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  • Kristan Higgins

The sad state of gowns in this country

Updated: May 3, 2022

Probably not this one...

Probably not this one…

I need a gown for an event this summer—I’m presenting the Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award to Robyn Carr. How nice is that, right? I can’t wait; Robyn is a great friend, and I just adore her.

But…I need a dress. So Princess and I have been looking. First, I looked online and I found this amazing website that had such beautiful, unusual dresses. I was so excited! The problem was, I found, their sizes are not my sizes. In other words, everything was teeny. Their version of 36 inches is about six inches shy of my 36 inches. And that’s their biggest size.

But that was okay! I would go to The Mall (though I hate malls). Princess and I gallumphed off and hit the two stores that had gowns.

Not this one, either...

Not this one, either…

It seems that there are two brands of gowns in the world—gowns for prom, and gowns for great-great-grandmothers who hate the bride. And the colors were dreadful! Gray. Beige. Bile-green. Who wears bile-green to a wedding? What’s wrong with, I don’t know…blue?

Then there’s the beading. By beading, I mean bedazzlement. There was one very pretty dress, but the bodice was criss-crossed with sparkly crystals that, should I hug Robyn, for example, I would draw blood. Also, it was so heavy, that I’d have to walk hunch-backed, which I was hoping to avoid.

The prom dresses…okay, first of all, I’m not seventeen years old. So bubble-gum pink was out. Neon yellow, also out, since I didn’t want to look like I need a liver transplant. Fluffy tulle…out. A short dress…listen, I don’t mind a short dress. But short doesn’t mean what it used to. Today, I mistake short dresses for shirts. I’m 51 years old, people! I’m a Catholic school graduate! Absolutely not.

But maybe this one.

But maybe this one.

Being women, Robyn and I have talked about what we’re wearing. She said black, so black is out for my dress—I don’t want us to look like twins, or Puritans, or like we’re in mourning. White is out because A) I’m not a bride and B) my skin is so white I’ll look like a snowman. Beige and pale pink, ditto.


The search continues.

Men have it so easy.


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