I had heard HORROR stories about grad & the costs. Dress, shoes, hair, nails, makeup, limo, photos, flowers, jewelry, dinner tickets, the list could go on and on, oh my! Some spoke of 1000's of $$$$ - YIKES - there is no way we could do that, not even close, nor do I see the need for such spending. However as a parent you do not want your child to be gypped, and honestly, you want them to feel a little spoiled, or at least I did. Graduation is a big deal, a major accomplishment and it deserves to be celebrated well. So I budgeted, tried to save, and in the end was very surprised, and very proud of my daughter for the decisions that she made. We came in under budget WAY under - As in our total was less than I had though we might have to spend for a dress. WHEW, one down 2 to go, but now I know it can be done, and done well, and I must add without conflict or drama.
Right from the beginning Ashlynn stated that she wanted to have a vintage dress, she had her heart set on it. Preferably a 50 / 60's era short we looked online to get an idea of what she wanted so I could actually be of some use in the stores. We set out one day in the middle of the Olympics and hit EVERY vintage, second hand store outside of the downtown core (excluding VV been there done that OFTEN already) saw some "possibilities" but nothing that screamed take me home.. wear me to grad. Several take me homes, but not for grad. Disappointed we headed home. Knowing that with vintage shopping they get new things weekly and the selection changes quickly, also knowing that when you see something you like you should buy it then and there because even if you come back the next day it could be gone. The key to vintage shopping, know what you want, do not settle and be willing to go back over and over. Sort of hard when you are on a time line. Day one, we learned that some vintage locations are far better than others, but then that could just be luck of the draw on that particular day.
On our second day out we decided to go back to the favorite of the favorites - Deluxe Junk, a Hilstad haunt from way back, Royd's sisters often took him there years ago when they were shopping together. Just to see if one of the "potentials" from the first trip happened to be there, sadly it was gone. However there were several other options, so the trying on began (I did not have her permission to take photo's there...sometimes the mamaratzi has to give into the wishes of teens) when she slipped on the 3rd dress of the day we all knew it was the one. Even the sales clerk said.. "Oh honey that dress is yours!" It fit like it was custom made for her, was in perfect condition and she loved it. Loved the style, loved the bead work, loved the colour. Momma loved the $85.00 price tag! BUT there is one other shop around the corner that she wanted to check out first before making the decision... The "perfect" dress was put on hold for an hour, we walked to the other store looked around tried on a few more that had potential but eventually headed back for the orange dress. WHEW! Done.. it was coming home with us.
While we were checking out, Ashlynn and I were having a discussion about shoes, what does one wear with an orange dress.... not black - too Halloween, white is boring! There is lovely sequin and rhinestone work on the upper bodice of the dress and I was making comment about if we bought silver shoes it would "bring out" the rhinestones... The poor sales clerk only heard the "bring out the rhinestones" part of the conversation and almost had a heart attack because she thought we were talking about taking OUT the rhinestones. She was ready to tell us we could not buy the dress if we were going to rip them out.... I was horrified, the rhinestones are stunning, and it would totally ruin the dress to remove them. I am sure that a great number of items purchased in such stores go home to be altered and changed, in some cases for the better, in this case it would be very sad. (Although it could be shortened and be quite beautiful at 3/4 length instead of floor length) It took a few min to explain we were discussing shoes and what colour etc not about altering the dress. She let out a HUGE sigh of relief when it was all figured out. Then we all laughed about how coming into a conversation part way through can be so
miss- leading, and in the end was happy that the dress was going to a home where it's authenticity would be valued.
Princess for a day PRICELESS!