- 6 years ago
- Wedding: August 2013
Hi all, I apologise in advance for the length of this one but I’m after some advice on where to go from here.
I bought my dress the other week and it should arrive in June for my first fitting before alterations. I love my dress, I love how I feel in it, and I’m genuinely surprised that I could feel sleek and beautiful in something like this. The problem is that is everything that I thought it shouldn’t be!
When I started looking for dresses around Christmas time, I had a very specific plan and idea as to what would work for my body type, and did a lot of research in to the ‘rules’ as to what I should wear so I could best educate myself before trying things on. I also spent a lot of time lurking on forums like this one so I could see what different styles look like on different body types.
Here’s the thing – I’m very tall (6’1”), plus-sized (Australian size 16), awkwardly figured (big square shoulders, thick waist, small hips, looong torso), and big busted (16E bra size). We’re also getting married on a winter evening in one of the coldest cities in Australia, in a beautiful old art-deco styled library.
With all that in mind, I had convinced myself that my dress needed to be:
- A-line or ballgown (to balance out the shoulders)
- Detailed at the natural waist (so I could pretend I *have* a waist)
- Lace or satin with minimal bling (getting married in a library, not a cathedral and I need a heavy fabric – no lightweight draping)
- Sleeves and straps and no sweetheart neckline (big bust + cold weather)
- No train (I’m very clumsy)
So basically something that looks like this, but with more of an a-line and no train. I collected heaps of examples of what I wanted, and then sort forth to start trying things on.
I found some local salons that stocked Demetrios and Henry Roth designs that met my criteria…and they turned out to be a total fail. I looked like a big angry refrigerator in these dresses, and I felt like I took up half the room when I walked out of the change rooms. So I tried different fabrics and different sleeves, but nothing seemed to work. Mermaids and trumpets didn’t work because of my thick middle, and I couldn’t walk in them. And I still looked like a grumpy fridge! I ended up trying on about thirty different dresses at four different salons to no avail.
Just when I was starting to get really frazzled about the whole thing, I decided to try one last shop that hadn’t previously been on my preferred list. I didn’t know any of the designers they stocked and I couldn’t research anything about them which made me nervous (you may be noticing a trend here re. researching things). I went in and explained my dilemma to the consultant, and her eyes lit up because she had a particular dress she loved but hadn’t had anyone come in who was (in her words) tall enough and long-torsoed enough to carry it off. There was a lot of sideways eyebrow raising between my mum and I when we saw it on the hanger, as it was everything I had said I didn’t want, but I figured I had nothing to lose at that point.
I wrangled myself in to it, as the sample was a size too small, and when I walked out and stood in front of the mirror my mum went “whoa”. And I went “whoa”. And the consultant went “HA! I knew it!”
I slept on the decision that night, and then went back the next morning and bought it in a size up. It should arrive in June.
And that is how I ended up with a dress that was:
- Drop-waisted and straight-skirted;
- Heavily beaded and blingy;
- Chiffon; and
- With a train, albeit a modest one.
(scroll back up and compare that to my original criteria!)
Part of the problem has been that I haven’t been able to find a single picture of a bride wearing my dress, other than the freaky stilt-walking model on the official site here: http://www.christinarossi.com/en/collectionsView.asp?id=93. This fact both simultaneously pleases and terrifies me, and I’m struggling to picture what I can wear with this gown because I haven’t seen anyone do it before me. A lace bolero won’t work with it anymore, and a full fur jacket or wrap might be a bit much for a wedding in a library, although I did try one on at the shop. Shawls make me fidgety if I don’t have my hands free, and the birdcage veil I tried on gave me a giant melon-head and looked awful.
And herein lies the dilemma. When I had my first plan in place, I was going to wear a nice birdcage veil to complement the setting and the lace. And I wouldn’t need a cover-up because the dress was going to have sleeves. And now?
I love the dress and I haven’t second guessed my purchase once which has surprised me (I even like the dodgy photos, and usually photos of me make me hiss and bat them away with my hands). I just want to know what I can wear with this dress to show it off to full effect and to make it appropriate for the setting and time of year.
Here are some pics of me in the size 18 sample which isn’t laced up properly, but I bought it in the 20 to combat the cleavage, pointy hips and wrinkling in the bodice. I have a modest ribbon edged veil tucked in under my bun, but it doesn’t make much of a statement from the front. I annoyingly don’t have pictures from the back (mum + phone cameras = epic fail).
And the detail in the bodice (I like how the designs kind of look like runic writing. I humbly apologise for the cleavage in your face, that won’t be there on the night).
Bees, I bow to your superior talents in figuring this one out!