Sunday, 4 March 2012

The Prom Diaries, Pt 5a... The Dress Shop

Earlier Prom Diaries are here and herehere and here.

Yesterday was The Big Day for TeenTwin 2 ... not the actual Prom which, quite frankly, seems to have receded in importance as opposed to The Dress for The Prom, which has become all vitally, all-consumingly, EARTH-SHATTERINGLY important.

On Saturday we trotted off for the appointment she'd made at one of the city's bridal shops which offers a prom dress service. When she made the appointment she had been told to make sure when she returned that "the person who will be paying" would be coming with her.

Now, I can't help it but I can sniff a hard sell out from at least a mile away and coupled with an aversion to salespeople that can only come from once being married to one of the buggers, I was not, shall we say, looking forward to the experience. TeenTwin 2 was, with huge enthusiasm, and by the time we'd got 300 yards from home we'd already had three arguments.

By the time we got to the shop we had reached an accord: TeenTwin 2 was JUST trying dresses on; We weren't going to buy something there and then; Or agree to buy something there and then; We were not in anyway to show any excessive enthusiasm; At no point was a lip to be stuck out, a foot stamped or the words "Muuuuum, can I have...." uttered

Fully briefed we met with Grandma, invited as the extra eyes and an extra barrier of resistance against the hard sell (I'm nothing if not prepared), outside the shop. And TeenTwin 2's friend (teenagers can't go anywhere without another of their number in close proximity) and her mother. We met as all mothers meet everywhere, a roll of the eyes and an exchange of gossip; this particular gossip centering on all the negative things anybody had ever heard about the shop we were just about to enter.

We rang the bell and they unlocked the door to let us in. In some circles shopping by appointment in a locked emporium might smack of glamour and expense. But not on a run-down street in Wakefield, they were just making sure we wouldn't be able to leave.

Some of the
The prom dress selection wasn't EXACTLY 'Big Fat Gypsy Wedding,' but it did a very, VERY good impression. Colours were predominately loud. Netting was plentiful. Sparkles, sequins, glittery bits and bling shimmered. There was ruching and layering and floaty bits, flappy bits and drapy bits. There was a selection of  'sample' dresses from which you could choose a style and take your pick of 250 colours to have it in, 227 of which were probably variations of pink.

actual dresses
There's not many women confronted with a full Disney Princess dress-up box with extra-added sequins wouldn't have a go at trying them on but I held myself back and we rummaged through the racks to amass a selection of dresses for TeenTwin 2 to try on. And she tried them on.

 And, under the changing room's dim lights wearing the slightly tattered, battered sample dresses, she did look beautiful.

not actual daughter
She looked beautiful in the plain, shimmering silvery one that she only picked because I liked it. She looked beautiful in the odd two-tone one with the crossed sash decoration. She looked beautiful in the hot pink one with the pink roses and the net skirting and the emerald one with the lacing up the back. And she looked like a really beautiful, real Disney Princess in the other hot pink one with the hooped Beauty and the Beast ruffled skirt studded with jewels.

By dress three I was idly wondering what other events she might be invited to so she could wear it. By dress five, I'd decided she could just wear them around the house to cheer people up. The saleswoman also thought she looked beautiful because she said it often enough, which was odd because I'm sure she didn't actually look. She  moved from "oohing" and "aahing" towards the Nitty Gritty of price and costs and, er, extra costs, like a seal crawling to the shore.
But my mother *salutes* leapt to the Nitty Gritty much faster: "So, how much are they?" she asked.

Cost: £300. Three Hundred Pounds. Three. Hundred. Pounds. For a dress. A dress for a, I'll say it again, school disco. A dress that, to be honest, wouldn't stand up to scrutiny in a quality comparison with a J-cloth *bangs head on table*

Even the saleswoman could feel the magic break...... She cunningly deployed Saleswoman2 (Difficult Customer Division), who delivered what she probably hoped was the killer blow but only served to raise hackles that were already waving in the wind: "This IS the last day it's possible to make an order for a prom dress soooo....." (Meaningful look towards TeenTwin 2).
"Not that we're trying to pressure you or anything." (Bright smile)

Oh, yeah ....

We left. Without a dress, of course, and fully convinced that TeenTwin 2 would look beautiful in a ruched bin-bag with a sacking trim.

And TeenTwin 2 is fine, since you ask, not sulking at all. And we'll still be looking for that perfect Prom dress (at a perfect price I hope) for a bit/ while/ forever yet ...

Next time, shops and more shopping with extra added shopping and TeenTwin 1 finds her perfect dress on eBay for sixty quid *hurrah*


  1. I am dreading this stage with Bethany honey and it creeps up so quickly. x

  2. Ha ha this actually made me laugh...a lot....and then I realised that this will be me one day *plants head on desk*. Thanks for sharing on #oldiesbutgoodies this month. One of the best posts yet!


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