Saturday, February 02, 2008

Bridal Preparations

Don't be fooled by the title of this post - no one here, in my family, is getting married or remarried anytime soon.

But this morning while reading my favorite blogs, Empress Bee of the High Seas, was discussing briefly the preparations going on now for her granddaughter, Lala's wedding this spring. One of the things on her list of "to do" stuff was that she now has to go shopping for a suitable dress for the Grandmother of the Bride to wear at that affair. And that gave my memory a bit of a jog back in time -oh about 11 years ago this past month- when my older daughter was planning her wedding.

At that time in my life, I was working two jobs - just barely covering the absolute basic necessities of my expenses and I was worrying about how I was going to be able to afford to take off not just one night, but two nights from work for openers - one, to attend the wedding rehearsal and the other, of course, to attend the wedding. And then, on top of that, I had to shop, very carefully, for an outfit to wear to the event as well.

For a good many years now, shopping for anything new in my wardrobe - other than oversized tee shirts with either a Penn State logo thing on them or perhaps some obnoxious saying -has not been a pleasant experience for me. Weight gain that made then - still does except is worse now-finding anything that fits and doesn't make me look and feel like a stuffed sausage, is something next to impossible and, has been for a long time. Add to that the challenge of finding something for an occasion as auspicious as the wedding of one's daughter that would be at all affordable on my really meager budget then and might even have potential of being worn more than one time (so that it would work with my Scottish ancestry of items serving more than one purpose, ya know), I figured I was going to be dealing with an impossible search mission.

Much to my surprise though, I found an outfit I felt would be very appropriate. Found this item at a J.C. Penney's store in our vicinity and to my real pleasure, it was on sale and not only that, it would be an addition to my wardrobe that I could wear to church, for work in an office setting if I ever managed to land a "professional" job, utilizing my degree, etc. Yes, it was an outfit I was quite pleased with.

It consisted of two pieces - a navy skirt and a blazer in a navy/light blue/mauve/violet paisley print (blazer type) with a "dickey" inset that buttoned in making it look as if it were actually a three piece set. The price was, for an ensemble like this, very reasonable as it was on sale for a mere $25.00! I was, needless to say, ecstatic over my find.

I was very excited as I called my daughter to tell her of my find. She was semi-approving as I described the colors and that it was of a "suit" type nature, which was acceptable to her. Then she said it sounded find but that "It better not be showing any cleavage!" And yes, she was quite adamant about that point too! This is the daughter who tended then to wear clothing along the "classical" lines of apparel -chic and stylish, but very office-dressy if you follow my drift there. (Today, the same can't always be said for her as she has in the past couple of years discovered some "water bra" that I believe Victoria's Secret makes and she makes no bones about telling darned near everyone she knows about these fantastic bras and the rounded curves they give, yadda, yadda.)

I told her I was quite sure this outfit would be acceptable to her and she kept asking me over and over though about how much cleavage did it show.

About a week or two later, there came a day when she and her future mother-in-law and my younger daughter and I would all be able to meet up at a very nice restaurant in State College (The Tavern, if anyone reading this is familiar with Penn State and State College) for supper. For having working both Christmas and New Year's shifts at my one job, I had been given two gift certificates for dinner at the Tavern, so older daughter decided that this would be a good time for me to make use of them, meet her soon-to-be mother-in-law, get acquainted, etc., and also, for me to bring the outfit I had purchased over with me so she could look at it and hopefully, give it her stamp of approval.

We met in the little entryway to The Tavern and the first thing daughter did was snatch the bag containing my outfit in it from me and yanks it out of the bag to inspect the jacket. She looked it over closely - the colors were fine, the paisley and the colors in it would really look excellent she felt since her attendants would be wearing gowns of a deep violet/purple shade so the paisley print would look like it had been coordinated to their colors.

And thankfully too, when she saw how the white piece fit in the front - that little button-in dickey - she realized it would definitely hide the cleavage problem completely.

I doubt Bee's granddaughter will put her through hoops like that though when she goes shopping for her "Grandmother of the Bride's dress!

Oh, and in case you're wondering, that outfit did see several years of usage -until unfortunately, I outgrew it.


Hammer said...

Wow I never considered cleavage as a problem. The only time it is a little distrating is when a woman wears a low cut blazer with no blouse and just a silk hankercheif to cover the front just barely.

I'm realy glad I'm a guy becuase it's so much easier to get dressed.

Dianne said...

Took me back to my mother of the groom dress search. It will be 2 years this April!

I started as a size 18 when I first got the dress then between the time I got the dress and the time of the wedding I lost a ton of weight. I had drive miles for about 10 different alteration appts!! When else would losing weight be an issue ;)

At the last minute they had to put little clasps in to hook the shoulders of the dress to my bra - well of course the fragile clasps broke at the church and I spent the entire wedding trying not to show a lot more than just cleavage LOL

Made for one heck of an entertaining wedding video.

and the irony of it - I was so paranoid that I kept wrapping myself in a shawl - first time in years that I was thin(er) and I was hidden in a cloak.

Sandi McBride said...

Ah cleavage. I remember it fondly. Water bras you say? I've never darkeded the door of a Victoria's Secret, felt if the secret were that expensive she may as well keep the post!

fermicat said...

I hate it when a favorite outfit no longer fits, and there is no hope of it ever fitting again. I kept my very first interview suit long past the time I could squeeze into it. My Dad bought it for me when I left school in 1992. It was a classic navy suit (skirt and jacket) with very fine beige pin stripes. You could change the degree of formality of it by your selection of shirt and jewelry and shoes. A very nice wardrobe staple that I wore to work for years. Until I could no longer get my fanny in it. That was a sad day. The jacket still fits, but I don't forsee ever being able to wear the skirt again. I can't seem to bring myself to get rid of it because my Dad gave it to me.

terri said...

Sounds like the perfect outfit! It fit, it looked good, coordinated with the bridesmades and best of all was a really excellent price! I love finding something like that!

Alison said...

cleavage...I have so much cleavage that not much could hide it!!! I have also outgrown many an outfit..Sigh..

Jeff B said...

We men have it so much easier when it comes to clothes. It always amazes me to watch Lisa (my wife) try to pick out something to wear to wedding or a party. Dozens of "try ons" then when the selection is made, here comes the "what shoes, hand bag, etc..."

I, yi yi! what an ordeal.

Paula said...

Nothing like good ole' JC Penney. I love that place. They are always having the best sales! So glad your outfit met with your daughters approval!

Shelby said...

I like JC Penney.. always have. :)

bleeding espresso said...

This is hilarious! JC Penney does have some great finds every now and again...I found myself browsing their dresses the other day when a magazine I was reading included some outfits from there.

Mahala said...

When it comes to cleavage, I like to let it all hang out!

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

i had to laugh at the cleavage! lala would have to look at the knees to find it! ha ha ha

funny i never thought about the money. i never do. and i am sorry about that. sometimes it is easy to forget about people having money problems and i get caught up in my own world. i am sorry to have been that way and i will make an effort to do batter about this.

for so many years we never had any money but i still never seemed to think about it. and funny, now i won't even touch it. (germs you know!) i know, i am nuts!

smiles, bee

david mcmahon said...

You and Empress Bee are a gerat double act, Jeni.

You always make me smile.