July 30, 2011

The Dress With Sleeves

With astoundingly few exceptions, I will purchase and wear any dress that fulfills the following requirements:

* Costs less than $30.00
* Has sleeves
* Does not require me to wear a camisole/tank top underneath it to hide my imaginary cleavage
* Hits the knee
* Is not made by Laura Ashley

Finding a dress that meets all of these requisites is nearly impossible. Which is why I practically did a cartwheel the other day when, in the middle of Marshalls, I stumbled across this gem:

The top was fine. I was willing to overlook the weird pooching on both sides of the skirt because I live in a constant state of denial that things on the rack will look dramatically better once they are on my body.

I rarely try things on in stores anymore for a couple reasons: a) I almost always have my children with me and b) The lighting in the dressing rooms gives the false illusion that I have wrinkles and need to get my hair colored.

Into the cart it went.

I tried on the dress the minute that I got home. It was comfortable, but it didn't look quite right pulled down to my kneecaps.

For $19.99, I wasn't sure that I cared.

I decided to ask my neighbor what she thought.

"I think you can do better," she said when I modeled the dress for her in her living room.

This is a nice way of saying that I looked gross.

I was on my way to the bathroom to change when the woman's teenage daughter popped her head out of her bedroom.

"Hmm," she said when she saw me. Without a word, she walked over to me and hiked up the bottom half of my dress.

Of course, I felt violated.

"Much better," she said.

That's how I learned that my knee-length dress is supposed to be a mini-skirt.


Ashley said...

Wow, that's something else. How about Target? Their dresses are pretty inexpensive... Search for the 'Merona Ponte Cap Sleeve Dress'...I think that one meets your requirements :-)

Marydon said...

So love the color ... & Laura Ashley.

Jameil said...


Kayla said...

I am laughing so hard right now.

I am IN LOVE with your stories!

Mom of 12 said...

I agree with you...I never try anything on at the store. It never looks quite right and I'm sure it has nothing to do with the lighting and everything to do with that pan of brownies I ate last week.

Erin said...

It isn't a dress unless someone can see your underpants, or lack thereof! Right? Aren't those the requirements these days?

Melissa said...

I am cracking up right now! I can't remember the last time I bought a dress, if the top fits, the bottom doesn't and vise verse. I stick to tops and skirts, they offer more options anyway. But, you are right, when you find one, you gotta buy it! Why is it that designers think we all want to show all the cleavage we have/don't have? Especially when it comes to maternity cloths, that is the last time I want to show it all!!

MandyE (Twin Trials and Triumphs) said...

In fairness, that really should have come with instructions... ;)

Kerrie (and Jason) said...

Wear it with jeans or long pants - as a top. problem solved!

Mal said...

Yeah, if i'd been there I would have warned you. Sorry. I do love that you are also against dresses that require shirts underneath. I don't mind a tank top when it's really deep or something, but I don't like the look of a short-sleeved shirt under a dress without sleeves. It's a pet peeve, but a peeve nontheless.

Emily Heizer Photography said...

I don't understand. Why is there no hideous picture of you in this contraption? I keep hurt Jana. HURT.

Jill said...

I completely understand! I don't understand why modest clothes are so difficult to find. I just blogged about this exact thing. I shouldn't have to work so hard to find clothes to cover my lady parts, but that still make me look like a woman.

Miss Marine said...

Do you have Kohl's stores in Florida? The dresses in the women's department usually fit all my criteria and are stylish, to boot.

Amy said...

I gave up on dresses years ago and stick with skirts and blouses. I was too worried that something would flip up, fall down, or fall out!

Rachel :D said...

Holy cow, you crack me up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mrs. Tuna said...

I'm sure you knees are lovely, flaunt them.

Anonymous said...


Petra said...

And did the teenage daughter get the dress?


FamilySpice said...

I remember Laura Ashley dresses! It's a Southern thing. Never see it in SoCal! Such a funny story!

tulipdjc said...

LOL!!!! Oh I am so sorry but that is something I would totally do!!!!

AnneG said...

Ha! You have a knack for storytelling. I've come across a number of similar items, my favorite being the black tube top (or was it a skirt?)

Beth Hatch said...

I love Marshalls! I never went in because that's where my mother in law gets her "deals" and I didn't want to stoop that low preferring New York and Co, and the Limited. But, once I went in and saw the shorts that were cut right above the knee and for only $16.50, I was sold! I can't always wait for my favorite stores to have a 70% off sale.

Beth Hatch said...

My impossible criteria for a dress...

Empire waistline
No ruffles
No unsightly bold prints
Don't have to iron
Hits the knee
Sleeves (not cap)
No too low neckline
Under $50

Yeah, that's why I wear pants.

Anonymous said...

soo funny!!!