Crowdsourcing Couture


My wife Jen and I aren’t fancy ladies. Jen and I can do many things: throw perfect spirals, build activity learning towers, complete crossword puzzles, cook meals, save lives and educate others. But one thing we routinely struggle with is getting dolled up.

April, Jen and Danny in the day-to-day

Perhaps it’s the fact that neither of us owns more than three or four dresses, or maybe it’s that we own even fewer dressy shoes. Maybe it’s that I never wear makeup … or maybe I did on our wedding day? I honestly can’t remember.

All I know is that we’ve worn the same few dresses to every wedding for the last seven years, and when we had a family wedding to attend in early March, we cringed. My wife was five months pregnant and had no dress to wear, and my one winter wedding dress was still dirty from a January wedding. It didn’t help that this was a black tie D.C. wedding either.

In the past, I’ve used Rent the Runway to spice things up and I even browsed their collection, but procrastination meant that dresses wouldn’t arrive in time. So, I decided to crowdsource and posted a plea to the SE Baltimore City Family Yard Sale Facebook Group.

“Help us become lipstick lesbians for a night! If you’re willing to lend or rent the following, that’d be great: 1) Maternity dress. Sizes 4-8 petite. Full bust. 5’2”. Pre-pregnancy weight of 115.  Currently about 123. Second trimester. That Mama has heels and wears makeup. 2) Short or full-length dress. Sizes 6-8 regular. Small bust. Huge ass. 120lbs.  5’3”. This Mama gets asked if she’s a boy or a girl!”

April, Jen and Danny glam it up for a black tie wedding.

In less than 24 hours, I had several responses and more than 15 dresses delivered to me. Talk about a village! Most of the dresses came from women that I personally know and have met through free public programming or preschool. A couple of the dresses came from women whom I had never met before, but were willing to lend their clothes to a complete stranger as long as I dry cleaned the dress afterward. No rental fees or other fees, but I did offer to cook some of my Mexican specialties as a thank you.

I wasn’t sure what to expect prior to posting for help, but I was amazed at the number of responses I received and with how quickly fellow moms were willing to help.

Should I be surprised? I have noticed that moms are always willing to help one another. That may be because we know that life is more enjoyable and easier with help, but it still takes the decision and effort to do so. With all that is happening in our own lives and around us, choosing to stretch ourselves a little bit further to aid another in need is in itself miraculous.

Thanks to these generous moms, my wife and I not only enjoyed our D.C. wedding weekend, we also dressed the part, too!



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