I never really have been.  I find a few things I like, I’m happy, and I wear the heck out of them.  This week a pair of my work pants ripped and can’t be repaired, so I will be forced to go shopping.  I’m not looking forward to it.

I have never had the huge closet of clothes and shoes some people have.  I currently have 2 pairs of shoes for work, a couple pairs of dressy heels I never wear, 2 half boots I love to wear, and my tennis shoes.  I probably have 7 or 8 tops for work, just winter, and then another 7 or 8 for summer.  I have jeans, 3 sweatshirts, a top or two for winter, and a few tops for summer.  That about sums up my wardrobe.

I do enjoy shopping for the girls.  But they are the ones looking through the racks while I follow behind and hold what they want to try on.  I get to sit on a chair while they pull clothes on and off, giving a yes or no when asked.  It’s a lot of standing and walking, but it beats getting in and out of way more pieces of clothing than I want to be messing with.

In my 20’s I would tell myself I would go each paycheck and pick up one nice item, and build a really nice wardrobe that way.  It never happened.  I would go shopping when I needed an outfit, or if friends were going, but it seemed like too much effort to actually build that wardrobe.  I did enjoy trying on wedding dresses when I had a friend go with me.  It was no fun at all to go with my Mom, and she is the only Mom I have ever heard of who fell asleep while shopping for her daughter’s wedding dress.  I guess it was boring.  In the end Husband went with me and helped me pick out my dress.

I also have the problem that while I’ll spend anything on clothes for the girls, I don’t like to spend a lot on myself.  I’ll look at something, think I should try it, look at the price and put it back.  For some reason I can’t justify spending a lot on clothes, even though I keep my clothes for years.  Right now I am wearing a sweater I bought when Oldest One was a baby.  I’ll probably be wearing it when she graduates college and beyond.  So it should be easy for me to spend money when I manage to go buy things, because I’ll be wearing them for the next 20 years.

Hopefully I’ll find something at the first store I go to, and won’t have to be in cramped, hot dressing rooms for too long.  Maybe I’ll take one of the girls, because they like to pick out things for me to try on.  Or maybe I’ll go home and relax, and do it another day.  If there is ever a thing to procrastinate about, this is it for me.

My (unrealistic) Budget

When I did the budget last Friday I calculated all bills, groceries and gas through the month to try and scrounge up a bit more to buy some Christmas gifts for the girls.  I even added extra into the food budget, figuring a bonus on the 23rd (yes, I’ll probably be shopping then) would be nice.  That was blown to bits by Sunday evening.

This week is Spirit Week for basketball season.  For $5 each the girls get to dress down all week.  At a school with uniforms this isn’t to be missed.  So I made sure to have $10.  Then Little One needs something camouflage for Tuesday.  She has a shirt with Bambi for animal print day (the school mascot is an animal), and she thinks she has red day covered, but nothing camouflage.  So I bought her a shirt at Wal-Mart.  Done!

No, not done.  Oldest One gets home, and she said she is going out to buy shirts for Spirit Week with her friend, and she has money on her debit card.  She has her gas money on her debit card, as I mentioned to her, and got hands thrown up in the air in response.  Then her friend cancelled, and there have been a few friend issues there, so as I am getting ready to go shower, I get the “Mom, please go shopping with me.”  7:30p at night we got into my car to find yet another camouflage shirt and an animal print shirt.  I did talk her into wearing a panda shirt she had, so I only had to buy her one shirt…plus the eyeliner, new shadow liner and a liner brush at Target that were really needed.  Okay, we did have a good talk, and we did walk arm in arm through the stores and laugh a lot.

I can work with all that thrown in to the budget – kind of.  But wait!  I get a text from Little One this afternoon that her pink dance tights are ripped and she needs another pair for dance class.  Oh, and Husband said we are going to go buy a prime rib for Christmas dinner (his parents enjoy it) tonight so he can do his aging thing with it.  I’m waiting for Oldest One to need one more thing tonight so I can hit the trifecta.

This isn’t new, and why I thought I could make a budget that wouldn’t get dinged I have no idea.  I know better.  And it’s not like they won’t have gifts.  Husband and I have some creative ideas and we are making some things the girls have asked for.  And some they haven’t.  Oldest One didn’t ask for a letter box for her varsity letter, but since she didn’t want a jacket, and because I don’t want it to get lost one day, we’ve decided to do that with it.  She’ll like it one day when she has teenagers.  Little One wants a bow holder (cheer bows multiply at night) and we are making that since I want a bigger size than we can buy.

So tonight, after we get done at the stores yet again, I am going to go home and pull out my budget that I so carefully put together.  And I am going to rip it up and throw it away.