about that whole dress thing…

I was going on about my life, not thinking about a dress… well, okay… do you ever really stop thinking about the dress? I mean, until you have one hanging in the closet ready to go? No, I don’t think that you do. Well, at least I don’t. I am not even going to excite you with this post. Even as I sit here typing a retroactive account of a dress experience, I’m still thinking about dresses! I haven’t picked one, and my only two experiences have been… well… traumatic.

Okay, I’m back to going on with my life. Wandering through life without a thought of a dress. Um… I guess it may not have been life — I was wandering through the mall without a thought of a dress. Just then my entourage and I decided to duck into a little boutique that had a side room full of prom, homecoming, and even bridal gowns.

Before you know it, I’m standing in my unmentionables in a dressing room thinking “Am I really about to try on my first wedding dress in a mall?!?!?!?” It isn’t that I have anything against the mall… it’s like my home away from home… but I do have a bit of an aversion to spur-of-the-moment, non-planned, spontaneity. Those things are fine by me when it comes to where to eat lunch, a short cut in traffic, going to an early matinee movie on Sunday, or picking a new pair of shoes… it doesn’t quite work the same in my head when it comes to a wedding dress. Regardless of my apprehension, I figured Carpe Diem, bite the bullet, you have to start somewhere!

I tried on two dresses, and liked them both. It is easy to like the idea of a dress, the notion that you’re really getting married, that it is that one dress you’ve thought about since you were tiny… but liking the actual dress, and how you look in it is another story all-together.

A photo of the first dress I've tried on! The quality isn't great because it was taken with my phone. (I was sort-of breaking the rules, since you aren't really supposed to take any photos in the boutique. By sort-of... I mean: I was breaking the rules, but how could I not share this with you?!?!?!?!?!)

Unfortunately, the second dress that I tried on was not nearly as nice an experience. It was a mermaid-style, dropped waist little lace number that just didn’t fit right. A dress that laces in the back is much easier fit-wise than a zipper-back, and I learned that the hard way. This dress fit everywhere except the very front. It looked like I had a kangaroo pouch right on the front of my thighs. The dress would need some pretty substantial alterations since it was in such a weird place to take in.

I'm pretty sure this was the gown that I tried on. Photo Courtesy of ChristinaWu.net

The girl working in the boutique then suggested that I get the gown in a ‘couple sizes bigger’. Now, I’m not here to write an entire blog hating on this sales girl, but… wow. Not only was she wrong, but she was offensive. Apparently no one ever taught her that sometimes brides are a little insecure about trying on dresses. For some reason the number on that tag mattered to me, and I don’t just mean the price. I am quite positive that I over reacted to her comment, but she genuinely was judgey in how she said it. I didn’t scald the girl for being dense, and I didn’t stand there any cry. I did look in the mirror and decide that I didn’t want her making any commission from me and that the photos you see probably weren’t the dresses for me.

This trip to the mall didn’t end in the purchase of a wedding dress, but I hadn’t expected it to. It did end in a pretty enlightening experience for me though. I made the realization that body image, sizes, and my overall view of myself may be an issue in picking a dress. I think that the search for a dress is going to be a chance for me to learn a little about myself and grow.

This post leads me to the question:

Married or Not, Dress Shopping or Clothes Shopping;

How do you learn to embrace and love what you see

looking back at you in the mirror?

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