I had “a dress” of my own to make over the weekend—my daughter’s high school “Sweethearts Dance” dress.
This is the fifth and, hopefully, final dress I will have to alter for her high school dance career. I told her if she gets invited to prom next month she’s going to have to wear a repeat because I’m altered out.
Why am I always having to alter these formal dresses, you might be wondering?
I’ll explain with a lesson I learned while working at an advertising agency years ago.
My boss had a plaque that hung up in his office that said, “Good, Fast, Cheap. Pick any two.” When I first started working there fresh out of college I didn’t get it, but the longer I worked there the more the truth of that saying became apparent.
You can do something fast and good for a client, but it’s going to cost them a pretty penny to drop everything else to produce it. You can do something fast and cheap, but it will look like it. You can do something good for a cheap price, but it will be low on the priority list.
I have found this “pick any two” principle to be very applicable to formal dresses as well.
All formal wear shops should hang a plaque that reads, “Pretty, Modest, Affordable. Pick any two.”
You can find pretty dresses that are affordable, but you’ll have to fill in the gaps for coverage. You can find modest dresses that are affordable, but you have to beat the Mennonites to the racks. You can find pretty dresses that are modest, but you’ll have to cash in your daughter’s college fund to buy one.
The reason I’ve spent many late nights hunched over my sewing machine fighting with taffeta is because we usually end up with the “pretty and affordable” option, making me the official gap-filler.
I’m droopy-eyed today, but the dress turned out lovely, my daughter looked lovely wearing it, and she had a lovely time in it at the dance.
And speaking of this “pick any two” principle, I’ve got one for the president:
Socialism, Solecism, Nose. Pick any two.