I Need A Chanukah Bat Mitzvah Dress Miracle | MitzvahMarket | MitzvahMarket

I Need A Chanukah Bat Mitzvah Dress Miracle

I Need A Chanukah Bat Mitzvah Dress Miracle

As the mother of the Bat Mitzvah girl, my dress is both important, not important, and complex. I did not want to start shopping for my dress until my daughter decided on her dress. This is for many reasons – color theme, level of fanciness, and of course, to not overshadow her on her special day.

This is the first time I have been the “mother of” and it has been a weird identity to embody. I did not want a dress that is sexy. Neither did I want a dress too plain. Furthermore, I did not want to look matronly, because at 44 I still have some parts not completely given in to gravity.

So, my search began as my daughter honed in on her choice. Her theme is space, and the dress we found for her miraculously embodies the night sky in a garment.

Now it was my turn. Game on.

Navy. Got it.

I’m short, so a gown is a bit of a challenge. But I am the “mother of”, so I am supposed to be in a gown for our Saturday night “cocktail attire” affair, right? Um… I don’t know. It seems like that’s correct.

Wait – I have only shopped online for the last two years. How do I buy myself a gown? Or a regular dress? Or leave my house and go to one of those places I remember where you give money and walk out with an item RIGHT THERE?

I can do this. I used to love to shop. Especially for pretty things that made me feel nice. But also wait… do dresses make me feel nice or like my body is grossly out of proportion with my R-rated top and size 4T hips, all atop my statuesque 5’2” frame.

I forgot how challenging dress shopping was for me. I’ve come to peace with the fact that even the suggestion of a strapless bra makes me weep. I know at this point – after a prom dress, wedding dress, and multiple bridesmaid dresses, what works and doesn’t for my body. Once more I will say NO I cannot wear a strapless bra. Just believe me. Please.

Thus, I began searching for the perfect dressy enough, age-appropriate, petite navy dress that will hide bra straps and not make me look like a troll. Because let’s remember: this is the dress I will stand in and smile with pride as my progeny becomes a woman. No one is looking at me. Or they are… you know, to judge my dress. No stress there at all.

So, where did I begin? I asked my friends where to go and they suggested starting at the “outlet” version of a finer department store. YES! I remember loving this store and doing so well many years before for my 40th birthday dress. Yes, yes yes. I just know my perfect dress is there.

After hours and hours of trying on quite possibly every dress in the posh East Egg zip code, I looked on the website to see the expanded choices. I found my favorite in-store choice – which fit perfectly but was too simple as a hostess dress – in an all-sequin version.

Oh my gosh.


I already knew it fit, I already loved it, I just needed a little extra oomph. There it was – staring me right in the face, and at the unbelievable price of $59.97. I ordered it (in two sizes, just to be safe) faster than I could say “bargain”. Not to mention it was midi size, so my petit frame required no alteration. It lifted where it needed to, draped in the right places, and just made me look – perfect.

I did it! I bought the dress, the PERFECT dress, plus I could return it if needed. This was a big deal for this sartorial indecisive woman in a land where most “mother of” dresses were final sale.

I left with a spring in my step and happily packed for my business conference. A week later I returned to find the delivery bag on my floor holding the answer to my dress prayers. But I didn’t have a chance to open it yet since I was getting ready for unexpected sinus surgery.

In a fog for the next week, I kept looking forward to opening the bag, seeing this amazing dress, and finalizing the fifth outfit for our big Bat Mitzvah event.

Finally, I felt well enough to get out of bed. I ran right to the bag, yanked open the top, and staring back at me was…. A black cardigan.

Wait what? Where’s my dress? WHERE’S MY DRESS!!!?


I head right to the website to re-order it. But of course, staring back at me – SOLD OUT.


WHERE’S MY DRESS? The answer? Only g-d knows. After an hour on the phone with said “finer” department store’s customer service manager the whereabouts of my dress – now OF COURSE completely sold out – was nowhere to be found.

He offered an apology and a 10% discount on another dress but that did not help. Nothing existed like this unicorn. Not even close. The next option – barely even close to the look I wanted, was several hundred dollars. Not helpful. Not ok. You messed up, just send me that dress. I’ll make it work. Nope. No dice. Sorry lady. Tough luck.

I said there must be ONE dress. SOMEWHERE! Find IT! I’ll hold. I’ll hold until you find it. Just go.

After 25 minutes, he advised that they possibly have one… in a store… somewhere in the country. He sent out a dress APB to this manager and assured me we would hear back within the day and email me.

Naturally, that didn’t happen. I have not heard back. I have no information and no perfect dress.

So, I need a Chanukah miracle. I need to see that email and a tracking number and know my perfect, beautiful, navy sequin dress has been located and will be at my door to shine in February.

But I don’t expect this will actually happen, so what do I do? I order every single navy dress for sale in a store at this very moment. I spend thousands and thousands of dollars having gowns, midi dresses, and cocktail dresses from all parts of the country sent to my door. But none are my dress. None are that dress. Even worse – none are $59.97.

I am so sad.

I am so frustrated.

I am so angry that this store known for their exemplary customer service didn’t and couldn’t do any better.

Yes, I understand in the scheme of things this should be my biggest problem. I am thankful that I even get to have this problem, but I need a Chanukah miracle. I need that dress. Clap with me. Make the dream come true. Help me believe.

Stacey Wallenstein is the founder of the parenting & lifestyle blog The Mint Chip Mama. Visit her website at themintchipmama.com and find her across all socials at @themintchipmama

Posted in Mitzvah Ideas, Fashion