|My husband and I's official photo taken at the Navy Ball in Singapore.|
For a full length shot of my dress, click here.
There are many reasons why I love the gown I wore to the Navy Ball here in Singapore. First of all, the dress was comfortable and actually fit -- an amazing feat given that I was 19 weeks pregnant! The dress was affordable. Also, due to its simple design, I can dress it up or down for more occasions than just the Navy Ball. Score!
However, getting a dress -- particularly this dress -- for the Navy Ball was a big challenge. Here's why:
1. My choices for a maternity ball gown were limited.
2. When I finally found the darling Navy blue gown online, I ordered it right away. In fact, I ordered the dress a couple months before the ball thinking that I would have enough time to get the gown delivered, try it on and if it didn't fit, send it back and get another size. To get the dress to Singapore quickly, I chose the "expedited" mailing option. The problem: The U.K. clothing company I ordered the dress from used a mail carrier that won't expedite packages to FPO, AP, addresses. However, the company didn't inform me of this fact at any point during my purchase! Weeks went by and I began to wonder where my dress was. I emailed the company and was FINALLY told that my dress had been sitting with the mail carrier because it didn't offer expedited service to FPO, AP, addresses. Finding out this answer, as well as figuring out how to get the dress to Singapore, how much it would cost me and how long it would take, was a process that took a couple weeks.
3. While waiting for the clothing company to figure out the answers, I started to think I would never see that dress before the ball. Nervous and stressed that I wouldn't have a dress for the ball, I went shopping in Singapore. Now, I was trying to avoid this because Singapore clothing is expensive. But, somehow I managed to find a non-maternity dress that was reasonably priced and just MIGHT fit me by the time the ball rolled around. Want to know what happened next? The day after I bought the dress from the Singapore shop, the Navy blue dress from the U.K. clothing company arrived. Ugh!
4. Now, I had two dresses: the blue maternity ball gown that I received in the mail and the black non-maternity dress I purchased from the Singapore shop. Since I loved the one I got in the mail, I tried to return the Singapore dress. However, I learned that the store had a policy of no refunds unless there is fault with the clothing item (a common policy, I now know, in Singapore). Undeterred (or should I say, pregnant/hormonal/emotional), I talked to three store employees and mentioned I was willing to call the parent company in Australia to sort this out. Let's just say, I finally got my money back. Sometimes, being a hormonal pregnant lady does have its benefits. :)
Now, I've chatted with some of my friends here in Singapore and I learned that I'm not the only one who faced challenges getting a dress for the Navy ball. One gal, for example, had a dress custom made and hated how it turned out. Another friend ended up with four dresses, because each time she got one in the mail it didn't fit!
How about you? Did you experience any challenges getting a gown for a military ball? Do you have a dress-shopping story or ball-gown snafu you want to share? Let me know in the comment section below!