Monday, February 23, 2009

The Qualms of Bridal Dress Shopping...

I have to admit…I was a little bit nervous about my pending appointment at Alfred Angelo. I HATE trying on clothes. More often than not, I’ll buy something just so that I can take it home to try it on; even if that means that I have to bring it back later. Part of me thinks that’s a really lazy way to approach things, but part of me really doesn’t mind doing it that way.

It’s just that there is not a dressing room mirror out there that is flattering to a woman’s figure. One time, I went into JC Penney’s to look at something, and ended up trying it on in a children’s dressing room as the women’s were all full. They are really evil over there at JCP, because they have those funny mirrors installed in the children’s dressing rooms. Here, you do the mental image - you know the mirror in the funny house at the carnival that makes you look three feet tall and four feet wide? Yeah, that one. Needless to say, I didn’t buy the dress that I tried on that day! I know, I know. It really looked nothing like that in reality, but I couldn’t get over the image in the mirror…too funny.

Anyway, back to the present. What was a talking about? Oh yeah, bad dressing room experiences and bridal stores. So anyway, I was a little nervous. I really didn’t expect to be shopping for my dress yet. Yes, it’s always the first question that people ask you when they find out that you’re getting married, “Do you have your dress yet?” But I hadn’t thought to start actually shopping yet; in fact, I was hoping that I would have a little more time. I mean, come on, who doesn’t want to look their best when they’re trying on wedding dress, right?

Especially because shopping for a wedding dress isn’t like shopping for regular clothes. Someone is IN the dressing room with you and your undies in all of your glory, so there’s a lot to consider. They’re helping you get in and out of petticoats, dresses and undergarments to help “shape” your figure, and it can just be highly embarrassing at times. You have to make sure that you’re groomed – legs, bikini area and underarms – because THAT’S just awkward if you’re not fully prepared for a stranger to see you if you’re not. And for me, and I’ll admit that I’m a little paranoid about these things, I didn’t want to go in on a day when I wasn’t in my good panties. Come on, you can all admit to it. You have underwear that you wear that you wouldn’t want someone else seeing you in. It’s ok. We all have them – granny panties. It’s part of the natural order of the world. But they’re really not supposed to be worn in the presence of others, such as when you’re trying on wedding dresses, according to Miss Cotton Candy.

So like I said, there’s some forethought required to this whole bridal dress shopping for me. And that doesn’t even count any issues or hang ups that you might have about your own body…and I have hang ups. Being a mom of a six year old, I have a different body than a bride that’s right out of college (or still in college) with all the time in the world to work out and stay in shape. There are things that I’m looking for in my wedding dress to hide or camouflage a little bit so that I look my best on my wedding day. And in theory, if weight loss in on the planner at all when you’re a bride, you almost hate to even start wedding dress shopping until some of that weight is gone. They run a tape measure across various parts of your body to take measurements and determine what size of dress that you need to order, and if you’re planning on but haven’t actually started a diet or exercise regiment that size could change. And since bridal gown sizes are so skewed and weird anyway, I just wanted to look differently before I went in for the first time.

And I thought about my weight. I have a good friend who constantly refers to me dressing in “Barbie doll” clothes. Even though I know that I’m larger than I would like to be for me to feel the best about myself, it makes me feel good to have her refer to my clothes like that. A VERY big thanks, DL! So even if my good friends think that I look fine, I know that I would feel better about myself if I lost about 15 pounds. It’s not much, but it’s toning that I’m more interested in. In fact, the actual weight doesn’t bother me as much as how my clothes fit me. I would like for them to be a little bit loser on me than they are, and I would like to be able to wear all of the clothes in my closet, not just the ones in the larger size. Being one size smaller would just open up SO many options with my wardrobe, you know? And if you’ve already lost some weight by the time that someone runs a tape measure across and around you, it’s just better for your own self image since they’re going to tell you to order your dress at least one size larger than you are used to buying them in.

All of this is going through my head that morning after I scheduled the appointment with Alfred Angelo’s for that afternoon. What underwear did I have on? Had I remembered to grab my OWN strapless bra that morning, I know that I thought about getting it, but did I actually get it? When was the last time that I “groomed?” At least one good thing was working for me that day, I had fixed my hair and was having a good hair day.

Anyway. So I have these big plans to start exercising and watching what I eat, but I just haven’t gotten the chance to start any of it yet. So I wasn’t really “ready” to start shopping, if that makes sense. But at this point, it’s a little too late to worry about any of that. The store is having a sale that ends today. I have an appointment scheduled already. So it’s pretty much now or never. Even though I have a little voice in the back of my head telling me that I don’t have to find a dress today…it IS the first place that I’ve stopped to look and what are the odds that I’ll fall for one that I try on the first day? Slim to none, right?

Did you have these same thoughts when you're in a dressing room? Or for you brides out there that are reading this post, did you have these same fears before bridal gown shopping?

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