Newly engaged people, LISTEN UP! Especially those brides that are beginning their dress shopping journey. I want you to know, from the bottom of my heart, that if you do not like what you thought your dream wedding dress would be; IT'S O.K.!!!!
I see this issue consistently with brides, and since I have been helping brides for the last 16 (almost) years find the perfect wedding dress, it's more surprising to me if they do walk out with the dress that they have been envisioning. The fact is, that no matter how many online galleries you look at, or magazine articles you read entitled; Find the Perfect Wedding Dress Silhouette for your Body, you are not going to know what you like until you try it on YOUR body.
By all means try on what you are drawn to, but keep an open mind, especially if what you are trying on, just isn't giving you the "wow" that you thought it would. Instead of traveling 100 miles and trying on 250 of the same style dress (let's get real, there aren't that many different silhouettes, after that it's just the detail) maybe, just maybe, you need to step out of the box and try something completely different. If you do, and you fall in love, that's O.K.! I bet your fiance isn't necessarily the "type" of guy you thought you would be marrying either.
I can see the tension rise, and confusion set in when a bride gets a gown on that she loves, but it's so different from what she was looking for. It's almost as if she is being unfaithful to her dream. It's like she needs permission to change her mind.
So, right now, this moment, I give all brides out there my permission to veer from your original bridal gown vision, and just be in love with the gown that makes you feel the most special, and the most like a bride!
We see them everywhere, the pretty corset laces on the back of wedding, prom, and bridesmaids dresses. Not only do they look great, but as an added bonus you can pull those suckers so tight your waistline will magically shrink 5", just like you see on the movies, right? WRONG!!! We hate to burst your bubble, but the fact is that corset laces on dresses are not made to withstand the same kind of pressure that a real corset would. I cringe every time I see someone pulling on a corset laced dress like they are re-enacting a scene from Gone with the Wind; while in my head I am screaming "YOU ARE GOING TO BREAK IT!!!!"
What folks fail to realize is that it wasn't until 1828 that corsets started being engineered with metal eyelets. After those little marvels started being used, the the corset could withstand just about any amount of force you could muster, without running the risk of tearing the fabric. Corsets also became known as hidden killers because of the damage they could inflict on the human body by over-lacing, or "tight-lacing". Fun Fact: Did you know that men wore corsets too; albeit rarely?
Today, dresses with "corsets" are for aesthetic appeal; even more importantly they act as the closure in place of a zipper. While they will give you a certain amount of shaping please take care not to lace too tightly. Fabric and thread, especially delicate fabric and thread, will only withstand so much before eyelets start popping.
Real corsets with metal eyelets.
Notice the corsets being laced go UNDER the dress. It's not the dress itself that is being laced.
So, if it is an hourglass shape you are after, we highly recommend getting an additional body shaping undergarment, and not relying on your dress alone to achieve the look you want.
When brides are in the wedding planning stages, dress shopping is a very early part on the planning agenda. Brides should expect to order their dress on average, 9 -12 months prior to the wedding, but what is the one thing we hear most often when preparing to place that very important order? “Well, I am planning to lose weight”. A good majority of brides have this one thing on their mind when they go shopping for a gown, but the reality is you should dress the body you have now, not the one you hope to have later. Life happens and the weight does not always come off as fast as expected or in the places expected. Talk about added pressure by ordering a size smaller than what you are; as if the planning process weren’t pressure enough! If you dress who you are today and the weight comes off great! Dresses are made with alterations in mind and can be taken in an average of two sizes or more depending on the style and construction. If you dress who you are today and the weight doesn’t come off, or (gasp) you gain a tiny bit, you are still good. With the right alterations expert in your corner you will fit beautifully in that dress you have dreamed about for so many months.
Having your wedding dress altered is a necessary part of wedding planning, and it is quite an undertaking in itself. Wedding and formal gowns are not made from the fabrics that we are used to wearing everyday. These fabrics are not typically "stretchy" so they need to be altered to fit your shape. All gowns are structured differently and each woman has her own contours that are unique to her, the key is to mold the dress to your body shape while keeping the integrity of the gown design. The good news is that most formal gowns are made with alterations in mind, the bad news; this takes time and multiple fittings.
The most common misconception that I see with alterations is that people don't understand why it takes more than one fitting, or why the dress is not perfect at the second fitting. Depending on the dress, the person, and the type of alteration it can take several fittings to get a dress just right.
"Show up with an open mind. It may take more than one appointment to get a perfect fit, so don't despair if the dress puckers or pinches." Randy Fenoli - Much Ado About Alterations
If you are in the alteration process, please be patient with your seamstress, remember she/he is trying to mold this delicate, unforgiving fabric to the shape of your body, and that is not an easy task. Everything that is done to one part of dress can affect another part, which it is not always predictable.
For more information on this subject please read; Much Ado About Alterations, a must read article about the alteration process based on an interview with Randy Fenoli of Say Yes to the Dress.
We are seeing definite trends in men's formal wear. The top two priorities on the groom's list; color and fit. Grey (in all shades ) is the forerunner in the color department, as more men steer away from basic black, grey is the perfect neutral to pair with other, bolder colors. Tan has been making an appearance for several seasons now and it the perfect color for destination or a more casual wedding. Navy is hitting the market in a big way this year and I have a feeling that a lot of 2014 grooms will opt for this classic color.
The tuxedo manufactures are now offering slimmer cut coats and pants, which give a more tailored appearance. This is a huge contrast to the more traditional "boxy" looking coat styles that most of us are used to seeing. These slimmer styles are being asked for and greatly appreciated by grooms and groomsmen alike. Also, there are now three pant options to go with most jacket styles; a traditions pleated front pant, the more modern flat front, and even a slim fit. All I am waiting for now is a low rise tux pant, and we should really be able to make the guys happy.
We are excited to be able to offer grooms these trend options, plus all of the traditional styles that we still love too.
· Begin your search for your prom dress early. You may not have a date yet, but you will want to start looking at fashion magazines and stores as early as three to four months before your prom.
· Make sure you don't pick one that everyone else will have; you should be different. Just be yourself.
· Plan your budget for your prom dress and begin saving as soon as possible. Be sure to allow extra cash for small accessories like hair clips, shoes, and jewelry.
· Watch some celebrity red carpet events and take notes on your favorite styles. You may just be able to find a similar prom dress in your local boutique.
· Try on dresses in a variety of different styles and cuts to find the one that works best for your body. If you have a slim figure, you may look best in a sheath-style dress that shows off your silhouette. If you are curvy, you may want to consider an A-line dress that will highlight your waist and minimize your hips and thighs. Don’t be afraid to try on something that you hate on the hanger. Some dresses are just not hanger dresses, but they look great when you get them on a body.
· Start shopping for shoes and accessories at least 2 months in advance of the Prom. This way, you can try on your shoes, bag, and dress all together at the dress shop. Most dresses will need to be hemmed to the right length and having your shoes prior to making alterations is a must.
· Plan to choose and purchase your prom dress at least four to six weeks before your prom. Most formal gowns (including prom dresses) require alterations for a perfect fit, and you will want to allow enough time to complete these alterations.
· A couple of weeks before your prom, try on your dress with your shoes, jewelry, make-up, and hairstyle to be sure you like the finished look. Walk and move around in your prom dress a little to give it a comfort check and to make sure there will be no wardrobe malfunction. Even the most well made garment can loose a hook or pop a zipper.
· On the night of your prom, make sure you wear a button-up or large neck shirt that you can remove easily once your hair and makeup are done. This will prevent any make-up smudges, or heaven forbid, pulling you hair down before the big night.
Store owner, Kelly has been in the bridal industry since 2000, when at the ripe old age of 20 she opened her first little store front on a wing and a prayer. She is a certified wedding planner (no, she does not plan weddings), and everything she knows about bridal and formal wear has come from, gut instinct, trial and error, and watching LOTS of What Not to Wear.