Say Yes to the Dress

Aug 29

Today I went shopping for the first time for a homecoming dress with my 14 year old daughter, Mary Mac. Yes, my baby has a date to a homecoming dance.

What a day! Mary Mac loves to shop. She could spend hours in a mall just trying on clothes. It takes her a long time to make up her mind. I, on the other hand, don’t shop for more than an hour at a time, usually buy without trying things on and make up my mind very quickly. So you see that we are a shopping match made in heaven.

Before we left for the mall Mary Mac was describing the vision of the dress she wanted. Something with an empire waist and flowy full skirt. She was scanning websites for something that might fit the bill. We picked up a friend and her Mom and headed to Cherry Creek Mall around 1 o’clock. First stop was Nordstrom. They had rearranged since the last time we were there and it took a few minutes to find the dresses. The first dress she picked with a beautiful purple dress with a strap over one shoulder made of jewels. The strap came down to the center of the back and attached to a piece of chiffon that came to a V where the shoulder strap attached. The dress was open below the V across the low part of the back. It had an empire waist and flowy strips of chiffon. It was the only dress she liked so she headed to the dressing room to try it on. I sat in a chair outside the dressing room waiting for her.

She emerged looking like a fairy princess. She was beaming. The dress was so pretty from the front. She wanted it so bad and I wanted it for her. But the back was just too revealing for a 14 year old and it was more expensive than I we had planned. I took an iPhone pic and sent it to her Dad to check. I was pretty sure he would say no to something with that much skin showing. It didn’t look trashy but it did show a lot of skin in the back. Since that was our first stop we decided to put it on hold and go looking elsewhere.

We went to Banana Republic, J Crew, BeBe, BCBG, and Macy’s with no luck. She tried on another 8-10 dresses. The one from BeBe was hilarious. The sales girl brought her a pair of shoes to try with it that had 4 inch heels! She looked like she was going out to work the corner. We all rolled laughing. As the hours passed and nothing came close to the first dress I could see the change in her mood. She wanted the purple dress so bad but she also knew it was a long shot. She stared rolling her eyes and getting irritated at everything I said. Our time was running out.

Finally, we headed back to Nordstrom’s while Maddie and her Mom finished getting some shoes at Macy’s. She tried the dress on again. It still looked exquisite but I noticed now that it needed some alterations. I still hadn’t heard back from her Dad on the photo either. Alterations came and started pinning. Finally I called home to get John’s okay. He went to his computer. While he was looking we had Mary Mac try on another dress (beige) that was a little more conservative. It looked beautiful too but nothing close to the purple dress. As soon as John saw the picture of the back the answer was a clear “NO”. “Absolutely not.”

She ran to the dressing room crying and refused to try on anything else. Finally, just to get her out of the dressing room and suggested getting both the purple and the beige dresses and taking them home for Dad to see. I would bring one or both back tomorrow if we didn’t get approval in person. At this point we had been at it for almost 4 hours and I was reaching my limit. She was tired too.

As we were leaving the mall we decided to go get a bite to eat on the way home so I drove over one street. We passed White House/Black Market on the way. Maddie and her Mom suggested we take a look in there so I pulled in and parked. Mary Mac was still pretty sullen but agreed to try on a couple of dresses. One was a cute black strapless dress with a little mesh/lace trim at the bottom. It had an empire was and a flared skirt. She stepped out of the dressing room and took one look at herself in the mirror. THIS was the dress. It fit perfectly. She looked her age, yet, with a sophisticated flair. The sales girl brought an open toed shoe with a little black bow and matching black purse for the crowning touches. My girl was smiling again. And all for less than the purple dress!

I was thrilled and thankful.

Wondering how, as a mother, you keep the boundaries of appropriate attire when you see your child looking like a fairy princess while knowing the dress probably needs to be more conservative? So thankful, I could save that question for another day, another dance, another year?

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