Most of us who are married know the agony of finding just the right wedding gown. Arguably, the only dress you’ll worry about more is the dress you wear when your baby gets married.
In exactly 5 months, my daughter will be getting married. It is an outdoor ceremony and I’m anticipating the weather to be warm (end of June in PA).
I’d like something pretty and special but not the traditional, frumpy (it’s true!) mother-of-the-bride dress.
Any ideas where I could start my search. We live in a pretty rural area so on-line options would be great.
Let’s see if we can’t help Dawna figure this one out.
As per usual in matters of fashion, I refer you first to the lovely Susan Wagner, guru of all things style. Read her posts here and here for some general guidelines and suggestions. You avoid The Frump by wearing something that fits you well, in a flattering color. Do not fear The Frump—it’s easily avoided!
As for places to look online… well, I’ll do what I can, here, but you’ve got two things working against you. First, for whatever reason this is a bad time to find a dress. I don’t pretend to understand how retailers decide what to bring in when, but right now there are not nearly as many summer dress options available as there will be, even though summer merchandise is already hitting the shelves. I have no idea why this is, but I know it’s true because many of my regular haunts are coming up empty. (For example, searching for dresses at Kohls—the first place I thought of—turned up a tiny, pitiful assortment.) In another month, you’ll have a much easier time looking around online, I think.
The second issue here is that if you’ve been paying attention, I said that the major key to avoiding The Frump is to wear something that fits you well. That’s always a good idea, of course, but even moreso for a special occasion dress like this. And ordering online is a bit of a crap shoot when it comes to fit. My suggestion—and I know how unfrugal it sounds, but you will thank me later—is that if you come across something that seems like it might work, order two sizes. Yes, I know you’ll be paying for return shipping. The extra money is worth getting something that fits you properly, I promise.
Okay. That said: Let’s go looking.
I already mentioned that Kohls is more or less coming up empty right now, but keep an eye on them—their Simply Vera Wang line has been turning up some great pieces that are affordably-priced. I wouldn’t rule them out.
Another of my favorite places to find something a little extra-fancy is Liz Claiborne. They, too, seem to be somewhat “between” stock right now in terms of dress selection, but that’s both good and bad. The good news is that this Collection Silk Boatneck Dress is marked down from $148 to $36.99, and I think it’s lovely and simply and elegant and the cut would be flattering on almost any shape (owing to the empire cut). The bad news is that it only comes in that raspberry color, which I happen to like, but it’s a fairly bold color and not right for every skin tone. So if you like that one, fabulous, but if you don’t, we’re sort of out of luck, there. (The other bad news is that they’re out of size small, otherwise I can promise you that dress would be on its way to me right now.)
Of course, I also hopped on over to Coldwater Creek, because they have lots of dresses and I just posted a coupon for them the other day. Now, I know the first specific dress I linked to was a solid color—and such a thing would look lovely with some special jewelry—but in browsing Coldwater I found a number of patterned dresses I think would work well, too, just with tamer accessories. Like this floral dress. Also don’t rule out a fancy 2-piece set, like maybe this skirt set. Just sayin’. (Please forgive me if things I’m picking seem completely off-base. Without knowing your size, shape, and coloring, I’m just guessing.)
Macy’s is going to be another place to look—and they’ve got plenty of choices in stock–though obviously you’ll be spending more there than at some of these other stores. Edited to add: I can’t believe I forgot this, earlier, but my wedding dress (for my second wedding, for which I wore a silk cocktail dress rather than a gown) came from Nordstrom. Lots of great, albeit not cheap, options there as well.
Hopefully that gives you a starting point, Dawna. Congratulations to your daughter (and you!) and have a wonderful wedding!