Monday, April 19, 2010

Shame on Sugarplum

(Since I just did a glowing review of a store, I would like to continue these. Here is my next one....)

During tax time we are forced to review all of our purchases for the year and re-evaluate their importance. It can cause a montage of memories of purchases past. This year, picking up the receipt from Sugar Plum in Lynbrook, NY, I took one look and started to get really annoyed.

Last spring I was lucky enough to get to sing with the Chelsea Opera. This was an amazing opportunity that required me to wear a gown. I thought nothing of this because I do own a couple of gowns. However, when it came time to pick a gown I realized that one did not fit me correctly anymore, and the the other was severely showing its age. I decided that, though I clearly can not afford it, I do need to buy a new gown for such occasions.

It seemed like fate that later that day I heard a commercial for Sugar Plum in Lynbrook. The big draw for me was that they touted their "plus-sizes on the rack." Being a plus-sized gal myself, I realize how difficult it can be to find things in my size without ordering it in advance. Very soon after I made the trip.

I figured this would be very easy: "I need a dress...Today! I am going to spend money here! Easy commission." I thought they would be thrilled and very helpful. The woman that was helping me,however, kept saying to me that they don't have much in the way of my size. First of all, "my size" is a 16, NOT a 24, and they advertise to have sizes 2-28. It was their big selling point. She had a very "Well, I'll show you what we have, but..." kind of attitude about the whole thing. As a girl of a bigger size I have heard this comment before, but usually not from stores that talk up their plus-size section.

As I interacted with her and tried on the measly selection that they did have I became increasingly disappointed, pressured that I may not find a dress, and actually apologetic for being the size that I am! I would hear her say "well, if you had let us know earlier we could have ordered this in your size." This is not the ideal shopping experience. The one great thing was that I ran into my Boss from my Summer job who was there buying a dress for an upcoming event. I knew SHE, who is very fashionable (size 6-8 TOPS) and a great lady, would at least be honest with me and keep my head in reality.

As we both tried on dresses I did eventually find a dress that fit and was not ugly on me. Here is the thing: after you have tried on things that are so wrong for your body and you find something that "fits and is not ugly" it starts to look pretty good to you. Thinking that this was my last hope I showed it to my boss and she say is was "good." Not great, but good. She was trying to tell me that I could do better. The dress was basically the same color as the Statue of Liberty (ick), which totally washed out my skin as I am very pale and need to wear saturated colors. It was also SATIN, which is super-unforgiving, even for skinny people!! The logical side of me would have never even tried that dress on, knowing these two facts. However I did need a dress for a concert later that week and felt like this was my last chance.

Feeling not-quite-right about this I told her that I would think on it and come back later that day. My boss agreed and said the same for HER dress, which looked amazing on her! This confused me but I let it go. I did later come back and buy the dress because I figured that a dress that fit was better than a dress that didn't. I spent over 200$ on this dress that was "not ugly" and since it was on sale it was a final sale dress. I later found out that my boss did not buy HER dress because she thought that the lady was so rude to ME and she didn't want to give them any business. Too bad I already did.

Well, there you have it. I took the dress to rehearsal, they said it was pretty but I could have found lots of dresses in my size at Davids Bridal. DUH. I went there and bought a much cheaper dress that looked stunning on me and ended up wearing that one for the concert. The "lady liberty" dress still hangs, unworn, in my closet, and I am still paying the credit card bill.
Here is me in the new gown:

Jewelry by Mulryjewels, of course.

I learned a very important and very expensive lesson: DON'T COMPROMISE. That is what Sugar Plum, however unintentionally, had me do. The sales lady could have been a lot more positive about the situation and I might not have written this blog. I do not want to slam this store as I have heard reviews of people having a good experience there. I, and my boss, were not two of them, though she would have had a great experience if she did not view My experience. I will not be going there for future dress needs. You are free to decide for yourself.

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