My eBay-ing Gown Debacle

Sometimes dressing up to give back can get pretty pricey! One of the “wife” perks of my husband’s philanthropic work is the honor to be his arm candy at multiple fundraising events each year, which can get a little bit EXPENSIVE when its sort of frowned upon in society to re-wear the evening gown you just wore the year before :/ silly “rule” btw! I mean don’t get me wrong = I HAVE RE-WORE MANY OF MY EVENING GOWNS! I just don’t repeat them at the same events ;) which brings me to the story of this year’s shopping experience for the Tri-City Hospital’s Diamond Ball . . .

Jenna-Pilant-Design+Style-Blogger-Lucky-Little-Mustarseed-How-To-Buy-Previously-Worn-Evening-Gowns-On-eBay-1

Yep, today is a re-created look here on LLM, because the events that had to go down in order for me to get my hands FINALLY on this evening gown were just too CrAzY not to share! Lol. See, my usual go-to designer for all things black tie-related is Tadashi Shoji, but this year when the velvet number I had been salivating over sold out in my size [a failed purchase on my part that will forever haunt me] I sort of panicked – not because there aren’t enough evening gowns in the world [trust me :) there’s plenty!] but more due to the fact that my husband wished to wear this very eclectic tux jacket we had found for him on a weekend trip to Palm Springs earlier this year; this brilliant, one-of-a-kind find with black lapels and this dazzling array of fuchsia, turquoise and metallic fabric. See said jacket here. It was just too spectacular for him not to wear it for this year’s event, so I guess one could say I was hellbent on finding the perfect counterpart to match his tux jacket glory [challenge accepted!!] and in the end, I did! But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

jenna-pilant-designstyle-blogger-lucky-little-mustarseed-how-to-buy-previously-worn-evening-gowns-on-ebay-2.jpg

I knew I really wanted my gown to be either turquoise or fuchsia in color as a solid black anything isn’t really in my repertoire ;) so I headed over to good ole Google to start my quest and it wasn’t long before I landed on this Nicole Miller Multi-Color Floral Print 3D Magnolia Gown. It was love at first search, y’all, and had all the colors of my husband’s tux jacket. PURE PERFECTION if I ever saw it. The only MAJOR problem was it was from seasons ago and wasn’t really an easily accessible purchase. But AGAIN I was determined. So I copied and pasted all of the details of said gown into the search bar, crossed my fingers and hoped I would be just lucky enough to find one for sale. I didn’t care if it was used at this point. I WANTED THAT GOWN!

jenna-pilant-designstyle-blogger-lucky-little-mustarseed-how-to-buy-previously-worn-evening-gowns-on-ebay-3jpg

Well, as fate would have it, I DID manage to locate THEE gown via Linda’s Closet on eBay AND even in my size too! How rad is that?! It was like the Universe wanted me to wear this gown :) or so I thought! As soon as I opened the delivered package, I knew something was wrong. The fabric inside was too dark. It was the wrong dress. I quickly called the number on the postcard included. The online consignment store seemed thoroughly confused as well. I just figured they accidentally sent the wrong dress. Nope! They said they couldn’t even find the dress in their warehouse??! I felt heartbroken. Well, as luck would have it, some other stylish gal received my gown and I received hers! So, we both sent back our incorrect orders and I patiently waited for my Nicole Miller to arrive.

jenna-pilant-designstyle-blogger-lucky-little-mustarseed-how-to-buy-previously-worn-evening-gowns-on-ebay-4.jpg

The day I received my delivery confirmation text, I jumped up from my chair and gleefully proceeded to our front door. Nothing there? Huh, that’s weird?! So I proceeded to our front gate. Nothing there either? Must be at the garage door then. No such luck. So I decided to call USPS. And that’s where I went from disappointed to extremely agitated. The nice USPS lady confirmed that my dress had in fact been delivered . . . to a postal locker in Gualala, California?! I quickly got off the phone with her and called Linda’s Closest. I felt sick. The same lady that had been helping during this entire debacle sounded as shocked as I did. She said she handled everything with the exchange except attaching the mailing label. THEY SENT MY DRESS TO ANOTHER CUSTOMER YET AGAIN. She apologize and said that they would refund the purchase cost for all my troubles, which they did, but I still wanted my dress. The Diamond Ball was only a week and half away and at this point I had no interest in finding another gown. I was obsessed at this point, so I decided to become my own Sherlock Holmes. I started by Googling the town. It was a small beach community with only a population of 2,093. I grew up in a small town in Nebraska of 1,909 and if I know anything about small communities, everyone knows everyone, so I figured the USPS up in Gualala would not only know the name of who rents the parcel locker but also where he or she lives and works. Hell, probably even know his/hers entire family! I had to at least try, right?! And guess what?! Another nice USPS lady came to the rescue! I gave her the Cliffnotes of my situation and she happily offered to help. She took down my name and number and said she would call me back as soon as she had some news. I don’t think even think thirty minutes had passed when this Wonder of a Woman called me back to say that she had located my gown!! A store in Gualala called Anabelle’s Boutique had received my gown along with the rest of their Linda’s Closest order and were more than willing to send my gown to the rightful owner, especially after hearing my story. I probably looked like I had fallen asleep with a hangar in my mouth at this point. I WAS SO BEYOND HAPPY!!

jenna-pilant-designstyle-blogger-lucky-little-mustarseed-how-to-buy-previously-worn-evening-gowns-on-ebay-5.jpg

This Nicole Miller gown sure went on quite the journey before it’s walk down the red carpet at the Tri-City Hospital’s Diamond Ball. It complimented D’s tux jacket perfectly and we received many kind compliments on our not so matchy-matchy but elegant looks. This entire experience has taught me a lot about shopping = secondhand gowns are just as good as new gowns [especially when they only cost $118.00] read ALL of the reviews of an eBay seller before you buy, and that sometimes if you want something bad enough, you have to go after it yourself!

Photos by 656 Photography

Outfit Details:

Glasses: Lulu Guinness / Necklace: BaubleBar / Evening Gown: Nicole Miller via eBay

Mink Shawl: Vintage [CALM DOWN, FOLKS ;) it was my Grandmother’s!]

Clutch: Kate Spade New York

Please, share your thoughts about this post. Be kind & play nice.
  1. Jenn says:

    OMG that fur is dreamy. ❤️

Comments are closed now.