If you are not a seamstress you might not realize how hard it is to sew a hidden zipper into a dress. The beauty of the hidden side seam zipper is it makes the dress able to be more body hugging than a dress that is just pulled over your head without a zipper. Today’s manufacturers have really perfected putting a barely perceptible zipper in the side seam of a dress.
I am a fan of the hidden zipper, but I apparently need a big flashing warning tag alerting me that the hidden zipper exists before I try a dress on in a department store dressing room. As any woman in America knows once you go in a dressing room in a big department store you might as well have fallen down the rabbit hole. You are totally on your own; no matter if a clerk somewhere in the store had said earlier, “Please let me know if I can help you.” What that clerk really means is, “When you check out make sure you tell the next clerk who helps you that you were my customer and I am getting credit for selling you all those items.” Not that any of the sales people actually were help.
Today I was visiting one of those type stores. I am in the market for a summer dress or two and the day after Labor Day is a good slow day in retail, which makes dressing room availability more favorable. Unfortunately the stores also only scheduled a skeleton crew because they know the store will be empty.
I browsed through the dress department and gathered an armful of garments. As I knew would be the case I was the only person in the dressing room area so I had my choice of rooms. Alone in the dimly lit cubicle I started to try on each dress. Too short, weird splotchy print, cheep belt, no luck; I kept trying, but was getting a little exhausted. The next dress was promising; good color, short sleeves, nice length. I shimmied into the dress barely able to squish is over my bust. Perhaps I was wrong. The lining twisted around me making the draping awkward. No, move on, but when I went to pull the dress back over my head I was stuck.
The lining twisted more and the nipped waist of the form fitting dress was stuck with one boob above the seam and one boob below. The material was of a non-stretch nature and I was trapped. I wiggled and wriggled, but this being about the fourteenth dress I had tried on my stamina was waning.
“Hello,” I called out. “Is anyone out there?” Crickets. Only the annoying music was pulsing through the store. “Help, “ I cried. Nothing. I paused and contorted and attempted to dislocate one shoulder so I could free myself. Miraculously I dislodged myself from the dress without ripping it. As I was untangling the mess of fabric to place back on the hanger I noticed the invisible side zipper. If only I had noticed it before I tried to put the dress on I would have known I could unzip it to take the dress off. Something I could not see when my head was wrapped inside the dress.
I think as a courtesy a bright yellow “Hidden Zipper” warning tag would help a girl out. Not only would it make putting the dress on and off easier, but also it would probably sell a few more dresses because no one wants to buy a dress that is more like a straight jacket than garment.
I did find a dress to buy. When I went to the check out and the girl asked me if I found everything OK I really had to hold back from telling her that there was a strangler in the dressing room that I needed saving from. I was in an unusually charitable mood after she told me the dress was marked down from $109 to $23 so I just said it was all fine.