Post # 1
I am helping my future mother in law find a dress to wear to the wedding. We are having serious problems finding one and she doesn’t want to get one custom made. Here’s the problem – she’s only 5" and is a size 16P (petite). I live in NYC and so choices are limited as I don’t have a car to drive her to a nearby mall (but am considering renting a car for the day to take her to one). We’ve gone to Macy’s and Lord/Taylor. I looked on Nordstrom.com but they only have one dress available in that size.
Do you all know of any online sources that maybe helpful in finding her a dress? Also, any suggestions on what would flatter her shape and size as I have no clue?
Our wedding is on October 4, 2008 so we do have sometime.
Please help! Thanks so much in advance!
Post # 3
lol…you fail to mention her shape. you only mentioned her size, which really doesnt give up anything……
A-line flatters everyone, and whatever she gets could be taken in and hemmed by a decent tailor or seamstress.
Post # 4
Sorry.. you’re right.. She’s pear shaped and has a slightly large tummy. That’s where we were encountering problems when trying on dresses- it would be too tight in the tummy or the dresses were not flattering since they emphasized her stomach.
Post # 5
Try http://www.newport-news.com. I don’t know how fancy the wedding is, but they have a large selection or petite items (that go up to size 16).
Ann Taylor also has a large selection of petite dresses (up to size 16)
Is she willing to have the dress altered? If she is, then perhaps you could buy something not petite and have it hemmed for her?
Or what about looking in ‘juniors’ sections. It may be hard to find something age appropriate for her, but the sizes might fit her better?
I have a friend that’s an 18W and 5"- she’s one of my bridemaids and found a lovely dress as David’s Bridal. It needs to have 6 inches hemmed off the bottom, but otherwise looks lovely.
David’s also has a large selection of MOB (or in this case MOG) dresses. I know they get a bad rap, but she could probably try on a bunch of things there.
Post # 6
Another tip- especially for the tummy. Does she have a ‘foundation garment’ (i.e. a girdle or a long line strapless bra)?
Having the right undergarments could totally make a huge difference.
I would suggest taking her out to buy some undergarments first, then bringing them with you when you try on dresses.
When my MOH was looking she tried on several dresses with just her regular bra and they looked like crap on her. But when she put on the long-line strapless bra and tried the dresses on again she looked like a million bucks! It smoothed out her bumps and bulges, defined her waist, and held up her bust.
Post # 7
I would think since you have until October you could try out some internet/ catalog items and return them. Maybe like Coldwater Creek, Chicos or Lane Bryant. I’m not super familiar with them, but they cater to that age group and must have some dressier items. I think a structured jacket flatter a lot of figures (defines waist, enlarges bust, dresses up a look), but you need to make sure she gets a petite jacket cuz if that’s too long it would be expensive to alter. Dresses, especially covered by a jacket could easily be brought up to the right length.
That would be my recommendation – petite jacket and a dress or long flowing skirt unless she’s try to show up some fab body part.
Post # 8
Wow! Thanks for the undergarments tip! I’ll definitely take her out to get the basics first.. now I just have to suggest that to her. 😉 I don’t suppose there’s a way that I can just pick that up for her right? She’d have to try it on to see which fits?
I found the 2 dresses below on Talbots for sale and in her size.. Do you all think these would flatter her shape?
Post # 9
Is kind of what I’m thinking…. (coldwater creek) adjust colors and fabric for the formalness of the wedding. My mom has a similar body type (short and pear shaped) and this is the type of thing she’s wearing – she’s comfy cuz it doesn’t show too much skin and its dressy enough (she’s making her own cuz she’s handy like that).
Post # 10
My mom was a similar size and in petite. She looked at nordstroms, neiman marcus, wedding shops, etc and ended up just getting one from davids bridal, it just needed to be hemmed. She had her own share of wedding shop horror stories, which is why those other ones didn’t work for her.
She got one like this one, but in a silver tone. http://davidsbridal.com/mother_of_bride_detail.jsp?stid=2952&prodgroup=59′ defer=’defer
Post # 11
Check out http://www.herroom.com for undergarments. If you know her measurements (bust-waist-hips) you could order for her. They have free shipping on orders over $70 so you could buy several different things to try and return what doesn’t work.
As for the dress- it could work if the jacket’s not too long. Otherwise, for pear shape I would suggest A-line, empire waist (hides tummy and hips).
Post # 12
Fyi also something high waisted like this would probably look good on her. My mom just had a masectomy which is why she wanted to cover her top.
Post # 13
My mom is also a rather tricky size and not that tall, so we’re running into the same issues. When shopping for a rehearsal dinner outfit, we came across a similar jacket/dress or jacket/skirt combo. The trick is to try on enough jackets to get the right shape/length. Other things to help (from the sales person at Chico’s) – get 3/4 sleeves or push up long sleeves to 3/4 length. Showing that extra bit of skin deflects some of the attention from the tummy. Also, try a belt – you may need to play around a bit on placement and type of belth, but it really worked for my mom. The belt should be somewhat loose and a little lower, not cinched in super tight at the natural waist. I’m not at all a belt person, but this really dresses up the outfit and did wonders from Mom’s figure.
Even if you don’t find somehting fancy at a store like Chico’s, they can often give you good ideas on what is flattering and what cuts and fabrics work best.
For my FBIL’s wedding the MOB ended up going to Nordstrom for her dress. While not petite, she does have a tricky body type and was able to find something and have alterations. Not as easy as off-the-rack, but worth it because she felt she looked good.
Rosychicklet is spot on about the undergarments as well – makes a HUGE difference!