After writing my first Fit to Flatter post, I realized how much I wish I'd thought more about body type and fit before I'd started trying on wedding dresses. I didn't really have an idea of what I wanted before I started trying on dresses1 and bridal magazine weren't much help--they were full of insipid articles like, "How To Get Your Man Involved"2 and some really terrible photography.3
So my mother and Youngest came up to visit, and we went dress shopping. They made me promise in advance that I would try on anything that they asked me to try on, which lead to some pretty ugly dresses. It did, however, help me to learn a lot about how dresses fit and work, which I have no doubt will be totally useful in a future age where I get to wear ball gowns at least twice a week.
The first dress I tried on was this one, which I picked out myself:
It's not too bad, overall. The main problem here is the the way the ruching at the waist looks like horizontal stripes, which ultimately widens me at my narrowest part. It wouldn't be so bad if it stopped sooner--like at my waist. The way that it continues down over my hips is not cool, particularly when combined with the flower detail, which also adds weight.
The next one, picked out by mom, was much plainer:
Again, not too bad. The lines seem nice and simple, the bodice fits nicely, but again the ruching across my stomach does me no favours. The other problem with this dress is the back:
It's plain, but unfortunately here that equals boring, and also draws attention to my butt. And considering that my butt will be facing my guests during the ceremony, I figure that's something I'd like to avoid.
This one, aside from being decidedly too princessy for me, does great things for my waist. Unfortunately, those great things come at the cost of my bust, which looks enormous here, which is not helped by the fact that all of the beaded detailing is right across the bust. The waist on this one is funny too; I really don't like the way the gathers puff up when they start, as it interrupts the flow of the skirt.
I think that my posture in this dress says it all. The top makes me look flat, and the way that the waist--again with the ruching--connects to the skirt just widens me at all the points that I shouldn't be widened at.
This is my favourite of all the dresses that I didn't buy. Youngest made me try it on because she liked the flowers on the skirt.4 The bodice is fully boned, which I wound up liking far more than any woman who considers herself a feminist should really admit.5 The corset does all sorts of lovely things for my upper torso: it smoothes everything out and pushes everything up. When combined with the fullness of the skirt, it makes for a very pretty silhouette. The plainness of the top contrasts nicely with the frou-frou bottom, and it draws attention to my chest without making me look like I'm about to topple over. This was the most expensive dress I tried on, at $1200.
1 It is shocking, I know, that a woman in Western civilization hasn't spent every day of her 28 and 3/4 years on this earth thinking about her wedding dress.
2 You can do this, apparently, by letting him take on such tasks as choosing the DJ or arranging for transportation, because men love music and cars, and can't be trusted with anything else.
3 Why yes, I do always wearing my wedding gown when I hang out on scaffolding. Obvs.
4 Naturally, they are my least favourite part of the dress.
5 But, oh, the lumbar support. Seriously.