Dresses: First Trials

August 8, 2010 § 5 Comments

Powdered by Sarah Seven

I’m sure the first thing many women think of after the initial shock and joy of getting engaged subsides is dresses.  I’m no exception to the rule.  Thus, I’ve been ogling wedding dresses online for months and scouting for white dresses in all departments at Macy’s.  More recently I visited David’s Bridal.  Of course I left immediately when the touch of one finger to any dress made the polyester crunch and crinkle, resulting in skin-crawling nausea.  RK Bridal was a little better.  I could touch things without having to run away, but the environment made me want to hide under a rock.  Bridezillas everywhere.  Mother’s of the Bridezilla equally rampant.  It was awful.  I didn’t try a single dress on.

Finally, I made an appointment with Lovely Bridal Shop in the West Village.  I’d followed their blog for a while and the shop seemed more my speed.  When I arrived for my appointment, I nearly overlooked the shop, as it is a completely inconspicuous garden level boutique, marked only by a small chalkboard sign on the gate.  Perfect for me.  No gaggles of screaming attendants or dominating relatives swarming in this shop.  And I have to say I was completely astounded by the beauty and simplicity of the shop.  I am incredibly envious of the owner for getting to dedicated her days to the lovely space (there really is no better word to describe Lovely).

But getting to the good stuff, I tried on tons of dresses.  I had the wonderful woman who helped me, and whose name I immediately and regretfully forgot (it may have been Maggie, which is what I’ll call her here instead of “the woman”), take pictures of each one as I tried them on.  And while I’m not superstitious about being seen before the wedding day (I already texted all the pictures to Cesar), I feel a little strange posting them online, so instead I’ve been posting pictures from the designers’ sites of the dresses I tried.  So here’s the rundown in no particular order:

Watters Sonara Gown

I can’t stop thinking about this one.  I never imagined it to be my style.  It’s a lot of dress, and normally I relate the volume and embellishment to a higher maintenance woman than myself.  But I felt incredible in it.  Maggie kept warning me that the sample they had of the dress was a difficult size for all of the women who have tried it on, so I shouldn’t be disappointed if I couldn’t get into it or get it zipped.  But it slipped on and zipped up like butta.  It was so perfect I can’t even explain it without grossing myself out with sentimental yuck.  I loved it.  On a side note, it was also the most expensive garment I’ve ever had on my body, and shelling out the money to purchase it if I decide to may actually kill me.  But I loved it.

Oysters and Pearls by Elizabeth Dye

I loved the bodice of this one.  The details are incredibly sweet.  But the skirt is a little lackluster in comparison.  I haven’t ruled it out completely, but I tried on better short dresses.

Elizabeth Dye

Like this one!  I think this was my favorite of the short dresses that I tried.  I loved the texture, the length, the neckline, the playfulness.  This is a dress that I would feel 100% comfortable in, dancing, eating, vowing, etc.  The only drawback is that the cut did not flatter me the way the Sonara gown did.  It shortened my waist a little.  Thus, it took a step into the “cute” end of the bridal spectrum.  Less sophisticated and stunning.  Nonetheless, it is high on the list.

Giselle by Elizabeth Dye

This was another dress in which I fell in love with only half of it.  Everything waist and below is so beautiful, and and bodice just does not live up to it.  The simplicity of the bodice doesn’t bother me, it just lacks the structure needed to properly enhance my bust when there is bulk (or at least visual bulk) being applied to my waist.  Still gorgeous, but not the most flattering on my body.

Forget Me Not by Sarah Seven

Which brings us to the Sarah Seven dresses.  On the hangers, I thought these were going to be my favorites.  They are so ethereal and soft.  I just wanted to pet them all day long.  They are also the most simply constructed.  Sarah Seven craftily utilizes the selvedge edges instead of hemming the long gowns.  Edges are left raw to properly float as the bride moves.  The expertly draped chiffon is hand tacked to the under layer.  And without giving away all of Sarah Seven’s secrets, the source of the dress’s structure is easy peasy.  It’s brilliant.  I felt fantastic in this dress, light and free.  But again, like my favorite of the Elizabeth Dyes, the waist was a little high and didn’t do my long torso much justice.  If I could just strike a balance between the mobility and grace I felt in this dress and the stunning fit of the Sonara gown, I would be set!

Ivory Bliss by Sarah Seven

Ivory Bliss by Sarah Seven

Same story as Forget Me Not.  The top of the bodice was even lower, leaving me feeling a little more exposed than I would be comfortable with in a room full of family and friends.

So there it is!  My first day of actually allowing bridal dresses on my body.  It was a great experience and I can’t say enough about how much I love Lovely Bridal Shop.  I want to live there and try every dress on every day.  There was no pressure whatsoever to buy, and Maggie was a gem.  I really REALLY hope that is in fact her name, if not and you happen upon my blog, Maggie, I am so sorry I for not remembering your name.  You were so supportive and friendly, and I could go on and on.  But I should stop and let you all just look at the beauty of these dresses.


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