A Shopping Trip West (Glasgow)

Over the last couple of days I’ve been trawling the department stores and boutiques in Glasgow, on a mission to buy an outfit for the July wedding of Gordon and Laura. It’s going to be a fairly informal affair because Gordon doesn’t want anyone to be stressed about it. He will be wearing his kilt, but his older brother Duncan isn’t keen on wearing a kilt – so he will be in a suit. I think it’s fair to say it’s going to be a ‘harlequin’ wedding, by which I mean there is going to be none of that ‘everything must match’ nonsense. I believe that the bridesmaids have been told to buy dresses that will suit them and hopefully they can wear again.

I’m all for that attitude to a wedding because in doing the many house clearances of elderly relatives that I’ve had the misfortune to do over the years, I always find it really sad when I open a wardrobe and see an outfit hanging there that was worn once for a son’s/daughter’s big occasion, never to be worn again because they scream mother of the bride/groom. It seems such a waste to me, especially as the outfits are probably the most expensive ones that have been bought by the wearer.

So I was looking for a smart but not too fussy dress and I thought that the worst problem I would have would be trying to avoid something too floral and frilly. But I’m no further forward than I was because the shops are full of dresses that have no sleeves, plunging necklines, no back, scratchy lace, black and navy blue. Whatever happened to nice summery colours?

The most prolific design at the moment is a bodice with the shape of a vest/singlet with not a suspicion of sleeves. I suspect that this is so that the shops will get lots of sales of ‘shrugs’ because they know that most women would feel too bare without even a small cap sleeve.

One good thing though was that I didn’t have to try on one dress (always something I dread) because there was absolutely nothing I would have considered wearing. Fatally I have an image in my mind of exactly what I would like, in days gone past I could have described it to a dressmaker and she would have run it up for me. Jack had no luck finding a suit either, he’s another who won’t wear a kilt.

July is quite a long way away isn’t it?!

10 thoughts on “A Shopping Trip West (Glasgow)

  1. I hope you are able to find something just right – I know exactly what it’s like to have something perfect in mind but being completely unable to find it when it should be so simple!
    These days I tend to look for several pieces rather than a single garment, and perhaps use a magnificent accessory to make an outfit special without setting it apart for all time.
    Best of luck 🙂

    • Valerie,
      That’s a good idea. I had thought that I might buy a lovely skirt and team it with a nice simple silky shirt, but then I seem to be an inbetweeny size, with skirt waists either being just a bit too tight or too big. Jackets have always been my favourite item of clothing so I might just get a lovely lightweight jacket first and get a simple dress to go with it – if possible.

  2. I can totally understand your dilemma! Three of my five children have married over the last few years, and while I didn’t have to buy expensive and formal dresses, it still required thought and shopping which I don’t enjoy. I do have three dresses hanging in my closet that I doubt I will wear again. I just don’t have many occasions to dress up.
    How wonderful that it’s going to be a rather informal occasion even without matching bridesmaid’s dresses. I wish that would catch on over here in the US. I really would love to see weddings become less of a production and less stressful on families!
    I enjoy your blog, and I can appreciate having to live in one place when you’d rather live elsewhere:-)

    • Paula,
      Thanks for visiting ‘Pining’ and taking the time to comment. Wow – you have five children, at least I’ll only be looking for wedding clothes twice, although I must admit that I’m a ‘number five’ myself. I think it’s quite unusual here to have fairly low key weddings as there is such a big industry now involved and a lot of daft brides seem to want fairy tale weddings. I’ve been told that many florists and photographers charge £1,000 as soon as they hear that word wedding.

  3. Oh I do sympathise (or should that be empathise) – anyway I know exactly what you feel. I had the same problem in December (although I wasn’t the mother of the bride or groom). Trying to find an outfit was horrendous for a New Year’s Eve wedding – such a stupid day for a wedding, I thought. No thoughts of making it an informal affair – it was full on ‘glamour/glitzy’ wedding and I felt like an old frump/fish out of water. At least your son wants it to be stress free, so I’m sure you’ll enjoy it – once you’ve found what you want to wear that is. Good luck, maybe the styles will change before July!

    • Margaret,
      A glamour/glitzy wedding is my idea of hell, but acccording to what’s in the shops they must be very popular. I think the shops must be expecting new summery stock in soon so I live in hope. I always thought they stocked up with summer things straight after the January sales, but it certainly doesn’t look like it.

  4. Not a fan of the matching aspect either – unnecessary expense and stress. Once bought a bridesmaid’s dress of the wrong hue and couldn’t return it. I had gone shopping with another bridesmaid and we both made the same error. The bride was not happy at first but was later okay, and because there were two of us in the same color, it didn’t look a glaring mistake at the ceremony. I’ve worn the dress again for a Halloween event. My sister paid lip service to wanting us to have bridesmaids’ dresses we could wear again but she chose empire waist for the design which is not a good fit for me, so I never did wear it again. Anyway, yeah – ‘harlequin’ wedding sounds great!

    I totally feel you on not finding stuff that you like in the stores. I do feel like a lot of clothing now can’t stand on its own. Also, most of the department stores carry the same styles as each other with little variety.

    • Christy,
      You are absolutely right about the styles all seeming very similar, it’s just tough if you don’t happen to suit the few styles on offer. Colour is so difficult to get right and I’m sure everyone sees colour differently. Weddings are minefields, at least – my own teeny wee wedding was as my bridesmaid annoyed me by ending up choosing an outfit which was quite a bit more expensive than my wedding dress was!

  5. Shopping for something to wear on a special occasion is always so hard! July is far away but in the way of these things it will be here before you know it!

    • Stefanie,
      I’m not worried yet anyway. I’m not keen on shopping for clothes and I have history where weddings are concerned as I only got my own wedding dress a week before the big day! I’m going to Holland soon, maybe they’ll have a better choice there.

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