Marissa Fretes: Inauguration dress shopping: flashbacks to prom

Media Credit: Hatchet File Photo
Marissa Fretes

If you go to GW, you’ve either spent the last two weeks hearing every girl on campus complain about finding a dress, or you are one of those girls who desperately needs one.

Like most other girls at GW, dress hunting became an ordeal that was more tedious than necessary – just like before senior prom.

I began online shopping and soon found myself making a masochistic visit to As I began to fantasize about the evening gowns, I moved on to the wedding dress section and started to imagine color schemes for my big day.

Then I realized I only had enough GWorld money to last two months.

So, I visited the Urban Outfitters sale section, spent about an hour scouring the racks for a dress. I left with a pair of $4.99 earrings.

But the ball was drawing nearer. I needed to pull it together quickly, even the most basic task – choosing a dress color – was a struggle. Green? No, I’d look like the Christmas tree my parents threw out a few weeks ago. I decided to go with black, which would either be slimming or cause fellow ball-goers to wonder who invited the Grim Reaper. But hey, I figured I had a 50/50 shot of looking hot.

Like everyone, my dress search began with the luminescent optimism of a freshman just walking out of Union Station. I picked out the first dress that caught my eye. It wasn’t strapless. Girls from high school would wear strapless gowns and “accidentally” (read: purposely) show off the goods.

It seemed perfect. It was the right color and the right length, but best of all, my gay date approved.

I took it into the dressing room, stepped inside and began the laborious process of zipping it up. It started off easily enough, but became increasingly difficult, eventually reaching the point where the zipper, in all of its devilry, refused to move past my mid-back.

The dress was too small. I shed a tear. The dress gently hit the dressing room floor.

Sure, it was just just one dress. There would be thousands more on the racks, but I only had a few more hours left to shop and was on a strict, dirt-poor college-student budget. Besides, paying for a dress might mean missing a few meals.

The sky looked bleak and the future dreary. I expected to be the ugliest girl at the GW Ball – a giant hulking mass of a person in poorly sewn chiffon. But then I had a wonderful realization: My high school prom dress still fit.


Marissa Fretes, a sophomore majoring in English, is a Hatchet columnist.

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