When a special occasion is on the horizon, the temptation to find the “the dress” is difficult to suppress. You begin to plan how you want to look, what you’d like to find. You can see yourself in it, but you can’t find “it” anywhere.
The combination of expectation and reality is daunting. Sometimes you find “it” on the first shopping excursion. Sometimes you can’t find anything that says “buy me!” It’s too fussy, too plain, makes you look fat, hides your figure, is a color not allowed, and on and on and on.
First of all, a special occasion is just that, special. Don’t let dress stress ruin the journey. So, here are a few tips that may help along the way:
* Don’t look too early. Trying to find the right dress too far in advance can often be as bad as waiting until the last minute. New collections come out several times a year. Your decisions change, your weight fluctuates. Give yourself a three month window, no longer. Then look, narrow down, try on, and decide.
* Don’t bring your daughter, the bridesmaids, their friends, your friends, your sister-in-law, your husband, your next door neighbor, and their dog to weigh in on your selection.You’ll go crazy.You have to wear the dress/gown. Have a few guidelines up front as to color and style, then find a dress you love. I repeat… you love. You want to feel beautiful, comfortable, confident. No one can do that for you, but you. I’ve seen too many women twist themselves into a knot because everyone they bring in gets on a soapbox about how they think the woman should look. All it does is paralyze one into a state of doubt and confusion.
* Don’t find “the dress” and then go on a massive diet or eating binge. Even a few pounds can make a dramatic difference in the fit and look of a gown. When you are ready to buy or order, and alterations are in the mix (and they always are), make sure you are in your fighting weight. It is expensive and frustrating to order a gown then come in for alterations 8 weeks later only to have massive alterations. Even worse is altering and have the dress not fit when it’s time to wear it because your weight is bouncing. Your measurements are taken the day of the order. The size shipped will be that that is closest to the measurements taken. Seamstresses are not plastic surgeons.
* When you shop, and especially when you arrive for your fitting, wear the undergarments you plan to wear for the event. Pantyhose, Spanx, pushup bra, strapless bra, etc. Whatever it is, bring it with you. This includes shoes that have the heel height you want. And don’t feel guilty for needing help to push up this or squish in that. Many of the most celebrated beauties in the world know how to use these tools to their advantage. You can too.
* Above all, don’t be hard on yourself. Be proud of your unique look and find the dress that complements it in the best way.You know what it feels like to slip on a dress that is “the one.” It is an innate gift we women share as a seventh sense. The perfect dress is like a second skin. The reason we work so hard for it is, it makes us feel like a goddess. And there is nothing wrong with that.