Wednesday, June 03, 2009


This weekend is the weekend when I will be doing wedding flowers for a big fancy sit-down dinner hotel wedding. I cannot even express how excited I am that I get to do this. I'm still working on a name for my business (floral design and consultation - wherein not only do I want to do wedding flowers for people, but I want to help DIY types either by working with them to do their flowers or by teaching them how to make the things they want (bouquets, bouts, etc.)). Any business name suggestions are more than welcome, and I need to pick something soon because Dan is designing business cards for me to have available for the weekend.

Anyhow, not only am I doing flowers for the wedding but we're invited to the wedding as well. It's a fancy evening sit-down dinner hotel wedding. I've never been to one of those before. Almost all the weddings I've been to have been daytime ones, and the ones that weren't were not swanky formal affairs. I had no appropriate attire for this wedding, so this past weekend I informed Dan we were going dress shopping. He grabbed his ipod and we headed out to the racetrack mall.

There's a store in this mall that makes me cringe every time I see it because of the name. There are other branches of this store in other parts of the city, and since it's a chain I bet you've seen it too. I actually have looked in the windows of the store and thought they had some cute stuff, but have refused on principle to ever set foot inside. Because I hate the name of the store: it's called Dress Barn.

Because who doesn't want to buy their clothes in a barn? Oh shucks, Betty Sue, let's go down to the Dress Barn and find something to wear to the hoedown.

Really? Dress BARN? I - I'm sorry. I don't want to buy any clothing in a barn, or a shack, or a gazebo, or a coop. To me, a barn is where the animals live and where you store the hay and the farm implements. It's where Wilbur and Charlotte lived their lives. It is not where I want to buy cute clothing, or where I want to buy a swanky dress for a fancy wedding.

Knowing my limited options (and my limited budget, as I do not have millions of dollars to spend on fancy dresses), I knew I had to get over myself. So when we got to the mall, I marched right in to Dress Barn, just to see what they had.

And, I'm ashamed to admit, they had a lot. Lots of cute dresses. Lots of cocktail dresses, little black dresses, summer wedding-appropriate dresses. I had no idea what size I would wear (thanks to my embiggened chest), so I grabbed dresses in a couple of different sizes and ended up with at least ten in the dressing room. I modeled each in turn for Dan (except the first one I tried on, which was way unflattering). Four of them, I believe, were Little Black Dresses (something I've never owned). One was black-and-white, one was green, some had patterns. The dresses were well-made from nice fabrics. And then I looked at the price tags and was pleasantly suprised to discover that they were all in the $30-50 range. Seriously!?! Cute, well-made dresses for a few bucks more than the crap sold at the teeny bopper stores, and the only thing holding me back from shopping at this store was the name.

Well, I got over it. I actually bought two dresses (they were having a "save $10 if you buy two dresses" thing), a little black dress and the black and white one. I'll probably wear the latter to the wedding, as the bridesmaids are wearing black. I'm still looking for a pair of fabulous brightly-colored shoes to go with, and if I don't find what I'm looking for I already have black ones and silver ones that would work just fine. And I have to admit that next time I need a nice dress I might just have to look in a barn.


Jess said...

I had the same experience at Dress Barn. I went in one day out of boredom and found the cutest black and white patterned halter dress for really cheap. Of course, now it's too big, but still.

Monkey McWearingChaps said...

I haven't tried the Dress Barn, but I'm pretty much fed up with having to sort through piles and piles of crazy cheaply made sh*t at H&M or Forever 21 when I can go some place like Blandana Republican and get something with a clean silhouette that looks reasonably sophisticated.

Emily SW said...

hmmm...i am highly interested in getting a relatively cheap but flattering dress for my rehearsal dinner. however, my issue with dress barn is that my mom shops there, so i didn't know they would have dresses i'd actually like. i'll have to check it out...

Crafty Mama said...

I know, the name sucks. But the last few weddings and "dressy" events I've gone to they just couldn't be beat. Reasonable prices, and I ALWAYS find something. Whereas I head to the plus-size section at Macy's, browse for about an hour and get pissy that I don't like anything in my size and then walk out empty-handed. Hope you have a great time at the wedding!!

tmjackson said...

I, too, detest the name Dress Barn. I don't understand the marketing strategy of trying to sell dresses to women while also implying that they are cows.
However, I am glad you found good stuff. Maybe I'll give them a try when I get home and must prepare for The Reunion.
Good luck with the flowers! I am fresh out of cleverness for your name, but I'm sure you'll figure out something smart.

Cilicious said...

Wow, the bridesmaids wear black?
Now I *really* feel old (which I am)--that just seems so funereal, but I suppose it is instead considered to be sophisticated for evening.
I know that these days even the bride might wear black.
No doubt a cluster of black-clad women sets off the bride really well.
I love the idea of brightly colored shoes with your black dress.
And your flowers will really stand out, too.
Have fun with the flowers as well as the wedding evening!

Leah said...

Dude, seriously. Who names a store Dress Barn? Do they not have a marketing department?

Also, make sure someone takes your picture at the wedding because I'd love to see the dress!

Also, also, that's so cool that you're incorporating into your business teaching people how to do their own wedding crafts. I've never heard of that before, and it's bloody brilliant.

Average Jane said...

I actually like Dress Barn because they have cute, inexpensive clothes proportioned for grownups. It's hard to get past the name, though.

Yank In Texas said...

I haven't been in Dress Barn for ages as they'd been too dowdy in the past. Maybe I should revisit...