28 February 2008

I feel pretty

Last night I went to buy a new dress for a fancy dress work thing. What should have been a relatively simple exercise - given that I found the dress within an hour of looking - ended with Bruce waiting miserably by himself amidst lingerie while I stood topless in a change room trying desperately to make something of the strapless bra-of-many-straps puzzle I’d been handed by the sales girl.

Let this be a lesson to you, ladies of fashion – if you buy a backless dress with a peep front, well. You’re a bit stupid then, aren’t you? Especially if you’ve been wearing the same cotton casual under-things since about twenty years ago, when you hit puberty and vowed never to let a stranger follow you into a cubicle with a tape measurer ever again.

That’s not to say I wasn’t using the power of my mind to try and will the sales girl to ask if I needed help so that I could reach through the curtain and drag her in and make her show me how to build a backless bra using two cups, three long straps and a short elastic bit (she didn't). But sales girls are not paid enough to know anything at all about what they are selling in this country. She was kind enough to let me sneak in a few more garments after the shop had closed, though, so I forgive her.

And now I’m stuck with this dress that looks fine from the front (peep peep!) and slightly ridiculous from the back. I paraded around in front of sales girl number two asking “If you were a girl and you saw someone in a backless dress with her bra strap showing like this, would you think it looked stupid?”

“No, it looks not stupid” she said in near-perfect English. Then she smiled reassuringly, as if to put a finer point on it.

Which at half eight on a Wednesday night was good enough for me. I’ve got a cardigan anyway, just in case I can sense mirth from the other, more sensibly dressed women at the event. Though I am hoping someone shows up looking like a chandelier, because that always trumps a visible bra strap.

Oh, and remember when tights used to be really itchy because they employed some type of unconditioned wool, but you weren’t allowed to take them off because then your legs would show and godforbid you show a little leg at age five? Well now you can have that itchy-legged feeling all over again, as a full-grown woman! I don’t know why fashion has to hurt, but it does.

And that’s all I have time for today, because I’m doing a few more hours work and then I have to go to the toilet and grapple with ten tiny buttons and a sash.


Lass. said...

Fancy dress-shopping is torture. My dress-up occasions are so infrequent that whenever I have on something fancy, my awkwardness level, which is high all the time, skyrockets. Blah.

Anonymous said...

Yes, tottering about in one-inch heels isn't exactly my idea of a strong entrance, but I'll work with what I've got (a perfectly balanced inner ear hopefully).