Our son’s wedding is quickly approaching, and the last-minute details are being worked out. When we returned from our cruise in August, I decided to try on my dress (named “Rita”) to make sure that the excess vacation eating did not impact the fit. All appeared fine and my husband said that “Rita” looked great. She went back into the closet until the big day.
This past weekend, two weeks before the wedding I decided to try her on one last time just to make sure. Sadly, I went into a major stress attack as I felt Rita was now too big and made me look frumpy. I had purchased my dress online in January, but we went to the brick and mortar store to try and solve the problem. From there my mood went from bad to worse. Not because of the dress but because of the poor attitude of the seamstress.
As I stood in front of her under the bright lights in the dressing room, she assured me that the dress fit me just fine. In her opinion, the issue was the placement of the belt loops which were attached too low on my waist, and therefore made the bodice bunch up and puff out in the front and back. I removed the belt from the loops and tied the belt at my waist. The dress looked great in all three mirrors (front, back and side). No more frump. The seamstress was right, but her approach was all wrong. She was dismissive of my concerns, and I got the impression that she could not wait to get back to whatever was waiting for her in the tailor shop.
I told her that the dress was for our son’s wedding and that I wanted to be sure that everything was perfect. Her response was that my choice of dress “was not fancy enough for a wedding.” I honestly could not believe my ears, I asked her to repeat herself twice, thinking maybe I misunderstood what she said. Sadly, I had heard right––she did not approve of my dress. She had no idea if the wedding was formal, casual, beach, western themed or down-home funky. She also stated that she could not move the belt loops, but that I should just cut them off when I got home. I thanked her for her time (don’t ask me why I thanked her after being the target of her thoughtless comment and indifferent attitude) and she left quite satisfied with the outcome.
At that point I was beyond upset. My husband said I should complain to the store manager, but I wanted to leave. Once home and calmer, I tried on the dress again in the comfort of my home and wore the belt as recommended. Bottom line, the seamstress was right about the belt, and wrong about my choice.
Lessons learned for me:
1. Never take to heart the negative feedback of a stranger. Obviously, her taste in clothing is very different than mine. And that’s OK. But it was not necessary for her to criticize my choice of garment for my son’s wedding when she does not know anything about me or my sense of style.
2. Trust the opinions of your loved ones. Don was right, the dress fit me just fine.
Of course, I will turn this into an organizing lesson regarding your closet. When you make wardrobe choices for the upcoming holiday season, remember that your weight may have changed or shifted causing clothing to fit differently. Take time to try things on and don’t assume that because they fit last year, they will fit the same today. Also, when putting away clothing at the end of the day, check for stains, rips or other imperfections. Instead of throwing the clothes on the floor or a chair to deal with tomorrow or next week, make your decisions immediately about necessary cleaning or mending, and get it done. Choose your outfits wisely and be true to yourself and your personal style. Most important, enjoy spending time with your family and friends. Please don’t waste one precious moment stressing about the dress!
Wishing you a happy and healthy new year!
Eileen Bergman is a professional organizer, a proud member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) and the Institute for Challenging Disorganization (ICD). Eileen may be reached at 973 303 3236 or [email protected].