How often is it that you see women compete to be the one wearing the ugliest outfit? That's part of the fun of "Bridesmaids' Bingo." A couple hundred women descended upon the Scottish Rite Temple to try to outdo each other in both hideousness and bingo to raise money for My Sister's Place Women's Center.
Event co-chairwoman Jenny Trostel sported a kitschy black chiffon gown, "designed by Goodwill" - a store that seemed to be one of the go-to shops for this party's suggested attire.
"All of my friends go out to Goodwill and buy $10-$12 dresses. Then, we come here [in them] and have a good time," explained Carole Miller, director of the Cancer Center at St. Agnes Hospital.
Jody Aud, public relations consultant, went full-throttle with fashion faux pas by pairing a spaghetti-strapped coffee satin gown with the most unattractive thick-strapped bra she could find.
Julie Mercer, senior director of the American Red Cross of Central Maryland, was a standout in a 1970s ocher polyester frock that featured a huge daisy print and snap cuffs.
"It was $10 at Vanessa's in Federal Hill," she said. "I said, 'Vanessa, find me the skankiest.' "
"Good one. Good one," yelled Janice Adams, as she spotted Mercer. Adams had come in a dress she'd worn at a 1959 wedding.
"The first one that year at the Naval Academy."
Her friend, fellow community volunteer Abigail Brigstocke, looked as if she could take flight in a floral number with enormous puffed sleeves, which she'd worn in her brother's 1989 wedding.
"He's divorced now," she said.
A couple of guests went one step further. Eliza Graham, SnowGlobeRings.com owner, wore her mom's 1966 wedding minidress. And Vivian Lomax, who works in special education for the Baltimore public schools, swept in wearing a beautiful brand-new wedding gown, borrowed from her neighbor.
"She's 70. Her husband's deceased, and she's had it in her closet waiting for her next husband."