Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Great Dress Search, Part I

My little sister, who was once my long-time roommate and remains my lifelong best friend, is, naturally, my maid of honor. I rely on her for guidance, for emotional support and, above all else, to make sure I look good on my wedding day. I am certainly not devoid of the ability to dress myself with at least a hint of style and fashion-forwardness, but she is, and always has been, much more apt to determine what is and is not flattering. Consider this instance: only three months after announcing our engagement, my fiance and I left Michigan to move across the country to Baltimore. Away from all of my family and without a single friend, I was forced to continue my wedding dress search alone. I purchased a dress from J.Crew online (because they give you 60 days to return your item for a full refund, though you have to eat the shipping cost) and tried it on, alone, in my bedroom, in front of the mirror. It was beautiful, but too big. So I ordered another, same dress, smaller size. I kept the large one too, to compare. The new dress came, I tried it on, it fit, it was perfect, I loved it. Bada bing, bada boom. I was done. I had my dress, I was good to go, let the full on wedding planning commence.

But then my sister came to visit. My sweet, darling, loving sister, who has always been my biggest fan and truly believes that I am beautiful. I tried on the dress for her, itching with excitement at what I was sure would be her instant approval. “Ohhhh,” she said. “That is such a beautiful dress—it doesn’t look good on you—but it’s a beautiful dress.” It doesn’t look good on me. It is like a side note, so obvious it is hardly worth saying, but she might as well just throw it in there for good measure. And she was right. She showed me in the mirror how it made me look boxy and wide around the waist, which is actually the thinnest part of my body. It fell wrong on my hips, hugged me in all the wrong places. I don’t know why I didn’t see it myself, but she was definitely correct: this was not the dress for me.

That was over two months ago now--the day my sister shot down my dress. I kept looking, continued buying dresses online and returning them over and over again. I tried on a white dress at Macy’s, only to fall to the floor of the dressing room in tears because I couldn’t zip up the back zipper and I felt so hopelessly alone. And eventually I gave up, frustrated and distraught. This time it was my mom who came to my rescue, or my mom’s friend to be exact. She offered to make my dress for me, to create a dress that I would love. One that would flatter me and make me look beautiful. A dress that my sister will think looks good on me. She is my proverbial knight in shining armor, my mother’s friend (who is also a woman that I know well, and care for very much). This weekend, I am returning home to Michigan, where we will shop for the perfect dress pattern and try to narrow down a suitable fabric (stay tuned for details on successes/failures sometime next week). I’m very excited for this opportunity, the chance to collaboratively create a dress I want to wear. And I’m thrilled to once again have other people involved in my search process. But most of all, I’m just so very thankful to these women I love.


Post a Comment

<< Home