Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Dressed for Stress

I love clothes and fashion but hate figuring out what to wear. It's honestly a struggle for me most mornings and special occassions usually involve a lot of hand wringing and cold sores (hey - on my lips, I get them when I'm stressed).
So my anxiety level went through the roof when I had to figure out what to wear to my friend and sorority sister, Krystal's upcoming wedding. How's this for a wedding attire puzzle:
2:00 PM wedding ceremony in a Catholic church
5:00 PM (in the evening was on the invite) reception
Formal attire
I'm a personal attendant
I haven't seen some of the other DZ friends who are attending in almost seven years.

So I have some serious strategizing to do and some obstacles to overcome.
1. I have to look HOT! and chic. Let's face it ladies, we all dress for each other and no one is worse about this than sorority girls. Don't get me wrong, the other DZs attending are fantastic and I probably would have seen them more recently if I was any good at keeping in touch with people. But, I still want them to think I look outstanding.

2. Catholic church. This may be in direct opposition to looking HOT! I believe proper church attire calls for you to cover your shoulders (especially in the Catholic church; pretty sure you can rock the bare shoulder in a Methodist church and probably still make it to heaven). So...a wrap or jacket will be needed unless I can find a sexy Mormon prom dress.

3. Afternoon ceremony. Evening reception. Formal attire. So cocktail or long dress? Is a fancy cocktail dress OK? Probably, since it's in Omaha (Krystal's a midwest native who lives in LA now) and O-town can be laid-back. But Krystal's fiancee is a California guy who went to USC - I get the impression his family has probably been to some fancy weddings. I broke down and bothered the bride about it. Really. I asked what she was picturing for her guests, long dresses, cocktail dresses, etc. She said she was hoping people would wear long dresses, but would probably be mostly cocktail style.

So - I spend several hundred hours some time stalking the super sale sections of the Neiman Marcus, Saks and Bloomingdales websites. I also join and check my sale sites daily. These include, but are not limited to Shop It to Me, Gilt, HauteLook and Ideeli. Whenever something seemed appropriate and within my grasp, I start to doubt it hotness and/or price and end up losing out.

Then Rent the Runway came to my rescue! If you don't know what RTR is - it's only the most amazing concept ever. In short, according to their website:

"We buy pieces directly from top designers and then offer rentals at just 10% of retail prices. It couldn’t be simpler: just browse our pages until you find something you love. Put it in your basket, tell us when you’d like it delivered, and it’ll appear on your doorstep—in two different sizes, just to be safe." 

I had checked the site but nothing fit what I needed - long but not too fancy, not black and preferably not strapless. Then, the new arrivals came in. I crossed my fingers and logged on. Despite my usual lack of luck, I spotted the perfect dress. A fab Badgley Mischka number that I snapped up.
Badgley Mischka Heavenly Halter Gown
UPS will be delivering it to my front door on Thursday. Also arriving Thursday are the shoes I hope to be wearing - Jessica Bennett's Kael slingback from The bride is a big fan of hoop earrings so in her honor; I'm planning to wear a pair similar to the ones below.

Nothing like waiting until the last minute to make sure everything looks good, right? Looks like Thursday will either end in tears and a mad dash to a dress rack or a sigh of relief and the hope that I don't screw up my hair and make-up too much on the big day. Oh - and let's hope I don't look like a tool being the only person in a long dress.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Torture by Coupon Code

Sorry. I had to get that out. The last few minutes just landed themselves on my "Top 10 Situations in Which I Wish I Had A Time Machine" list.
While searching for a dress for an upcoming formal wedding I will be attending (another story) I hit up my lady, Diane Von Furstenberg, and came across something I had to have - not necessarily for this wedding, just in order to live a complete life:
DVF's Adisa dress called out to me - not only but because it was BE-A-U-tiful, but because it was ALSO on sale. Even though the pattern's name, "Secret Garden Fresh," sounds like a deodorant (or Summer's Eve) scent; I still wanted to wear it. The colors would be perfect for my sickly-white-but-not-pale-enough-to-be-pretty skin. The cut is great; especially at the top. I own very few dress that are a) not strapless and b) not A-line - so this would be a nice change for me.

Despite sale, the 200-some dollar price tag that remained meant that our love was not to be. *Sigh.* I was about 95% sure I would live through the heartache.

But then! one day, I looked at it again (ok, confession, I looked at it every day) and the price had gone down further! $154!!! I could swing that for love. But how could I make Sparky understand? Really, I couldn't, so I just had to break him down (sorry dear) over time. Until today... Pay Day.

The stars aligned, Kurt caved and a size 10 was still available. I added Adisa to my online shopping cart and proceeded to check out. Here, I was offered the opportunity to enter a promotion code. I had one ready for free shipping and should have left it at that. But nooo, I whipped out Google and did a quick " coupon code" search. Behold the story of my life:

If I had Photoshop, this would be the point where I would highlight the part of the picture that says $50 off until April 1st, 2010.

Yep, I missed out on $50 by one day. You have got to be kidding me. And yes, I still tried to use the code. Just to rub a little salt in the wound, I had to check one other thing. This promo started on March 19th. After checking my Gmail inbox, I found that I joined the mailing list on March 18th - probably a day or two after the mailing list received notification about this sale. Awesome.

Yes, I still bought it - and used my consolation free shipping code. In case you were wondering, I don't plan to rock the black tights with this frock. But there will definitely be Spanx action under that skirt.