Sunday, 21 August 2016

Thrifting tips video! and a problematic gown

A gown I love, but can I wear it? Well, technically, yeah I can, but the design has a puddle hem. Great for cleaning sidewalks. Great for dusting floors. How about I just stick a bunch of Swiffer dusting cloths under it and swan around the house as part of my glam-up-my-life project?

I have no choice but to be carried when I wear this gown. But seriously? No matter how romantic that sounds, being carried is usually not terribly comfortable in real life, especially in a dress with drop shoulders and strapless underthings.

This outfit is like Morticia Addams on Skittles. Too bad my hair fell down.

Mel Kobayashi of Bag and a Beret in off-the-shoulder gown with puddle hem
I took this photo of the dress in the concrete box. So much better here I think.
And then there is the fear of being dropped, hard, awkwardly, or slipping slowly, inexorably out of deceptively muscled arms until I end up with one leg half-dragging/hopping through the dirt. Piggy-back would work but only if I knew my carrier well and had a riding crop and rallying cry. "Onward ho!" Maybe not - why do words change meaning?

The fireman's carry would work, two people with crossed arms, chair style. Oh yes. Yes, that would be splendid, but I'd need to find two people who get along to accomplish that - harder than it sounds. I simply will not act as no man's land between two warring factions with their fists near my buttocks.

Below I practise the safety position.


I could hoist the dress and carry the hem or get someone else to lift my train, but then what's the frigging point, right? You are probably thinking, brides handle these awkward situations all the time - well, heck yeah, it's kind of an inauguration for what's to come in marriage, isn't it?

I could actually give up and walk normal style in the dress and let the hem do its dirty work, but I cannot ignore the increased risk of tripping and falling on my face (which, by the way, I did when Suzanne visited, I was not wounded). And now that my life odometer recently turned over again (the reset is faulty and doing it is perhaps even illegal!) there is the risk of bone breakage.

Melanie Kobayashi of Bag and a Beret in off-the-shoulder gown with puddle hem
I would never, ever sit down here. Hahaha!! 

Let's say I do get to my swanky destination clean and unharmed, dignity intact, the clingy nature of the dress means I would still be picking at my garment immediately upon arrival, preferably in the privacy of a bathroom - oh yes, exactly where I want to be (eyes roll), looking almost fabulous next to the toilet. Not only that, I'd be wasting precious trough time at the buffet and bar, assuming the other glitterati hadn't cleaned them out already, not having been detained by a prior summit meeting on the Puddle Hem Situation (PHS).

I am looking forward to advances in remote control helicopters which could safely air-lift me to such events in such hems. All I would need to do is clothespin-shut the bottom of the dress so that gawkers on the ground would not get any free shows or showers because I'd probably be scared out of my wits - which could, now I think about it, also be problematic.

Sigh.

Mel Kobayashi of Bag and a Beret in off-the-shoulder gown with puddle hem

I bought this gown from Talize thrift store - I don't remember, but I think Suzanne pre-picked it for me (she also did that for my fave maxi denim coat). I'm glad it was only $16. If I charged by the word for this blog post, the cost would have dropped considerably already. Hurray! Not a waste of money after all. For those of you muttering "scissors," wash your mouth out with soap.

AND -

As I mentioned in my previous post, I met up with Suzanne Carillo for a day of high tea, thrift shopping, and my first-ever evening at a comedy club, and then a few days later Sue of A Colourful Canvas joined in too for a day of thrift shopping, filming, and dinner that lasted hours and hours, during which time we solved all our problems forever. Yay!

Mel Kobayashi, film director extraordinaire

Below is the video I edited together from filming we did at Talize thrift store in Delta, BC, not too far from Vancouver. The story was put together by Suzanne based on her blog post 20 Thrift Shopping Secrets for Quality Treasures. Would you believe we jotted the ideas down on a napkin at the comedy club? Heh. Other shoppers seemed to think we were having too much fun. Indeed we were. You can see this dress in the cart near the end of the video. Heh.

TA DA!! 
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There's more news but I shall spare you. If you've made it this far, you need a gold medal for diving over the finish line. It's busy here. Good.

I'll link up with Patti at Visible Monday, Not Dead Yet Style, and Catherine at #iwillwearwhatilike, Not Dressed as Lamb. For not actually wearing the dress except in the stairwell so far, I certainly got around. Heh.

Hope you are all WELL!!


65 comments:

  1. I adore pre shopping for you! I can pick out all the things I cannot squeeze my overly fed body into. You are my real life dress up Barbie, but with attitude and better hair.

    The dress is of course amazing, despite being a health hazard and I love your description of it.

    I'm so glad you weren't sitting in that ally in stale pee. My first thought was, "Oh no! The dress!" Ha ha. Just like when you fell and I thought, "Oh no! Not the face!" I'm so helpful.

    I just love the magic you worked on our thrifting film. I hope everyone has as much fun watching it as we had making it.

    Happy belated birthday you fabulous woman!

    bisous
    Suzanne

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    1. Oh, thank you for the birthday wishes and ALL!

      I guess I'll have to be late when I meet you all the time so you can pick stuff out for me. Heh. I'm not sure I would have picked up that dress on my own. And you so valiantly shielded my body from male passersby when I was trying it on and my undies were visible. Hahaha!

      You and Sue are schtars!! Schtars!!! The day went by too fast, that's for sure.

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    2. ooohhhh I so wish I could have been there with you. So lovely. I love the video and the dress.
      Greetje

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  2. I laughed when I read your post because yesterday I went out in a long maxi skirt. The first time I tripped and nearly broke my nose, I ended up hoisting the skirt up for the rest of the day--on the streets of Hood River. I'm afraid my travel buddy will never pick me up and carry me (not even in my dreams). And WOW, you look beautiful. Keep fantasizing, girl! It's so much fun!

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    1. Falls are the WORST!! I did the whole windmill arm thing I think so I broke my fall into two stages. Gaaa. I'm glad you didn't break your nose! So I know what you mean about carrying the skirt part. No, O won't carry me either - I won't let him. I don't like being carried. Thanks, Marea.

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  3. Darling, you've got to face facts - that dress is only meant to be worn while standing still, hopefully with a posse of paparazzi swarming around you. The dress is amazing, but mostly because of your gorgeous self and art deco poses. You are right that you do not want fists near your bottom (so I've been told) and falling in the alleys of Vancouver is not a good idea unless there's one of Sandra's mattresses nearby. Even then it's not a good idea.

    The video is fan-fun-tastic! I've learned so much, especially about checking the pockets, and my shopping cart. Although I would love to have a vintage Sue of my own.

    When you say your odometer turned over, does that mean you just had a birthday? If so, happy birthday! If not, happy birthday whenever!

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    1. Sue, Suzanne, and I debated whether it was worth it just for the photos. Hahaha!! Yesh. Because I lurve it. If I waited until Monday I could have bought it half price but it's a train and bus away. Oh, I forgot to mention I could be pulled on my ever-ready skateboard if the hem were properly tucked. Heh.

      Yup, b-day. I'll say it. No muss no fuss - okay, a little muss. Thanks, Val! Here's to aging!!

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  4. What I wouldn't give to go shopping with the three of you! Experts in all areas. The potato masher in the pocket just cracks me up. This dress is so beautiful. You look like one of those beautiful caterpillars that turn into beautiful butterflies. Perhaps that is your spirit animal. A long swiffery hem can come in very handy. When I was in college I turned my bib overalls into a dress by cutting the legs open - ouch - and inserting a panel to make it into a skirt. (Note to self: make another one soon) It worked fabulously well as a snow plow when I walked to classes in the morning after a fresh snow fall. ❄️

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    1. Hahaha, I brought the masher with me in my bag. On our first take it fell rather awkwardly out of the coat pocket. As a director I was appalled. Appalled! Hahaha. Sue did her magic behind the scenes with the other props we found in the store, I mean stuff we found in the pockets. Our expertise was overwhelming!

      Oh, yes, do make another one. I would love to see the snow plow bibs! Hahaha!! Excellent.

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  5. fun fun fun! My tip is: hold stuff up to the light, you can see holes that way.

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    1. Oh, EXCELLENT suggestion! In the end I was so exhausted from playing I didn't even check my things. Doh.

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  6. Lop the bottom off it and stop being a sissy. That dress is too good to languish. I made a merino knit dress last winter and this winter it is at least two inches longer so I am going to have to lop it off too. And when are you going to have a go at stand up comedy? You would be wonderful!xoxo

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    1. Hahaha. Here's the thing - when I pull the dress up, it just looks like a clingy cheap department store dress. It's the puddling that makes it special. But push comes to shove, I'd rather pull it up/cut it off than never ever wear it. Thanks, Maryanne! Good luck with your lopping off too!

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  7. You are such a slinky malinky in that frock. I think you should be in one of those chairs that well built handsome young men, about 4-6 of them carry you around on, or maybe one of those lounger types, no puddle or tripping drama with that, you can even eat grapes. LOVE the video!!!

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    1. I love that phrase "slinky malinky" which I've not heard before. Yes, grapes and chocolates too. Heh. I'm so glad you like the video. It was absolutely refreshing making something non-specific.

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  8. Oh please - can we look further into that reset button. I will pay at least $100 (American!) for such a device. You look blazingly gorgeous in this dress. I read that Anna Wintour has had strong men carry her upstairs because her heels were too high. Now that's livin'. xox

    -Patti
    http://notdeadyetstyle.com

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    1. One hundred US(!) dollars? I'm going to be rich, RICH. I'll get on it! Haha. Anna Wintour, I can't picture that she would enjoy being touched, even by strong men. Maybe I have her all wrong! I don't know about her past either...

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  9. You need to take that beautiful Murano glass-like frock to a tailor/dressmaker so they can fit it exactly to your needs (and shoes). Truly makes all the difference in ANYTHING that you love but could fit even the tiniest bit better. Well worth saving up for.
    Also a half-lining/silicone backed elastic added to the neckline (think hold-up stockings) may help with the picking thing and slippage.

    Loves-a-projectly

    Elaine Monkeypaints

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    1. You are so right about the joys of good tailoring. And your elastic to the neckline would be helpful as well, not just for the dress but the under things as well. Thanks, Elaine.

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  10. I will go through this post tomorrow but I have to say today that I think this outfit is stunning, marvellous and deserves to be on the cover of Vogue.
    Greetje

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    1. OK here I am again. Read the whole post, saw the video and wished I was there with you three. The video is very well done. It is entertaining till the end. Which is not easy. I know, it's my job. Video is the next thing I have to learn. Don't know the first thing about it... And I am so lazy.
      The dress... well the dress.. it had me in awe. What a frigging good dress. On you, I will add. I showed it to Ron and he totally agrees.
      My solution for the long hem? What you always do: pick up a bit on four points with those short suspender things you have. Or pin it with little flower brooches (hey, I am getting creative here.. what's happening? Oh... the ideas suck? Sorry.)
      Greetje

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    2. Thank you for your compliment on the video! I love editing and every time I do it I think/hope I'm learning something new to improve the result. I think you might like it.
      I love your idea of the clips and pins and I NEVER THOUGHT OF IT. Hahaha. You are my substitute brain. Cutting seems so vicious and permanent and I'd love to keep the option of letting it down. Thanks, Greetje!

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    3. I looked at you in this dress again and I am in awe and admiration again... So beautiful.

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  11. It is beautiful though perhaps not practical for human movement. However, if we look at it as art then we can just take it in without asking it to function too. Your photos of the dress are enough.

    Julia
    www.whenthegirlsrule.com

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    1. Hahaha, Julie. Yes, that's really why I bought it. I just felt so damnably good in this dress. Like a little glass of orange juice as a pick-me-up. I'd like to move in it but there is the danger of shattering that illusion as well.

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  12. Love the dress! You look stunning! in spite of the hem :))))

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    1. I think it's because of the hem that I like it, but it's also because of it that I feel stuck. Oh well. Thanks for commenting!

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  13. great story don't we all wish for magic widets appearing ot of the blue to support us in th silly, uncomfortable yet terribly styles we love wearing? Love your pics. xo. Sabina

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    1. Oh said it! Magic widgets. Where are they when we want them. You've just reminded me, a flying carpet with cushions would work well too. Heh. Thanks, Sabina, for the inspiration.

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  14. The dress is stunning on you! Stay safe, Melanie! :)

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    1. Heh, thanks, Natalia. The hem is a danger which is only compounded by the shoes. I wouldn't wear this as is for those reasons as well.

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  15. Wow, that is a loooooong dress - why do they make them this long in the first place? It makes no sense. You are a tall drink of water, Ms. Slinky, and to have it be long on you is just silly. I agree with hemming it. Or maybe sew the bottom closed except for holes for your feet, and then it's like a walking sleeping bag dress! Yes, amiright? You are spectacular as always. However, I am going to start whining about all these meet-ups in Vancouver...booo...stuck over here on my crappy island. :(

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    1. Hm, you are really good at the harem pant makeover. That's is a very interesting concept to think about for this dress - so unexpected! And it would make the dress fun for daytime wear without being all Look at me! Look at me! Those designers seem to like floor-sweepers. I see those palazzo pants recently with sidewalk sweepers - GROSS!!! Really, that's just gross, and then you swipe it all over the floor after. Hahaha. No!!
      But you live in such a beautiful place, Sheila! You are not stuck. You are planted and thriving. Visiting you will be a Proper and Wonderful trip.

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  16. I don't know what I like better - the dress or the video! The pocket check was a hoot!

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    1. Suzanne and Sue were schtars!! We didn't know for sure how that scene would come out but I love it in the end. Hahaha. I'm waiting for your videos, Hollie...!

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  17. Wow! - you wear that dress so well - absolutely gorgeous ! So beautiful and inspiring - as usual !! Thank you!

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  18. Use it! Allow it tio be Dirty, to torn apart. It's worth is.

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    1. Yes, I've thought of that route. One big outing to remember, or more if the cleaners make it possible. I love your feedback.

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  19. AH love it it it.. The video so fun too!!!!

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    1. My friends are such huuuuge enablers and hams. Hahaha. Thanks, Becky!

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  20. I LOVE this dress. ADORE it! You wear it to perfection! Don't worry yourself with those fiddly inconvenient things. I'd just love to wear it anywhere - grocery shopping (sew a little train loop under the bottom so it can hook over a finger as you push the trolley up and down the aisles, home, the big event... xx

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    1. I like the idea of a hook over the finger. You commenting bunch are so creative! I love it. Thanks, Elizabeth!

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  21. Mel, the dress is a killer! I am soooo jealous. I love it how you embrace life - the good the bad and the ugly of it - with a sense of humour and grace.

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    1. Thank you for stopping by, Yuliana, and this wonderful comment. You would look STUNNING in this dress. I try to capture a little of everything in life.

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  22. You need to do a kick starter project Melanie so you can afford a team of flunkies to carry you around in that fantabulous dress. The words fantastic and fabulous don't do it justice - it is fantabulous. You will just have to graciously accept the rest of your life will be spent posing in diva-esque positions with an air of insouciance on your face wearing that dress. There's a touch of the Peggy Moffitt about this one that I love!

    And the vid is a hoot. I saw it over on Suzanne's. You lot are like the 3 Musketeers of the Thrift World!

    http://petitesilvervixen.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. BWHAHAHA!! That kick starter campaign would be hilarious! If it went well I could afford a Rolls to go with it. Hahaha. Brilliant idea.
      Thrifting with friends is so much fun. Truly. The day went by in a flash.
      Thanks so much for this great comment.

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  23. What a fabulous dress! I LOVE the colors and the interesting arrangement of the lines. It's like it's made for you - you look stunning! I really hope you'll find a way to wear/alter it... But I totally get the dangers of overly long skirts/dresses. I'm very tall and usually maxis are a bit short on me. But I have one maxi dress that's a bit too long, and I have to be VERY careful not to trip and fall...

    I saw the video on Suzanne's blog - love it!
    Andrea’s Wellness Notes

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    1. Suzanne picked this out for me and my first thought was, hmm, that's a little body con, isn't it? But the patterns and colour completely hooked me. She's a genius. These days I could wear something too long, especially with towering heels. I'm becoming a wuss. Suzanne and Sue too were stars!! Thanks for commenting, Andrea.

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  24. And with shoes to match, oh my! okay, here's what to do with the dress: option 1) sew several inches (5 ?) of that clear thin elastic on either side seam (at waist or hip height) with a zig zag stitch. This will cause ruching and raise the dress height. option 2) add a loop of stretch fabric to each side seam a hem and loop your wrist (or finger) through it. That way you can carry your train along with a swoop of your wrist, hand, or finger as you gad about. option 3) Attach ribbons as ties to the inside side seams, say 6 inches and 12 inches from the bottom of the dress on both side seams. Then tie each side's ribbons together in a bow. This will create a lovely drape. You can try it out first with large safety pins to see if you like it and/or where you want the drape to happen. You could attach more ribbons so you have choices as to the level of drape or so you can do an asymmetrical drape with each side. How's that for starters? They're all easy and keep the integrity of the dress in tack.

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    1. Pao, these are excellent suggestions! I can't believe how many good ideas have come out here. I like a draping option. Especially an asymmetrical one because the stripes are all wonky. And I like that I could return the dress to its original length in emergencies. Heh. Thanks, Pao!

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  25. Wow, only you succeed to look good in that dress. You need to be super slim, tall and quirky to get away with that, hem or no hem. You look fab!!! And that video HAS to be better than Absolutely Fabulous, The Movie. I'll give you my verdict once I saw that movie.

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    1. I don't know - Patsy and Edina are pretty stiff competition. But we could maybe be the opening band. Hahaha!! Suzanne and Sue were absolute stars! Thanks, Anja. This is absolutely a unique dress and I'm so glad Suzanne spotted it.

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  26. I'm swooning! The gown! The poses! And this wonderful video. You have outdone yourself, if that is even possible. Who wouldn't want to thrift with you, Suzanne and Sue?

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    1. You are always welcome to join our thrifting expeditions! And the chow-down afterwards. Heh. We work up an appetite. But yes, so much fun. Thanks, Judith.

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  27. love love love your absolutely impractical dress! I can't even imagine how could you take a bus or metro meanwhile wearing that dress, that might be a 'limousine dress' (with a chauffer included to carry you!)
    And love your cool funky video, particularly that music!!!
    You're fabulous ladies!
    besos

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    1. Oh yeeeeah, a limo and a chauffeur. Of course! Why didn't I think of it?! Hahaha. The music, when I found it I knew it was perfect. Thanks for this positive energy.

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  28. Ok Melanie, I don't care how impractical this dress is, it looks fabulous!!! What a stunner! I love impractical. I just saw Anna's post about your traveling yellow skirt and I was blown away. I love the idea and love that the color is yellow. She did a great job with her photos. Your creative ideas are boundless!

    Cherie
    http://www.stylenudge.com
    STYLE NUDGE

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    1. Anna truly made that Skirt come alive - I just knew she would. Everyone has put their own unique spirit into the project and it has grown beyond anything I could think of. Thanks so much for your comment, Cherie.

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  29. Hey Melanie, I read all the way through this post last week and laughed so much I forgot to write my comment. The dress is awesome and worthy of every single word. You guys looked like you had such fun - the video tells the best version ever of a how to thrift shop. Am seriously trying to plan a trip to Vancouver so that I may one day join in the melee!
    Anna x
    www.annasislandstyle.com

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    1. Anna, we would welcome you with open arms! You know that!! The process is everything, and while I enjoy the finds afterwards as reminders, nothing beats the time spent with my friends. Thanks for your comment. I look forward to meeting you one day.

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  30. I was sure I posted a comment here, but obviously that was on IG as I don't see anything from me. You already know I AAAAAAdore the dress, and I love Pao's ideas of how to make it walkable. The video is very entertaining, especially the pocket check (is that a trophy in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?). You three know how to have a good time!

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    1. That's the trouble with overlap on IG and my blog. But I don't post often here... Hahaha. It was fun picking out what she was going to put in the pockets and we weren't sure how to film it convincingly. It's hilarious that the scarf and tissue she pulled out she just put in the other pocket. Next time you come we'll do more video too! I look forward to it.

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  31. DAMN! You are SCHPECTACULAR in this dress!! A rainbow of beauteousness. You need a chaise and a man slave.

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    1. In my non-reality reality I would be afraid of being dropped. Hahaha. I'd suggest a camel as transportation too but apparently it takes getting used to riding them as well. Heh. Thanks, Marilee, for this comment.

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