Not Quite 27 Dresses…..But Almost!


(This is a re-enactment of Amanda repeatedly locking herself out of the fitting room. She is a gal on a mission, and has little time to waste waiting for the nearly non-existent sales girl to return with a key. She’s in 8th grade; we don’t have time to wait until prom.)

As I am the More is More Mom® it should come as no surprise that my daughter would “need”…….. more dresses! Amanda is graduating from the 8th grade at Our Lady of Perpetual Donations Grammar School. One might think that it is kind of a given that our children graduate from 8th grade (though they would certainly have surpassed famed scholar Jethro Bodine), and question the reason for such jubilation, but you have to understand the situation to appreciate all of the pomp and circumstance.

Our Lady of Perpetual Donations is a wonderful and magical place. It is a tiny bubble, with in the bubble of Winsome, IL…..where winning is a way of life. Amanda, following in her brother Nicholas’s footsteps, began her academic pursuits as a student in the Three Year Old Pre-School class at Our Lady of Perpetual Donations eleven years ago. She was so cute! The Pre-Schooler’s are not required to wear a uniform to school, but because Amanda had been chasing after Nick and the “big kids” for the previous 2 years, she was determined to be excluded no longer! She wore an authentic, hand-me-down, blue plaid jumper, with her favorite denim button down shirt, argyle tights and gold sparkle shoes. She was smashing!

There are 67 students graduating in Amanda’s class, most of whom have known each other since the age of three. The class is small, the experience intimate. They will go to one of 8 different High Schools, so the end of their 8th grade year really is the end of an era. The festivities that lead up to graduation are a celebration of their year’s together and becoming young adults.

And how does one celebrate such milestones? With excessive, fabulous attire and accessories of course! We were in “need” of dresses for; Confirmation, May Crowning, the Formal Eighth Grade Dance and Graduation Day (Heaven forbid a dress be worn twice!). We kicked off Dress Shopping Extravaganza 2010 with two of Amanda’s closest friends CC (see Fourteen and Fearless, January 2010) and Rosebud, for a Mother/Daughter Day of perusing and lunching (read: no cocktailing, as it was the middle of the afternoon, and we had to drive. Responsible Mother’s of the Year.); so many dresses, so many absolutely and completely inappropriate choices! Good people of the fashion industry please take note: most mothers don’t want their daughters dressing like Hoochie Mama’s (and their father’s like it even less). Watch the cleavage and watch the hemlines!

The prevailing number of outrageously inappropriate offerings necessitated numerous excursions to The Mall (my happy place). We shopped with friends, we shopped alone, and we had a wonderful day with my mom and Auntie Terri. Of course once we found the dresses we were on a mad search for shoes. Amanda is a gem of a girl who is true to herself (I LOVE THAT!). She flat out refused to consider a shoe with even the slightest heel (really, have you ever seen the little girls playing dress up, teetering around in shoes that would make a street walker cringe? Ridiculous.), and we found three fantastic pairs of shoes that suit her, and her charming dresses, to a “T”.

The Confirmation Dress, from Von Maur (Please note the poppy sweater, Old Navy, Spring Collection, 2009):

We loved these linen look ballet flats with the satin rose embellishment (also from Von Maur, by Blowfish, Malibu. They were only $40.00!). They are perfect with Amanda’s selection for Graduation as well.

The Graduation Dress, from Nordstrom’s:

May Crowning, from J Crew (they have the best t-shirts, sweaters, costume jewelry and flip-flops EVER, as I am sure First Lady, Michelle Obama, would certainly agree ~ I adore her fashion sense.):

Look at these little hot pink creations by B.P. for Nordstrom’s. I can’t get enough of the pink and white gingham check!

For her 8th Grade Formal Dance (which just so happens to be on the same night as Amanda’s Gymnastics Team Banquet. You know we love more of everything, including complicated matters….), another offering from Von Maur:

Lastly, the piece de résistance, a beautiful pair of glistening, buttery yellow, snake skin sandals with amazing ruffle detail (if only they were a half size bigger!), by Kelsi Dagger, also from the fabulous shoe salon at Nordstrom’s:

While the dresses are lovely, and the shoes perfectly appropriate, the very best part was the time I got to spend with my gal. Creating meaningful experiences is what it’s all about…….


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