You Don't Know What You've Got Until You Have Nothing Else To Wear

To fully understand this story, you need to know three things about me: 

Backstory 1. I used to be a slutty dresser.
Technically speaking, my clothes weren't super slutty but I loved short skirts and low-cut tops. Mostly because I had an awesome rack and killer stems. Yeah, I can talk like that because it was true.

Backstory 2. I've recently gained a lot of weight.
One of the side-effects of the steroids I take every day is that my weight has gotten out of control and my body now resembles a woman who recently gave birth to twins. Except I don't have the babies, which FYI, makes people question your story. Because I was used to showing off my killer bod, all of the dresses I own make me look like two pigs fighting under a blanket (borrowed from Steel Magnolias because it really is the best description). 

Backstory 3. I'm one public outburst away from needing Xanax.
Another side-effect of the steroids is constant anxiety. 

For example, I have to unplug, roll up and put away my hair straightener after I use it or I’ll be in the grocery store, searching for the perfect banana when, suddenly, I get a pit in my stomach.

Did I turn my straightener off? I must have turned it off. I remember pressing the off button but what if I didn’t press it long enough? Stop it, Jennie. You’re being an idiot. But how much more of an idiot would you be if you got home to see a slew of fire trucks in your driveway and your house, half-burned  as well as the surrounding forest. What will you say, Jennie, when the fire marshal comes out holding the remnants of the hair straightener you stupidly left on? Not only are you responsible for the insurance-inelligible destruction of your own house but of the destruction of the entire neighbourhood! How are you going to pay for that, Jennie? HOW? 

And then I leave my cart in the middle of the produce department to race home and find that the stratightner is not only off, but resting on its fireproof mat.

Hence my bordering on obsessive compulsive behaviour why I need the three step process. I can't just be leaving cart fulls of bananas all over the place, now can I?

All right, so there's the background you need. Onto the actual story.

Not too long ago, a good friend of mine got engaged. She said that her wedding would be in August of 2012, which gave me about a year to find something to wear. Coincidentally, it's also the time I began worrying about it (because of the combination of back-stories 1 - 3). It was going to be a small wedding, under sixty people, which basically translates into: you will be in every other picture so you better bring your A-game.

Thankful for the lead time, I got to work.

The first dress I ordered was in March. It was an infinity dress and could be styled in 100 ways. I was SO excited for the dress to come because, out of 100 ways, at least a few would have to look good, right? Well, it arrived and was just as pretty as I thought it would be but the sides were too narrow and all I could see were the vicious stretch marks that look like evil red fingers on the sides of my boobs (yes, they're really that crazily bad).

So that dress wasn't going to work. 

Keeping on the look-out, it was another two months before I fell in dress-love again. 

With this:

Sorry it's so small but I can't get it any bigger. 

Not only did it look like a modern take on something a 50s housewife would wear, but the sides were high enough to hide all of the stretch marks and because it was a wrap-dress, if I lost or gained a few pounds, it wouldn't matter. Plus, it was made of cotton so I'd be nice and cool. 

Done and done. 

Three weeks later, it was supposed to arrive but instead, I got an email saying that although it was delayed, it was en route.

Another week went by.

Then another.

I was completely losing my shit when it got to the six-week mark. Around the same time I ordered the dress, I joined Weight Watchers and had managed to lose some pounds. None from my boobs or pouch because that would be asking to much, but still, I was able to fit into some of my old clothes. However, my boobs were still way too big to fit into any of my nice dresses. So, I continued to hold out hope that the wrap dress would arrive in time because as long as I got it before the wedding, everything would be all right. You know, because it was a wrap dress and therefore guaranteed to fit (please reference backstory 3 to understand the cycle of not-awesome thoughts that the delayed dress produced - each one crazier than the last).

Last Friday - just shy of seven weeks after I ordered it, the dress arrived. I attacked intenselybearhugged politely greeted the Purolator delivery man before he had a chance to ring the doorbell.

I rushed upstairs, tore open the wrapping in delirious anticipation of finally getting to see the beauty that would be contemporary 50s housewife dress when, after removing the plastic, I noticed a zipper.

Zipper? That doesn't make sense. Wrap dresses don't have zippers. 

Undoing the sash, it fell to the ground while the dress stayed intact, confirming that said wrap dress was not, in fact, a wrap dress.


And after trying on the sheath bodice, the dress mocked me by not even almost getting past the bottom of my ribcage.

Promptly tumbling down a rabbit-hole of despair, I decided to call in reinforcements. Luckily, a friend of mine was home. She made me feel better, which is when I was reminded of something. 

Something that should have occurred to me a very long time ago. In fact, it wasn't even that long when I last used the technique.

The technique of: when in doubt, add sparkles. Or, in this case, accessories


Seeing my closet through a lens of "acceptable starting point" instead of "standout dress," suddenly I had a lot of options. 

And that's when I noticed a navy and white sundress. It was one of the only dresses in my regular rotation because the sweetheart neckline and wider straps cover all the bad things while not making me feel like I'm wearing a turtle-neck. Putting it on, I looked in the mirror and decided that maybe there was hope of making it fancier if I added the right accessories. After many combos that just looked bad, I noticed the yellow Tribute J-Crew Bubble Necklace I bought a few weeks before. Putting it on, it was PERFECT! The sundress was suddenly sleeker and, weirdly, flattering. Breaking out the shoes, I found  a pair of pink canvas wedges that I completely forgot about. Adding a knit shrug to cover my shoulders and - to my utter amazement - the outfit looked TOTALLY wedding appropriate AND I felt awesome!

So there you have it. I'd been stressing out for no reason at all. I simply had to change my perspective and the problem solved itself.

And now I'm even MORE excited for our trip to Toronto, which we leave for TODAY! Five days of family, friends, and then it all ends with what I'm pretty sure is going to be the prettiest wedding I've ever been to.



  1. Have a great trip!! I'm sure you're rockin' the dress ;-)

  2. Are you on the current meds for life, or is there a chance of switching to something with fewer side effects?
    Either way, I'm so glad you got to do a happy dance--have a great time in TO!

  3. First of all, this story was awesome! It was all I could do to not laugh out loud (I'm reading this at work btw...) I've totally ben there when nothing is right and you think something is going to work and it doesn't! Its the worst! But J.Crew bubble necklaces totally make everything look amazing (even faux ones like mine)!!


Whattaya got to say about that? *waits*

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