And yes, I know this is a very First World problem, a Princely problem. I've been very happy for 15 years wearing Old Gold, a bridesmaid dress made by my mother, but the old girl is now pretty tattered and pulled.
Finding a replacement for Old Gold has been a lot trickier than I thought. In fact it's as tricky and depressing as finding a swimsuit. One day I tried on all the long dresses in Bloomingdales with absolutely no luck. I either looked Hyacinth Bucket in full chintzy sail (a British telly character who pronounces her name "bouquet") or a dreadful old slapper.
Finally I found the above cobalt dress in an Oakland rental store called Dress, and I was happy renting it. Then of course, fatal mistake, I went home and Googled it - and found it on sale on Amazon.
Rental: $89 for three days. Deposit refundable up until 24 hours before the date. Pros: You only have one Black Tie thingy each year, maybe two - you will be more excited to wear a different dress next time. The money "saved" can go to charity. And it's not taking up space in your wardrobe. Below are some of the other rental options from Dress that I tried on for next time.
Buy: $168 (orig. $270) plus tax, no shipping costs. Only two wears and you're even.
I instructed the person in charge of our Amazon purchases - 15 year old Harley - to buy the dress so I could really see if I would love it for all time. The first one was badly stained and heavily worn. The replacement was clean. It's well made and drapes nicely but as I said on Monday, because of the gravitational pull on the bingo wings, not sure I'll be able to wear this dress in one, two, five years time.
Friend 1 says: "Rent it. Wear it, enjoy it and put it back on the shelf for some good dress karma."
Friend 2 says: "Buy it. Wear it to Holiday parties as well and your school auction (theme this year is "Hollywood.") More than two wears - you're actually saving money!" (Disclaimer: Friend 2 is not an economist)
See what I mean about a Princessly problem? Still don't know what to do...what do you reckon?