A new plus-size clothing store opened in my area. I came to check it out, visually peruse the wares. With most of the clothing brightly colored, patterned and blingy, the store clearly catered to a customer base much younger than myself. While the styles were cute, most of their skirts and dresses were much too short for my tastes, even if worn with leggings as is the current trend. It’s just not my style, but I keep looking because you never know, every now and then you strike gold and I did. I spot a semi-muted leopard print skirt with a pleated sheer black overlay hanging high on a wall. I am actually surprised by this skirt for a couple of reasons. The muted tones of the print together with the overlay was a considerable level up in comparison to most of what I had seen so far. Above all it was the only skirt in the entire shop that reached my knees. Bonus – it was on sale, so I had to have it. I catch the eye of a sales girl, point to the skirt on the wall and ask if it is in my size. She looks befuddled not seeing the skirt I’m speaking of until I point it out by describing the shorter skirt next to it.
“Oh, you mean the leopard mini dress!” She smiles finally understanding to which item I refer; only now I am the one who is confused.
“That’s a dress?” I look at it again, not seeing it all at.
“Yeah, let me take it down for you, you’ll see.” She finds an extender hanging hook and brings it to me. “See? It’s a dress.”
I dubiously took it and held it against my body. To be fair the tube dress likely would be cute hitting mid-thigh or lower on someone who is 5’3″ or shorter. However, at my 5’8″ frame, worn as designed, it barely reached past my hips to my upper thighs and that is just holding it against me. With my body shape it would be even shorter when put on.
“Please tell me, where on earth would I be going at my age in something like this? Me?” I shake my head. It honestly was a sarcastic, rhetorical question, but the sales girl didn’t know that.
“Yes, you! It’s a club dress. You could easy rock that!” She nods as she visually appraised the dress against me.
“I’m fifty years old and there’s no way in hell…” I begin and then stop, seeing that she is about to cut me off with the standard tripe. “I swear if you’re about to say “age is just a number” close your mouth now before you lose a sale.” She closed her mouth so hard and fast I think I heard her teeth grind. “You’re new at being a sales girl in a clothing store aren’t you?”
She nods self-consciously in response. “That obvious?”
I take a mental breath and smile at the girl, hopefully taking some of the sting out of my words. She is just trying to do her job, I reminded myself. “Just a little. It takes time to learn to read customers. Someone younger, you might be able to get them to buy it as a dress anyway. But I’m not that young. You saw that face I gave you a moment ago? That was the face of a woman who knows what she is about. What her style is and what works for her. You can’t sway her. You don’t want to push too hard on a customer who’s set like that. She can have five items in her arms that she loves, but may walk away purchasing nothing because of that. In your case you’re lucky I have imagination and am buying this to wear as a skirt. So what do you think you should do next?”
“Ask you to show me how you’re wearing it as a skirt so I can show someone else how if they don’t like it as a dress neither.”
I mentally cringed at the double negative, but nodded approvingly, “Very good. And…?”
“Now that you have this skirt, we have a belt I think would go great with it. Let me show you, it’s this way.” She turned barely waiting for my response, knowing I would follow.
“Perfect.” I laughed. “Show me.”
I’ve worn that skirt twice now with different tops and both times I received compliments on my dress. Especially when seen in pictures. The irony of it makes me giggle.
That’s a dress?
Check out how other lives are slicing today….
Oh, i had to laugh! But, both of you showed good humor and flexibility – and the story has a happy ending … you wound up with a fabulous skirt!
You look great in that skirt/dress! And you took the time out of your own shopping experience to teach the young girl a little something. Bonus. 🙂
Your posts always make me smile. My wife has a hard time finding clothes. Seems like most stores, at least around here, cater to the pencil thin or business woman. When I go shopping with her it makes me wonder who is buying and wearing the clothes that are being sold. Your skirt looks good.
I loved this. A win win. You reached out, she met you with a open mind. The end result mahvelous.
This is such a fun post. Your picture is perfect….how creative to make the dress into a skirt. I, being over 60, can relate to trying to find a style that fits me. What a nice way to help out the new sales girl…double negative or not. 🙂 I really enjoyed reading this.
Love this! I would have thought it a skirt too.
It’s all about the teachable moments, isn’t it? Love this! And love your new dr– skirt!
Nice! And your post makes me smile too!
smiles… it looks great… and glad you bought it…and glad you were able to teach her an important lesson… i used to work in a clothes shop when i was about 16 in the afternoons after school…and it taught me some very valuable lessons about people…
I love this story and how you worked with the sales girl so gently and then how she was still able to translate it into a sale. Fun skirt!
You made me smile with this sweet story. It is always interesting to visit new stores, even when we think they have nothing for us.