This post is not just about a pretty dress. It’s more about a hot mess wearing a pretty dress! My husband was informed months and months ago that he had a formal in August…we call these events Army Proms. So way back in March, I went shopping for my prom dress. Just to get ahead of things as I have never been prepared for these formal events more than a week in advance! The one time 6 years ago that I was prepared, I went and got pregnant and the dress I had bought fit until the weekend before the event. At which time, I had to go in search of a maternity gown!
Anyway, I was prepared this time! I found a gorgeous royal blue floor length gown with a gold bodice. It was flowy. It was comfortable. I didn’t need shapewear or any kind of special bra. I had the perfect gold sandals, clutch and wrap to go with it as well as the perfect sparkly jewelry. Everything. So pretty. But alas, my preparation was all for naught. My husband came home early from work the day before the formal and told me I needed to go shopping. Because he had just received word that this event was in fact, not formal, but semi-formal. The email came complete with a dress code for women and floor length gowns were not expected. THE DAY BEFORE THE EVENT! In an effort to NOT make someone in the Army ranks look like a jerk, this memo had come out the week before, but my husband was training at West Point and did not receive the memo until THE DAY BEFORE. (I don’t think my snarkiness has come across, so I will emphasize, the dress code changed THE WEEK BEFORE the event.)
Don’t get me wrong…I love to shop. But understand that I do not enjoy shopping under that kind of pressure. So first, I searched my closet. I literally had nothing appropriate for a semi-formal event. And shopping in my area is extremely limited. The closest metropolitan area with decent shopping is in Syracuse which is over an hour away. And I had a doctor’s appointment at 2:30 before I could begin this shopping endeavor. It was after 4:00 p.m. THE NIGHT BEFORE THE EVENT that I began searching for the perfect cocktail dress. Actually, I was willing to settle for less than perfect. I was just shooting for appropriate at this point!
(How do you like my vintage hat on my deer?)
So off I went to the very small Salmon Run Mall in the tiny little city of Watertown, New York. Without boring you with all of the shopping details, I think I did find the perfect dress for the occasion, but it was not without much trial and error. In fact, I brought home 4 different dresses and 3 pairs of shoes for my husband and mother-in-law to help me decide.
I do need to send out a giant thank you to the girls in Dress Barn and DSW. They were nothing short of fantastic, helping me with shapewear, zippers, and shoes! I am so thankful to them for making this stressful shopping experience just a little less stressful! So if you are shopping in the Watertown area and want a fabulous customer service experience, definitely head over to the Dress Barn and DSW at the Salmon Run Mall. (By the way, this is not a sponsored post. I paid for all of the items I brought home. I just like to give credit where credit is due!)
The banquet was to celebrate the 100th anniversary of my husband’s battalion. Here are a few more photos from the banquet just so you can see a little bit of what happens at an Army dress up event.
This is the Polar Bear Grog Bowl to honor all of the soldiers in this battalion who have served in all different wars in the last 100 years. This was a very cool ceremony as they emptied bottles of different types of alcohol to commemorate different places where the Polar Bears have served.
Then we drank it. I thought it would be disgusting but it was so diluted with orange juice that it didn’t taste all that bad.
My husband and our table mates.
My husband seizing a photo opportunity with a survivor (and his wife) of the Bataan Death March which occurred during World War II.
This is Sarah, the best table mate ever!
And to add hot mess to my pretty dress…as we were leaving the house to head for the banquet, we discovered that the outlet which powers our garage refrigerator and chest freezer had shorted out from the rain. When I went to the basement to check things out and find an extension cord, I stepped in a giant puddle at the bottom of the basement stairs. By the time we actually got into the air conditioned car, I was a sweaty hot mess in a really pretty dress.
This is moments before I turned into a sweathog!
Dress: Dress Barn ( I cannot find this dress online and now I am recalling there was another customer trying to find her size in the same dress and they couldn’t find it online either. But they have so many fabulous dresses!)
Cardigan: Old Navy Cropped Open-Front Dolman Sleeve Cardi (The navy is sold out online and there are few limited sizes in other colors, but currently on clearance for $5.97).
Shoes: Mix No. 6 Lina Patent Sandals in Taupe.
Necklace: Cato Fashions (from last year).
Floral Bracelet: Claire’s (I bought this a few months ago and I can’t find it online).
Earrings and Single Strand Bracelet: Very Old.
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