Tuesday, June 5, 2012
You are my favorite way to welcome the summer. Goodbye to the limbs-constricting long-sleeves and pants; it's time to air out the body and say hello to the warmth of this season!
The sundress in the picture above is my newest clothing purchase. Your reaction upon seeing that sundress will fall into either one of the following categories: #1. "Oh, nice sundress!' (whether you really think that or not) or #2. "I know exactly where you got that from, and I have one, too!" Let me explain.
If you are a SAHM (stay-at-home-mom), then you know what our wardrobe consist of: anything stretchy, washable, easy on/off, and resemble (the comfort of) pajamas. Since I have been out of the workforce for almost a decade now, my closet has dwindled to jeans, sweatpants, yoga capris, and workout shorts. My dresser is filled with long-sleeve and short-sleeve tees, all cottony, no buttons. Let's face it: if I'm gonna get stained (and you bet SAHMs get stained everyday), I might as well stain old tees that are already decorated with splotches and splatters. Needless to say, my wardrobe is quite on the boring side.
Since having children, the experience of 'clothes shopping' has become exclusively 'for others', or more specifically, for the kiddos. Children grow like weeds, and they need new clothes every season of the year. They have winter wear and gear needs, summer swimwear needs, and everything in between. They have needs for shoes for every season just like grownups, but they need new ones all the time. In order to afford all this clothing (not to mention accessories) for the kiddos, Dear Husband and I practically do not shop for ourselves anymore. Much of our 'new' clothes come in the form of gifts or some 80% off sale rack. (Is it pathetic when I tell Dear Daughter that I wear shoes that are older than she? Or that DH and I still have and wear clothes from our days in college?)
The stores at which DH and I shop have changed over the years. On a graph, the amount of money we've spent on clothing is appearing to be inversely proportional to the progression of years since college. We went from shopping at clothing retail stores such as The Gap and Banana Republic, to all-in-one retail stores such as Target and Kohl's, and now finally at wholesale stores, namely Costco. While shopping for necessities, if something on the Costco clothing tables (no clothing racks available, sorry for the ghetto-ness) catches my eye and the price is right, I grab it. DH will toss out a request for some casual shorts, and he'll probably get some at the next Costco shopping trip.
At my Costco shopping trip last week, I spotted a rack (yes, a rack, of special collection of clothes that are seasonal and not replenished) of summer dresses. They caught my eye because they are floral sundresses, by designer Calvin Klein, for a whopping $16.99! They are knee length tank cotton dresses with an empire bodice, and came in four different prints/colors. I immediately liked two of them, but not knowing how they'd fit, I chose one and just hoped for the best. (You Costco shoppers know that its fitting rooms are your own homes, with the buy-to-try and return-and-rebuy policy.)
At home, I tried it on, and lo and behold, it was a perfect fit. I liked it so much that I began to fret. I should have bought the second one; they have so few in my size that they will be sold out very soon! I immediately began planning my second trip back to Costco to snatch another Calvin Klein sundress for $16.99 on the seasonal rack before they sold out. Fortunately, the Sundress Gods were looking out for me, and I successfully purchased TWO new sundresses for myself this summer.
This past weekend, I had planned on wearing this sundress to my BFFs' daughter's birthday party. It was not warm enough that day for a sundress, but my vanity prevailed and I threw on a sweater over it. I was determined. It took no time for BFF to notice my dress, and her immediate look told me that she belonged in Category Reaction #2. I knew it! (All this happened within seconds with no word exchange.) I had a feeling that she also grabbed it while shopping at Costco, the exact same way and under the exact same circumstances as I did! See, there is a reason why she's my BFF.
But just look at the dress. It's stretchy, comfortable, sundress-y, airy, washable, no buttons, and comes in an elegant floral print. Emphasis on the 'elegant floral print' because that is a huge camouflage for stains and spatters! It's Calvin Klein, and did I mention it's only $16.99? It's only $16.99! It's a win-win all the way. If you're wondering, the other one I got is a nice peachy-y orange-ish color, in a free style print of swirly blocks.
It wasn't until last year that I realized I had stopped wearing dresses. Dear Daughter noticed and asked me why I never wear them. I have a few long summer dresses in the closet gathering dust. Out of necessity for conforming to SAHM Uniforms, I totally forgot about them. Then again, if you realize that they are over a decade old, the print is also a wee bit out of style. So I cannot even begin to express how these two new sundresses will bring out my Summer Happy in the next few months. These casual sundresses makes me feel girly and special, something that we grungy old SAHMs need every once in a while. Every now and then, we want to be wide-eyed little ballerinas tip toeing across the stage, knowing all eyes are on us while we twinkle in the spotlight and toss shiny glitter in the air around us...
And then come back to reality when we get a big spaghetti sauce stain on said sundress.
So, new Sundresses, am I ever glad to have you this summer. I promise to keep you as much away from grease spots and ink stains as possible. Thank you for taking the boring out of my wardrobe! And I expect a lot of knowing glances from people who fall into Category Reaction #2, but I won't mind. It will just represent a comradery of My Kind, a sort of Badge of Honor. And we will wear you, our special SAHM Uniform, with pride.