Tuesday, December 30, 2008

You still have time to find that perfect little black dress to ring in the new year

Okay, so my story isn’t really about New Years’ Eve but it could be so, read on if you:
a) received an invitation to a last-minute New Years’ Eve party; or,
b) tried on your dress for tomorrow night and it doesn’t fit

There’s still hope. You can find that perfect dress quick and on a budget. Here’s how…

My cousin (she’s more like my baby sister) was married on December 21. I was flattered when she asked me to be in her bridal party and delighted when she told me I could wear any dress as long as it was black. Sounds like a no brainer, right? Well not exactly...

I already owned a perfect little black dress. Well, perfect once I altered it to fit my slimmer body and raised the hemline. My dressmaker who usually does awesome job, charged me $25 – a real bargain and much cheaper than buying a new dress. I’m not sure why but I waited until two weeks before the wedding to have it altered. Then I did another crazy thing and waited until the night before my flight out to Vancouver for the wedding to try the dress on. Big mistake!

This time, my dressmaker didn’t do such an awesome job and the dress didn’t fit! It was already 8 p.m. I was leaving in the morning. Yikes! I ran over to my neighbour’s house. She is a wonderful seamstress. She took one look at the dress on me and told me I’d ruin it if I tried letting it out. I ran over to another neighbour’s house to try on her two black dresses – one was too big, the other one was too small. I was starting to feel a bit like a brunette Goldilocks.

Stores were closing in about 45 minutes but I still had time to scoot over to Yorkdale. I ran into Banana Republic, Zara and H&M. I didn’t have time to try anything on so I made sure to go to stores with flexible return policies. When I got home I tried everything on and decided I’d take one of the dresses from Banana as a back up. It was the best of the bunch and the fit, although not perfect, was okay. It was also on sale from $275 to $115 – the price was right!

I still wasn’t sure about the dress. I literally had a couple hours in Vancouver to shop. I went to Club Monaco and found a great dress – it was on sale for $129 less 20%. It was much more my style than the back-up dress. I was so lucky they had it in my size and it was the perfect fit!

After Christmas, I returned all the other dresses (I think I had about six). I also checked Club Monaco to see if my dress had been further reduced. Like everything else on sale in the store, the price hadn’t changed. As of Sunday, they still had lots of evening dresses in several sizes.

So, if you’re still looking for that perfect dress to wear this New Years’ Eve, don’t despair. You still have time and there are plenty of bargains still out there.

Happy New Year!
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