Thursday, 21 February 2013

Death of a Dress

Let me give you some context.

I was talking to a friend the other day about it being silly to spend £80 on a fancy dress outfit for her 30th birthday party on the premise that "you'll only wear it once or twice"...

Then, I was talking to some peeps on Twitter about buying wear-only-once items of clothing, and how it's a silly idea.

And then, I spent a good few hours last weekend trying to condense three double wardrobes, a six drawer chest, a moving box and a few black sacks of clothes in to one double wardrobe. During this process (which was not dissimilar from trying to squeeze toothpaste back in to a tube) I found my wedding dress crumpled in a heap on the floor of the spare room, where I'd thrown it after our Halloween party four months ago... nearly three years after its first wear.

So, it got me thinking that, in general, you spend more on a wedding dress than any other item in your wardrobe, and yet wear it less than everything you'll ever own.

I managed to get three wears out of mine, the wedding, a trash the dress photo shoot in London (courtesy of Jasmine Jade Photography) and then when Mr G and I dressed up as "Love you to Death" for Halloween. But at the time of buying, it cost me more than four months of mortgage payments. That takes each wear down to a more than the cost of owning a two bed flat for a month.

The thing is, generally I freak out at the thought of spending more than £50 on a dress, even for a special occasion, due to the fact that I might not get more than one or two wears out of it (thank you Facebook!). I sweated buckets when paying for my 30th birthday dress, and felt like I was breaking the law when I purchased the same dress, but in black for NYE. I like to spend my money on things that will last a long time and will get a lot of wear out of, but not in an obvious way. I also love a bargain, and a money-off offer, as demonstrated with my energetic dress arithmetic a few summers ago.

But then it gets worse. Not only did I buy the most expensive thing I have ever and will ever wear without even a blink of an eye... I ruined it, on its first outing. I dropped red lip liner on it whilst getting ready at the hotel and covered it in mud climbing through a rose bush to pose for photos, all before I even uttered a Vow. Then, at the reception it literally got trashed, ripping the hem on the dancefloor and spilling a variety of drinks on it. Can you imagine buying even a high street dress and being that careless with it on the first wear? Nope. Me neither. I like to take care of my things.

Now, I desperately want to have it cleaned, repaired and boxed so it stops taunting me and disappears, but it's going to cost me the same as buying a dress from Whistles to do so. The same as a pair of LK Bennett shoes. The same as flights to Munich for the Christmas markets (or in fact, more). When will I stop feeling guilty about the money I threw, and continue to throw, at that dress?

How can it be that this dress just won't die?

There's that hindsight again...


Round 1 - The Wedding

Round 2- Trashing the Dress, Rocking the Frock, Getting Down in the Gown

Round 3 - Love you to Death
Round 4 - crumpled in the corner of the as-yet-undecorated spare room

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