Tuesday, March 31, 2009

My First Designer Purchase Was Donna Karan

Gilt Group last week had a sale on Donna Karan. This sparked up some memories of my first ever designer purchase because my first purchase was Donna Karan. Oddly, Gilt had a dress for sale that looked nearly identical to the one I purchased back in 2002:

Donna Karan on Gilt

The hem is a little longer on this dress, and the material flows a bit more. But other than that it is virtually identical to what I picked up for under $200 on Bluefly.com back in 2002.

The story was that I needed a dress for interviewing and funerals. Several of my relatives were elderly and I needed something just in case. I was also getting ready to job hunt as I was finishing up grad school. It was also the beginning of my weight issues, I was about a size 10 at the time and having issues understanding what looked good on my body.

Being too self-conscious to go to the store to look for clothing I discovered Bluefly. Of course, most of the items I liked would never fit me but there was a size 10 black dress that looked like it might be conservative enough to look elegant at a funeral - wasn't so sure about interviewing. I bought it.

The dress arrived. The length was ok, but the drop waist was a little strange on me. The fit was so different from anything I'd ever worn before. The dress felt large in some areas and not large enough in others. My impression was "wow, designer dresses are just funky!" Yes, some of them really do fit funky. The drop waist ensured that this was one of them. My hips at the time were not large enough to fill it out properly. I only wore the dress once, maybe twice. It got relegated to the back of my closet - the "only pull out in case of emergencies" dress.

Several years later...

2005 - a long comes Hurricane Katrina. Sure enough requests went out all over the place for items, including clothing. At my work we had an internal system where you could advertise for items for specific people. Low and behold, there was a woman about my age at a size 10 in need of professional clothing. I had a ton of clothing in a variety of sizes because I had gone several times between a size 8 and a size 14 between 2003 and 2005. I unloaded half my closet to this person, including the Donna Karan dress. I didn't claim it on my taxes - I was not really sure how. I just knew I had "a lot" and this poor young woman had "a little". I wanted to help. I was so proud to give that dress away.

I have no idea if the dress was ever useful to the you woman, but I'm happy it went to someone in need. I never heard what happened to her but every now and then I daydream about her opening that package of clothing and finding a "designer dress" in there. I hope she knew Donna Karan - I certainly didn't at the time of my purchase or my donation. It was just my "weird designer dress from Bluefly".

Do you have a first designer dress story? Please share.