Words of Wisdom

Youth is wasted on the young.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Formal Part 1: The Tale of The Dresses

There is so much going on nowadays that I am hard pressed to find time to write about it. Here's one example.

When the BA announced to me that she had 'found the perfect dress for the Formal', I was immediately transported back to those heady teen days when the social event of the year was the school ball (Prom for my US readers!). But hold, something is amiss methinks! Surely this is only Year 11? Is not The Formal a Year 12 event?

Apparently not!

"But Mum, I've found this great dress and it's only $230.00!!!"
Me: *splutter splutter gasp gasp* $230.00????????????????? But this is only Year 11!!!!!!!!

Calming to a rational state I look at it like this. Year 11 is like a practice for The Formal. It's a dress rehearsal. There's always next year. Don't do everything the first time around; it means nothing will be 'special' in Yr 12!

For example; I guess you all know they go to these formals in stretch Hummers and limos? That was my first point of difference, "Let's do the limo next year kid?" She agreed to this suspiciously quickly.

What about wearing the nice dress I got you for Christmas I suggested. I mean...look at that pretty kid (see right)...couldn't you just imagine dressing that dress up with high heels and jewellery? My suggestion was met with a glance of withering contempt.

Don't worry, I had another trick up my sleeve.
"How about wearing my bridesmaid dress from Bestie's wedding? It's pretty new, only worn once?" Now, before you start at me for being a mean mother making my kid wear a second hand dress to her Formal, may I just tell you that I wore a second hand dress to my formal, as did my sister. As a matter of fact we wore the same dress!

I guess we were a bit 'out there' in our day. We wanted to be different my Sis and I. Well different from the crowd anyway, if not from each other :-). When we were planning for the event of the year, we didn't want to be judged by the standards of everyone else! We didn't want to be 'sized up' by our dresses and have our appearance assessed and evaluated by some imaginary fashion scale; so we wore our mother's wedding dress.

The really ironic part of this, in retrospect, is that those other judgmental girls were all wearing really hideous, floral Laura Ashley numbers which they now look back on with horror. Both Middle Sis and I look back on our Formal attire with a kind of weird pride. After all, this was the start of the era of the Op Shop. Retro was well in. Or maybe we just imagined it was? Anyway, we were very happy with our quirky choice.

With this in mind I suggested that the BA might like to wear my Bestie's bridesmaid dress to her Year 11 Formal. The scorn on her visage was a sight to be seen. A secondhand dress mum???? Get real.

Never mind that it is a beautiful dress, not cheap, quite grown up and a little bit revealing around the cleavage area! No, not nearly good enough!! She suffered the photo with a kind of bemused humour. As if she would wear a second hand dress belonging to her mother!!!!

I despaired. Making the dress would have been an option normally, but I am so snowed under with my new job that I was pretty sure I wouldn't get to the machine. She hasn't finished the red dress she cut out some time ago (sigh) and has gone off the boil with that pattern as a Formal dress anyway.

There was nothing for it but to go and look at the dress she had her eye on. Fortunately it was too big around the bust and too tight on the hip. What a shame. We perused the racks of all the major stores in town, in hopes of getting some ideas at least. The main idea I got was that $230.00 was actually looking like quite a reasonable price!!!!!!!

And then! From the pages of facebook! Salvation!

A wonderful friend who used to baby sit the BA some 8 years ago when we first got back to Australia, offered her wardobe of formal dresses. It was a wonderful opportunity to catch up with her, see her 'new' house and have a bit of a fashion parade.

Here's one option. Pretty colour. Bit long though, even with high heels on.

This one is all wrong and the one hanging behind her was even worse. That one didn't even get a picture.

So, did she find a dress? YES. A second hand dress which looks lovely and saves me $$$$$$
Good result.

But we're not going to show it to you yet :-)


Colleen said...

Can't wait to see what she'll wear!

Jill/Twipply Skwood said...

Oh at least they waited for 11th! My daughter had an EIGHT GRADE prom!!!!!! That was when she was 13!!!! Although most of her classmates had turned fourteen by then. I don't know if her school now even has a prom, and I never went to mine. A friend told me it was no fun and I decided I'd rather hang out with friends that night - I never missed going, but I DID miss being able to participate in conversations *about* prom. In any case, I'm glad she found something that works and for a GREAT price! Can't wait to see either!

Arizaphale said...

Yeah...free +dry cleaning is a GREAT price ! :-)

Stacy said...

She looks beautiful in all of the dresses! Yay for saving the money, and finding her a dress that she can wear. :)

Mid Sis said...

I liked the purple one! Great news it's sorted, the drama was felt all the way over here......xxx

Arizaphale said...

You cannot be serious? The purple one???? Really?