Despite the fact that, as a teen, I never went to any formal dance other than the one I attended with my father (it's not like it sounds), I still fostered a longing for frothy dresses like the ones the bitchy girl tried on in Pretty in Pink. I wanted tulle and ribbons and yards and yards of lace. I remember when a Gunne Sax dress was the height of Spokane couture and the girls with the shimmery white dresses with matching white satin pumps were the envy of all the poor girls whose moms only shopped the sales.
Since those halcyon days, however, I have developed scorn for most formal wear manufacturers. Most gowns are cheaply made with easily torn seams, frail zippers and insufficient lining. Shopping last night for a gown for New Year's Eve was an interesting lesson in "what the hell were these people thinking?" It seems that every dress this year is in the style of the dreaded mermaid tail. Cut on the worst line possible, the dresses accentuated my hips and had too little fabric to suitably cover my bust. And really, on stage, there is nothing more hideous than a dress that looks like a tube that flares out at the knee. Pretty.
Imagine my shock when I saw a glimmer of a dress hidden behind the rack of tried-on clothes that had a fitted bodice with a full skirt and a matching bolero, in the highly coveted brown satin. And I was even more shocked when it was Jessica McClintock, that bastion of 80's prom wear. Huh, I though. Can this be? Can the stronghold of all that is the 80s have a pretty and well-made dress? Of course, they didn't have it even remotely in my size, but when I looked it up online, they had it in the closest approximation of my massive bosom's measurements, but, alas, with no bolero. However, I found a fabulous fabric last night with which to make a jacket, so all I need to do is send a pattern and the fabric to my mom.
That wind you feel whistling past your window? That's me breathing a sigh of relief.
Of course, it might not fit. Gack.