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?
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