When I finally cracked the glass ceiling at my company, I went dress shopping. I needed some new work clothes, but also, I wanted to celebrate a little bit. I worked my ass off for twenty years before I broke through, and then I was practically giddy with it.
I went to Dressbarn. It is the closest I have ever come in my life to that scene in Pretty Woman where Richard Gere’s character says they are going to need some “serious sucking up” because they are about to spend an obscene amount of money.
When the sales associate offered to take the bundle from my arms so I could keep shopping, she knew I was serious. After that they were waiting on me hand and foot, finding me matching accessories and a different size or color without me having to leave the dressing room. I felt like a princess!
Once I’d spent four hundred dollars they gave me a really good discount so I spent hundreds more. I walked out of there with eight new summer dresses, matching cardigans and jewelry, and a couple of blouses.
It was even better than that scene in Pretty Woman because I PAID FOR IT MYSELF! And not even on credit.
“I deserve eight new dresses,” I said to myself.
Damn straight I deserved them. I earned them fair and square. The sales associates at Dressbarn could not have agreed more.
There was a reason I went there to begin with, of course. Dressbarn has provided me with year upon year of “banquet” dresses. Banquet dresses are formal dresses I needed in order to stand up in front of 350 people, give a speech or two and present awards to other employees. Nothing makes you feel insecure like knowing 350 people are all going to be looking at you at once.
Every year there was the “banquet dress diet” and then the finding of the dress. Dressbarn became a store I counted on to come through for me, no matter what size I was that year.
The banquets went the way of so many other corporate perks, but even last year when I needed a dress for a wedding, it was the first-and last- place I went. I found a dress I loved.
You know how it is when you find a good dress and feel cute or sexy or beautiful. When you feel good about a dress, the moment you put it on you are transformed into someone more confident. That’s what a good dress can do for you.
Dressbarn’s are closing. I am distraught, but I am also grateful for the years they helped me in a bind, the years their dresses came through for me. They got me through plenty of high stress events without the stress of worrying about finding a dress.
When they close their doors for good, I hope everyone has the sense to never again invite me to an event requiring a dress.