I thought to myself, self, perhaps you should look online after being so sorely disappointed by the lack of sleeves that permeate the brick-and-mortar stores. So, I perused many a website, looking for something simple, slightly sophisticated, yet easy on the wallet.
Not an easy feat, my friends.
I found lots of cheap, cruddy looking dresses and lots of gorgeous dresses that were too damn expensive. When I shop for clothes online, which I rarely do, I tend towards the more expensive just because I have a bit more faith in the design, which is so very hard to tell from a picture.
Then, I found this:
Now looking at that picture, you would think, self, what can possibly go wrong here? It is black, that most flattering of colors. It is a faux-wrap, which is not only easy to wear, it is quite the fashion rage right now. It is a matte-jersey, which I knew could be a bit unforgiving of ahem, bulges, but I thought that the cut of the dress was fluid enough that it would be ok. Liz Claiborne, I thought, has been around long enough to know what she is doing. At least, that is what I fervently hoped.
The box was delivered this afternoon while Mr. P was at school, which turned out to be extremely fortunate as he was not present to hear my shriek of horror as I viewed myself in the mirror.
Let's get this straight, I am a woman who is not short on self-esteem. I am well aware of my flaws, but overall, I am ok with the way I look. I don't obsess, I don't cluck at myself in the mirror when I get out of the shower.
But unless you are indeed shaped exactly like the dress form upon which it is draped above, this garment will highlight any and every figure flaw that you have.
The designer, who clearly has a grudge against the female body, decided that instead of the fabric draping freely from the bodice, had the brilliant idea of inserting panels on the exact places that most women want to camoflage. So, there are three panels, one right on your stomach, and then two coming around your hips from the stomach panel and meeting with a seam down the middle of your ass. Doesn't that sound flattering? I thought not.
To add insult to injury, there is a fabric belt to be tied jauntily on the side. Well, it might look all right if it lined up with the seam of that lovely stomach panel. But no, you have the seam of the panel cutting you horizontally, and then the belt again cutting you horizontally and unevenly unless you have a completely flat stomach. And if you do, go away from me right now, because I don't like you at this moment.
Then, top it off with shoulder seams that make you look like a middle linebacker, and you have a dress that even someone with a good body would have a hard time feeling comfortable in. And for the record, I don't really count myself as having a good body. Trust me on this.
So, back in the box it goes to be sent back to the sixth circle of hell from whence it came.
And, back to the stores I go.