bridal shopping blues

Tuesday, December 29, 2009 | by Newlywed | Labels: , , |

I thought searching for the perfect gown would be a lot more fun than it really is. You see,when you think of it, there are not a whole lot of styles to chose from. You'd think designers would try to be more creative with a white dress, but noooo! It's either A) strapless or B) strapless. Give me an interesting neckline to work with folks! Give me modesty with style! Yes, I want straps or sleeves, but give me sexy, too!

You see, here's my dilemma. I'm at an average weight. Not too big, not too small. I'm tall (almost 5'8), but that's all in my legs. From my hips up, I'm more of a short Filipina. My shoulders are narrow, my chest is flat, but my hips...daaayum! They're so wide my sister's nickname for me is "Hipster." I'm also kind of self-consious about my back and shoulders because, well, I've had scoliosis since I was a teenager and I know I can't keep a straight posture at all times. That doesn't give me much to work with when everything is strapless with a plunging back or neckline. And my weird body combination doesn't give me a whole lot of flattering styles to work with.

Not only that, but I'm looking for a style I'm not sure exists. I want something formal enough to wear in a church. I'm partial to a long train. I also don't want anything too extravagant, as we're having a morning wedding/afternoon reception. I also want something unique. Nothing too much like a ballgown. I don't want to look like I'm trying out for Miss Georgia, or anything like that. I want modern, a little modest, but not too stuffy. Something chic, a little vintage. maybe. Something elegant and refined.'s the big can't be more than $700 (yes, much more than my previous $250 budget, but still a huge limiting factor in my bridal gown search).

I know I need to order soon. Most dresses take up to 6 months to come in. I'll also need time for alterations. But I haven't really found The Dress. I thought I did, about three times already.  First, I tried on this Alfred Angelo dress:

I thought it flattered my figure, and I especially loved the corset back. With a cute feathery hairpiece, the dress gave off a vintage vibe. But the sample dress I tried on didn't have the A-line look in the photo. It looked more trumpet-style. I thought, I really like this dress, but I didn't want to have my heart set on it right away. I wanted to keep looking.

Then I headed to a bridal shop in Temple City, CA and I tried on a Casablanca #1831

I thought the midriff area really slimmed out those hips of mine. The v-neck actually made me look like I had something there. The sample was a near perfect fit and the shop was going to sell it to me off the rack for $400! But when I went to my fiance's place to think about it, I caught sight of my future sister-in-law's recent wedding photo. It was the same exact dress! Sorry, the dress had already made its debut!

Then I went to a bridal shop in Rancho Cucamonga, CA and tried on another Casablanca dress, #1901

I didn't think I would like it because it was a trumpet style and really hugged those hips of mine, but when I tried it on, I don't know, something switched in my head. You see, it had everything I wanted. It was different from all the dresses I've seen. It had a long, beautful train, sleeves and an illusion back. I think another reason why I wanted to love the dress is because the fiance and I had seen it before in a bridal fashion show. He casually mentioned to me that he thought that was the prettiest dress he saw that day. I thought for sure, this is The One!

The shop wouldn't let me take photos, and since I was by myself, I didn't have anyone to snap a few guerilla-style. They even quoted me at $1200! Whaaa? That was way out of my budget range! I went home to do more research on the gown. I saw that the original retail price of the dress was about $1000. They were going to overcharge me by $200!

Then I got a price quote from an authorized online retailer with mostly positive reviews. $700! That was $500 less than what the last shop quoted me at! I called another online retailer with good standing and they quoted me at $640. This retailer offers to beat any authorized online retailer by 5%, so their offered price on the gown became $608. That's about half the price of my very first quote! I was so excited thinking I got a pretty good deal for myself!

Then, I invited my sisters to come see me in the dress. They snapped a few photos when the salesperson wasn't looking. Their verdict? It's nice. Just nice. Not the response I was looking for. I was hoping for Wow! Beautiful! It's gorgeous! Nope. My sister later admitted that the trumpet style wasn't doing much for my figure.

When I saw the photos, I saw what she meant. My hips really did look big in the photos, and yeah, I look nothing like the model in the photo. It didn't look the way I had hoped it would on me. Alas, it's not meant
to be!

So I'm back with a clean slate. It's pretty frustrating. I messed up once before on my dress, and I really want to get it right this time. I think I'll head back to Alfred Angelo and try on that dress again. But it's back to the beginning...again.

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