I'm an MOB, a mother of the bride. My older daughter, Broccoli Baby, will be getting married later this year. Small-ish, fancy-ish affair for mostly immediate family and the betrotheds' friends. Broccoli Baby has nice taste, is a master at party planning and pays attention to detail. She's making all the wedding arrangements herself and I predict all will be perfect.
As the MOB, of course I’ll need a new outfit for the affair. (Broccoli Bob insists on wearing one of his, ahem, better suits, and we're just hoping he gets it altered in time. He's no fashionisto). This past weekend, Broccoli Baby came over for the sole intent on shopping with me for my MOB outfit. I have in mind what I'd like...palazzo pants (back in style, thankfully!), a colorful, flowing jacket and pretty flat shoes. I also know what I don't want--no spanx, no high heels, no pantyhose, no matronly dress and probably not any dress at all.
Broccoli Baby is fine with my ideas. She, being the daughter she is, wants me to be comfortable and agrees with my decision to wear nice pants to her Saturday evening affair. She knows that:
- I haven't worn a dress in ages.
- I don't do pantyhose. I consider them tortuous to women without waistlines. I gave them up a long time ago when it was clear that I wasn't getting a waistline back post-partum. Being on the short and squat side, pantyhose can only fit around my waist if the legs are about 20" longer than they needs to be. All that tucking under the toes and cramping the nylon into the shoe is way behind me. I stand firm on no pantyhose. Ever.
- Haven't worn any footwear with a heel in ages either. That has naturally happened after years of walking around hospitals and years of comfort in sneakers. When I first started working as a dietitian, I was able to wear gorgeous peep-toed high heels to work without pain. Now, I can wear cute flats, but they're only worn for beauty, not comfort.
- Spanx. see #2 regarding tortuous women's apparel.
- Oh, and I don't wear sleeveless, so that needs to be added to the "what I know I don't want" category. Those with thick waistlines often have wriggly upper arms. There I am.
Broccoli Baby and I go through the entire mall looking for my MOB outfit. Lots of strapless gowns, plenty of matronly long dresses with sparkly shoulder padded jackets (not me!), loads of too-young-for-me outfits. But wait. Sak's has a pair of black palazzo pants with a beautifully designed stripe up the sides. I try them on. No exaggeration--they're about 15 inches too long. And they're (no exaggeration again) $1195.00. Yup. 1200 bucks for a pair of pants. (All the clothes in my closet right now don't add up to $1200). Broccoli Baby and I carefully slip out of the Sak's dressing room before the saleslady returns. (But at least they fit in a smaller size than I expected. Now that’s priceless).
Next to Nordstroms, where Broccoli Baby has arranged a personal shopper for me, and he is waiting, with bottled water, and clothes already hanging in a lavish dressing room based on the “rules” Broccoli Baby phoned in. What's there but:
- A sleeveless cocktail dress. (Can you picture me in this? What a laugh). To boot, it’s creased. The least he could have done was steam those lines out.
- The aforementioned matronly dress with a sequined, shoulder-padded jacket. And to boot, it ties at the waist. Didn't I already say I didn't have a waist?
- A horrible, really horrible, gold jacket with dolman sleeves with a stretched out buttonhole.
this isn't me, but you get the picture, don't you?
So this poor personal shopper is feeling badly for me. I tell him that I’d like pants, so he goes back out and brings back, ta-dah, the exact same pair of pants I tried on at Saks. And the price tag is still $1195. He brings in a white (sleeveless!!) sparkly top and a black sparkly jacket and they’re obviously not a matching set. Even though I tell this to him, he insists that they match. I see Broccoli Baby from the corner of my eye shaking her head “no.’” See, I’m right. They don’t match. But I try them all on anyway, the $1195 pants, the $200 white sleeveless blouse and the $600 mismatched jacket. Pants are too long, blouse and jacket too baggy. They don’t fit. They don’t match. They’re schlumpy and hideous. I stand on that little platform in from of the tri-folded mirror and pronounce…”FOR TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS SHOULDN’T I LOOK BETTER THAN THIS.” Loehmans...come back.