All posts tagged “dresses

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Wedding : Dress Search Part 2

Read Part 1 here

 

So we left off with me having left The Bridal Garden with two dresses on my mind. As soon as I saw the pictures from Kerri, I knew.

 

2011-02-14 2011-02-15

Elizabeth Fillmore

 

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Junko Yoshioka

 

Serious note to ladies who are shopping – even if it’s not allowed, take pictures. I was shocked by how what I thought looked fabulous on—the Elizabeth Fillmore in the first pictures—did not photograph quite so. Body dysmorphia FTLoss.

 

Scott and I were at brunch for Valentine’s Day when these arrived in my inbox and I was so excited about the pictures I may have a) accidentally showed him, and b) spent a significant amount of time forwarding them to interested parties.

 

Another note to ladies who are shopping – if you accidentally show your fiancé a photo of the dress, with or without you in it, he absolutely will not remember it come the wedding. (Unless he is some kind of whore for fashion with the memory of an elephant.) And as an interesting sidebar to those of you already marrieds, asking your fiancé to remember and describe your dress is a really hilarious game to play—and win. Thinking this was a sad WIC cliché after reading it in UK Cosmo, I asked Scott while on the plane home from our honeymoon. Even he, who generally notices clothes and has an eye for them, was way way off.

 

So I loved the dress, but there was still the matter of the price.

 

And my own indecisiveness.

 

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The dress was also dirty, and though it mostly fit, it would need some altering. I wasn’t prepared for the cost ($250! for cleaning, and $275! for alterations) associated with those either. So I brought another friend, this one with some dress cleaning/altering experience—Beverly Hills Bloomingdales FTW.

 

And then I made an appointment at the salon my friend Aimee’s dress came from. (Because yes, she had bought her dress back in September, the day after we went shopping together. And I’d hate her for it, except she wound up having waaay more dress drama than me in the end.)

 

It was there that I tried on a bunch of dresses I never would have except they were the only things in my price range/size. Because uh yea, I’m not a Kirstie Kelly for Disney Bridal kinda girl. Or so I thought.

 

Much like David’s Bridal (or so I hear – I never did get to go into a David’s), the Disney Princess line was surprisingly okay.

 

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This little jam did in fact make me feel like a princess. Probably because it’s like, what, an exact replica of Belle’s gold dress? But even for a 28 year old, getting to dress up for five minutes as Belle one last time was pretty awesome.

 

And then I realized, uh yea, I don’t want to be Belle for my wedding.

 

Next came a couple womp, womp dresses that were not from Kirstie Kelly, but are proof that sometimes things (usually the ones that didn’t make it out of the fitting room), can look just plain shitty.

 

P2250106-1 P2250104-1

 

I actually didn’t mind the first one, but it was too “trendy” for me. I hate to use that word because I think trendiness can save one from decision overload—there’s no greater validation or safety than “everyone else doing it”—but part of the allure of the Junko Yoshioka was that no one else had it. Short of making something custom or finding something vintage (and believe you me, I searched in every dark corner of the interwebs—despite longing for a story like Meg’s, I couldn’t bring myself to actually pound the pavement), how impossibly awesome to have a dress that you cannot find on a single “real wedding” blog post anywhere?!

 

But then, there came the dress that made me reconsider everything.

 

It was unlike anything I’d ever thought I wanted. Covered in beading. Flowy, not structured. And well, inspired by Princess Jasmine.

 

But it reminded me of this.

 

And come on, that is a truly great moment.

 

As a girl who once [seriously] considered spending $6,000 to have her wedding here and just sit on the floor and eat Chinese takeout, the easy comfort of this dress suddenly seemed like a forgotten necessity,

 

And then there was the price.

 

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Dress + cleaning + alterations, for a total number exactly matching my max budget.

 

It was a very nice deal, and all the salesladies were just about bouncing off the walls with excitement, though of course you can never tell if that’s authentic or just put on to make the sale.

 

It was all so very tempting…

 

But I wasn’t thrilled with how I looked in the pictures, and regardless, I had one more appointment with Flora (which is the style name of the Junko Yoshioka), and 2 more friend’s opinions to gauge.

 

So I left behind Princess Jasmine, and put on my best big girl bargaining pants.

 

And bargain I did. I put on Flora, my friends fell in love, and I got that saleslady to knock $500 off the price (with only a little crying). Of course there was still cleaning and alterations, and I COMPLETELY forgot about sales tax until my credit card was out of my wallet. But this was my dress and I just didn’t want to look anymore. (That, and bargaining down money that’s going to a non-profit felt sort of wrong.)

 

My initial budget was an arbitrary and seemingly high number. But, as anyone can tell you, I am a Clothes Person, so putting some financial focus on The Dress seemed like the right thing to do. On the other hand, I am a Bargain Person, and so I also had the pipe dream that I’d be about to somehow conjure a $13,000 couture gown out of thin air for about $300. Because that’s how I roll.

 

So I was feeling a little down on myself for going over budget while forking over my Visa, when my friend Maureen observed (Maureen is getting married in August and clearly she will not be having any issues because she is far wiser than I), that based on the original number on the price tag, I was getting the dress at 80% off.

 

Score.

 

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how awesome is the foreign dude (he was! I’m not just making assumptions!) trying to shop amidst the madness?

 

Epilogue: The memory of Jasmine did not go quietly into the night. In fact, I spent the entire evening after buying Flora wondering if I made a mistake. I set up an eBay saved search and even wound up trying on some Sue Wong wannabe Jasmine’s while helping Maureen at the Battle of the Brides. Thankfully, by the time a reasonably sized, reasonably priced Jasmine turned up on eBay, I had come to my senses and didn’t buy it.

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Wedding : Dress Search Part 1

So I am generally inclined to (some might say “over-“) analyze things. It is unquestioningly my first and strongest instinct, but I am starting to wonder just how often giving in to it can take the fun out of life…

 

For example, I’ve come to the conclusion that, if I want to write about our wedding and honeymoon (and I do!), I should probably stop mentally wailing, “but what does it all mean?” and just continue telling the process and the day like it was.

 

And maybe when I’m done, I’ll know what it all means.

 

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buttons down the back, which at one point in my life I
had to have

 

So dress shopping. In many ways it was a microcosm of the entire process.

 

It was both fun and not fun. I had high hopes and a small budget. The hopes got smaller and the budget bigger. I overanalyzed everything and eventually went with my gut, but continued second-guess the whole thing until the moment I put on the dress the day of the wedding.

 

I love me some clothes. Especially party dresses. But wedding dresses as a genre? Ew.

 

I took a while of casual looking (I think if I’d actually gotten married in ‘08 or ‘09 I would’ve been screwed) before I even found one I liked.

 

It was this:

 

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Spose di Gio

I still like this dress. And eventually I began to like other dresses too. If you’re reading this before I delete my tumblr*, you can see them here: http://ny2cabride.tumblr.com/tagged/dress

 

The Spose di Gio dream died when I saw a few pictures of actual people wearing the dress and it was not quite so ethereal and pink and lovely. And it wasn’t exactly all over ebay/preownedweddingdresses/oncewed/etc (my plan to make an expensive dress work) either.

 

This was okay because despite intended to buy online, I knew I wanted the experience of going to stores and trying stuff on.

 

So in September last year my friend Aimee, her mom, and I went to go do that. It was almost a year to the day of what would become my wedding date, but I didn’t know that at the time. Neither Aimee nor I knew where or when we were getting married, something we were learning got us totally snubbed as brides. At my suggestion, we went to Lovely in the West Village because they had a bunch of eco-friendly type designers that looked very Aimee. Lovely was less than lovely, and we both forgot our cameras. (I’ll just leave it at that. If you want an actual review of the service, I can give you a private one.)

 

nm-HG0013_Metal-Taffeta-Strapless-aNicole Miller 

 

I tried on this Nicole Miller, which I thereon considered my if-I-really-can’t-find-anything-else-there’s-always-this-dress until I actually bought a dress. It actually would’ve been a great choice for Costa Rica, even though I could mentally here my mother rolling in her grave over how it was “wrinkled.” But it holds its value! Secondhand deals were not to be found on this dress, even though about a million people have gotten married in it.

 

After my less than lovely experience, I laid off the dress hunt until February when we had formed a solid foundation of venue + photographer. Then I took a friend to the place I really wanted to go—The Bridal Garden. The Bridal Garden is a non-profit in NYC that accepts donated dresses from designers and brides and resells them with the proceeds going to NYC public schools. As we tried to support nonprofits and small businesses as much as possible in the wedding, I thought the idea of getting my dress there was so, so SWEET. Plus the service is more Marshalls than Kleinfeld’s. As in, you get to pull dresses yourself to try on. Perfect for a control freak like me.

 

There was also the glimmer of the possibility of Oscar de la Renta awaiting me. You see, that was one of two childhood wedding dreams: a Tahiti honeymoon and an OdlR dress. Oscar, it occurred to me, was attainable through the power of Ebay (don’t bother with the other sites: Oscar brides can’t bear to drop the prices that low), but I found myself passing up $600 dresses because though they might have been Oscar but they just weren’t me…

 

So I went into the Bridal Garden with an open mind, and began to just try random stuff on. No beading, no sequins, no ballgowns, no sheaths. Mermaids, trumpets, preferably some straps or sleeves. There was a Rivini that fit none of this criteria, but it was so Art Deco slinky… And there was an Elizabeth Fillmore that seemed like the perfect size. Not too cocktail dress and not too wedding cupcake.,,

 

And then, the saleslady, who was treating me like her personal Barbie, started handing me Junko Yoshioka’s. It was like the designer had just, oh, dropped off the entire runway collection and they happened to all fit me like a glove. (Except for the being about a foot too long part.) It was both fun and emotionally exhausting trying them all on (fitting into clothes is something I do not take for granted, having struggled with just that for most of my adolescence). We snuck as many pictures as we could, mostly of the silly ones:

 

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Junko Yoshioka

 

And then there came the last dress. It took us a few minutes to figure out how it worked (not that that was a surprise after the cape). But once we got it on, I sort of looked in the mirror and said, hmph. It didn’t have the buttons down the back I always wanted. But then again, it wasn’t like anything I had ever pictured. And yet, it was kind of—ok, very—me. (This is sounding like how I feel about Scott.)

 

The saleslady quoted me a price I couldn’t really afford. And I can’t make decisions that fast anyway. There were no promises the dress would still be there without a $100 hold on it (because yes, if I’m having trouble with the price I’m going to drop $100 to hold it). But I figured if it were my dress, and I already knew it was, it wasn’t going anywhere. If another girl my exact size with my exact taste walked in and had to have it then she deserved it anyway.

 

So my intrepid friend Kerri promised to send me the photos she had taken, and we left as I continued to ponder dresses and budgets and dresses. Waiting for the photos was excruciating, as I impatiently wondered if the dresses really looked like I had seen in my head.

 

 To be continued…

 

*I always intended to make my inspiration Tumblr (oh life before Pinterest) private, but couldn’t figure out how. I hate having uncredited images posted anywhere.

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Style : YayNY

Ok, more opinions and polling today! You know you love it.

Yay NY = Thursday, and I have to pick out something to wear, so I made Scott endure a session of dress-up, and my best ode to ANTM:

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So, the options are:

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1) These are the pants I wore to the prom ten years ago, and I’ve always wanted to wear them again. Pro: sparkles.

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2) This may be the clear winner, summery and full of sparkles.

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3) Soo somfy, and something I could actually wear to work and not have to change from.

 

 

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Say “No” to the Dress

Weddings are a crazy land of finality (I mean, you’re only *supposed* to do it once), and "suppose to’s" and "shoulds." To draw a parallel, while I was OK with "proposing" myself, I could not let go of feeling like I should be proposed to as well, because this is what I have been fed since childhood. I’m the kind of person that gets quite set on certain things being certain ways, and for me that was one of them, even though intellectually I wanted to be above it.

 

I think there’s a room for A LOT of those feelings in the whole world of weddings and it’s a tricky course to avoid them—it’s like an undertow. You can’t see or anticipate those things that will not you off course—but suddenly you’re crying over confetti (or something else).

 

For example, "THE Dress." Much like one’s fiance, one is conditioned to look for the ONE. (Or the TWO, in these days of excess that I may or may not participate in…)

 

Despite my usually unconventional tastes, I’d always dreamed of getting married in Oscar de la Renta (unconventional tastes yes, befitting of my budget no). Well, when it occurred to me that people just might sell off their OdlR dresses at well below the retail price on the interwebs, this childhood fantasy was suddenly close to reality.

 

Of course, the ones that have come up so far haven’t exactly been very "me", and that’s been a tough line to draw… what’s more important: Oscar? Or not getting married in a cupcake?

Oscar de la Renta wedding

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I chose to say "no" to these Oscar dresses on ebay even though they got verrry close to my budget… It was NOT easy, but I’m trying, *trying* to stick to my fashion—and other—principles…

 

(And there’s another little number I’ve got my ebay-stalking eye on…)

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To Buy or Not to Buy: I have a party dress problem.

 

Since I didn’t go shopping yesterday on Black Friday (I’ll post about what I did do tomorrow when all is said and done), I figured I’d write about shopping instead.

 

Or more specifically, my party dress addiction.

 

My reasoning for such is twofold:

 

1) Party dresses are adorable and fabulous.

 

2) When it comes to styling myself, I am really, really lazy. A great outfit that consists of exactly one item? SOLD.

 

I usually try to avoid even trying on such things to prevent myself from spending money on something I’ll wear once to a wedding, and secretly wish I had some kind of job (seat filler? hostessing at a schmancy restaurant? escort?) that I could wear it to all the time.

 

So this time when I wandered into H&M and wanted to buy every $50 party dress in the place, I decided to try a new approach.

 

Only photos were taken home with me. 😉

 

DSCF0894This one was my favorite, although it really looks terrible in the picture.

I swear it didn’t make my torso look that freakishly short (although it is)…

 

DSCF0899Love all things one-shouldered…

(Sorry, I haven’t mastered self-portraiture yet)

 

DSCF0902Love the color, love the whole Grecian thing, and yet…

I don’t love this dress.

I don’t think I can pull off maxi dresses…

 

DSCF0906Nope, I definitely can’t.

(Anyone notice how totally Blossom the dress/boots look is?!)

 

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I thought for sure this one was going to be the one that was hard to let go.

But WOW, where’d my boobs go? I promise they were there before and after wearing this dress. Not huge, mind you, but there.

 

DSCF0910LOVE this one.

And I do not usually go for the shoulder thing.

But it really does balance out the top and bottom.

That Adrian was on to something.