Author Topic: What to do with a dress you like but feel awkward about?  (Read 3581 times)

Ellsie Equanimity

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What to do with a dress you like but feel awkward about?
« on: October 22, 2016, 04:25:08 PM »
My brother was supposed to get married. I was going to be a bridesmaid, and my husband a groomsman. I got a bridesmaid dress that I think is really pretty and re-wearable, and my husband got a matching shirt and tie (both paid for by the mother of the bride). I even had it altered to fit me perfectly (paid for by me). The wedding got delayed, then canceled. We tried giving back or paying for the clothes but were told don't bother. I've kept it for a year unsure of what to do with it. I was really looking forward to rewearing it (we go on fancy dates sometimes) after the wedding, but now I don't think I could wear it at all without thinking about the whole situation - frustrated and unhappy memories.

I wouldn't feel right selling it, because I didn't pay anything for it. I've been about to give it away so many times but I always feel bad because it's such a nice dress, my unsentimental husband says "I like that dress," and I did like it, too, and am disappointed I can't wear it now without negative associations. My mom also reiterates that I couldn't wear it without feeling awkward and I think she would be surprised and maybe even bothered if I kept it, not to mention my brother who deeply associates things with memories.

I guess my only solution is giving it away, and maybe I'm just looking for more encouragement to do that? If I give it away for free though I want to feel like it's going to good use, to someone who really can't afford a nice dress, rather than to just someone who wants a good deal. I'm not totally sure how to accomplish that.

lhamo

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Re: What to do with a dress you like but feel awkward about?
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2016, 04:36:11 PM »
Do you have a Buy Nothing group in your area?   That is a great way to find a new home.  You can ask people requesting the item to tell you why they need it or what special event they would use it for.

Buy Nothing seems to be exclusively on Facebook. 

Which reminds me -- I need to go pick up a vest someone is giving me through my Buy Nothing group!  Better do it while the sun is out....

Ellsie Equanimity

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Re: What to do with a dress you like but feel awkward about?
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2016, 04:52:11 PM »
Do you have a Buy Nothing group in your area?   That is a great way to find a new home.  You can ask people requesting the item to tell you why they need it or what special event they would use it for.

Buy Nothing seems to be exclusively on Facebook. 

Which reminds me -- I need to go pick up a vest someone is giving me through my Buy Nothing group!  Better do it while the sun is out....

I've never heard of Buy Nothing before. I just requested to join the facebook group.

historienne

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Re: What to do with a dress you like but feel awkward about?
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2016, 05:23:30 PM »
There are groups in most cities that collect used formal dresses for prom, so that kids who can't afford a new outfit can dress up nicely.  That might feel like it's really going to good use, if the dress is an appropriate style.

MrsPete

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Re: What to do with a dress you like but feel awkward about?
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2016, 05:56:15 PM »
It's your dress.  It fits you.  No one else wants it, and it's probably the last thing the almost-married couple is thinking about. 

I'd wear it.  It's likely that your brother will never recognize it as the dress you would've worn in his wedding, but you might take care not to purposefully wear it around him. 

Any chance you could have it dyed or otherwise altered?

cchrissyy

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Re: What to do with a dress you like but feel awkward about?
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2016, 06:17:48 PM »
I'd wear the dress

But, if you don't like it anymore, because even though it is a greta dress that fits your just right, the memory/emotion is no good anymore, then I think you should sell it at a consignment shop and use the funds to buy other stuff. that way, the "gift" of the free dress turns into a gift of something you like better.

sol

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Re: What to do with a dress you like but feel awkward about?
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2016, 06:24:52 PM »
It's a piece of clothing.  It has no memory.

Someone has, at some point in time, had sex in the room you're in right now.  Someone died in the old house you grew up in.  Someone was once murdered at the corner store you shop at.  Life is full of events that have absolutely no bearing on the places or objects involved in them, it's only human beings with their twisted sense of importance that lends memories to these things.  In almost every case, we're better off forgetting.

So if it's a nice dress, and you like it, just remember that it's a nice dress that you like.  Nothing else.  There doesn't need to be any deeper significance to it than that.  Do you have other nice dresses that you also like?  It's basically interchangeable with those.  Unless every item in your closet has some emotionally traumatic back story. 

Which they all do, of course, you just don't know them.  Those shoes were stitched by an 11 year old girl in Vietnam.  That Tshirt was made by a woman in Thailand who had no other way to feed her children after her husband ran off with her sister.  The fancy felt hat was one of the last ones made by the hatmaker before retiring to care for his mother with ALS.  In general, we don't want to know their stories.

Josiecat

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Re: What to do with a dress you like but feel awkward about?
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2016, 06:25:36 PM »
Sometimes engagements get called it.  It happens.

Put that pretty dress on and go out.  It's your dress.  Your husband likes it.  Enjoy it.

Frankies Girl

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Re: What to do with a dress you like but feel awkward about?
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2016, 07:07:26 PM »
If it was a pretty dress, looked great on me and I liked it, I'd wear it. Often.

Despite the sad association for what the dress was supposed to be for, you never wore it to a wedding, you never wore it anywhere. It's not indelibly stained forever; it is just a dress - the fact that it was altered to fit you is even more awesome, because finding a pretty dress that you get custom tailored isn't something that happens all the time. That is RARE, so getting rid of it seems just a damned shame to me. And no one other than your brother and mother would probably even care, so just don't wear it around them?

Wear it out to someplace fun and make a new happy memory with it.

Syonyk

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Re: What to do with a dress you like but feel awkward about?
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2016, 10:37:26 PM »
What's better?  That the engagement got delayed and the wedding canceled, or that they get married, fight, have a nasty divorce?

Engagement is supposed to be a period of testing the waters, as it were - and they figured out, before getting married, that it was a bad idea.  Great!

Keep the dress, wear the dress, don't worry about it.

If that's not an option, donate or sell it.  *shrug*

MrsTuxedocat

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Re: What to do with a dress you like but feel awkward about?
« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2016, 01:18:10 AM »
I am a pretty sentemential person and I'd have no qualms wearing the dress. You have done your part by offering to pay for it. Crap happens, the dress was bought so wear it.

Del Griffith

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Re: What to do with a dress you like but feel awkward about?
« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2016, 09:33:30 PM »
One possible option -- if you do decide to get rid of the dress and would like for it to go to a good cause, you could look into prom dress drives. They are often held by local community agencies, I'm guessing in late winter/early spring, which make the dresses available to teens in various programs. They help out teens/families who wouldn't usually be able to afford a prom dress otherwise. Similar to winter coat drives. You can google 'prom dress donation' and see what is around in your area.

Metric Mouse

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Re: What to do with a dress you like but feel awkward about?
« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2016, 12:10:56 AM »
I just wouldn't recommend wearing it to dinner with your brother. Otherwise if it's pretty and fits, wear away.

Villanelle

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Re: What to do with a dress you like but feel awkward about?
« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2016, 01:54:29 AM »
I would absolutely wear the dress, though I'd avoid doing so at events my brother would attend since it sounds like it would bother him.

But if you aren't prepared to or able to reframe you thinking in this, consider looking for some good cause that you can support by donating the dress.  Prom dress drives, for example, might make you feel that the dress created some good in its next life.  Dress for Success might also work, depending on the style of the dress.  Or selling it (perhaps via consignment shop, or just private party) and then donating the money (maybe to a cause near and dear to your brother, if that makes you feel better).

mozar

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Re: What to do with a dress you like but feel awkward about?
« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2016, 10:00:33 AM »
I wouldn't do this myself, but you could have a ceremony to get rid of the bad juju, maybe burn some sage around it.

Giro

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Re: What to do with a dress you like but feel awkward about?
« Reply #15 on: October 24, 2016, 11:20:04 AM »
It's not you that didn't get married,  wear the dress.