Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Dress Dilemmas

Hello again interweb friends!

This dress stuff is STRESSING ME OUT! Isn't this supposed to be fun? Well, it's not. Let me tell you, it's NOT!

The first reason it's not fun is that since I'm a "plus-sized" girl most stores carry 2-4 dresses in my size and the rest of the time I have to shimmy into a size 14 or so and get an "idea" of what it will look like. Well, here's a clue-- anytime you shimmy into a dress that is 3 sizes too small you will look like SHIT. And not want to buy that dress!

The other reason it's not fun is that dresses in my price range (technically $500... but it's been creeping upwards at an alarming pace...eek!) feel like they're made of shower curtain fabric. Given that I'm going to be wearing this in the middle of August and sweating up a storm this is probably not a good idea.

Another reason it's not fun is that while I can be in the store and say -- this dress is the best of the 4 "plus" size dresses that are available to me-- my mother, and aunt, and grandmother, and bridesmaids live all across the country (and in other continents.) So all they have to go on are the pictures.

When they tell me-- oh, this one looks terrible, that one looks terrible, I hate the hat, I love the hat, I hate that color, I hate beading, I love beading, that one looks like a nightgown, that one looks like a slip, that one has too much rouching, that one doesn't have enough rouching... etc, etc... (and believe me, there are a million etcs!) you can imagine that it does not make me a happy camper.

I really want people to see a dress and have it be so CLEARLY the stand-out winner that everyone says, "THAT'S THE ONE!"

And yet... the more people I ask for opinions, the more differing opinions I get!

Everyone also says, "It's your wedding! Wear what you feel comfortable in! Wear what you want!"

Well, when people tell you, "Oh, that dress is fugly." And that's the dress you wanted... and that person is your mother. Yeah. Good luck ever feeling comfortable in that dress again, right?

So, I was thinking about getting a dress made. (Esp. because the fabric-- even on the expensive dress ($700)-- was terrible.)

I met with a seamstress/designer yesterday... and whooo let me tell you. That was an ExPeRiEnCe. She was a very nice woman, very friendly-- VERY talkative... (too much, I have to say...) She was also more than a bit wacky. Within 5 minutes of meeting her she was telling me about her polyamourous lifestyle, crystal healing, etc... I'm sure you can picture it.

She quoted me $1500 to make me a dress (in beautiful silk). Well, on the one hand I was a bit relieved that it was out of my price range-- not because I didn't want to work with her, but because I was nervous about having a dress made anyway. At least with a store bought dress you know what you're getting from the get-go. With a specially made dress, if you don't like it-- you're shit out of luck.

So, I thanked her, told her it was out of my range... and figured that would be that.

Well, during our conversation I mentioned that I had taken costume design in college and she called me today to offer me a deal-- $800-- materials & labor, and all fittings included, if I worked at her shop (70hours-- $10/hour) in exchange for her making me the dress.

Part of me is tempted. Custom dress? Better fabric? Check & Check. The unknown scares me... the kookiness scares me... being beholden to someone scares me... not being able to have free time for 3-4 months scares me!

I feel like the seamstress is the type to get very emotionally attached and invested and if I piss her off in some way it would NOT be good. I also prefer to keep transactions like that financial so there's no confusion about boundries.

On the other hand... a custom dress... in silk! It is very tempting.

I'm not sure what to do.

I'm trying on more dresses on Friday but I think it's just going to be a variation of what I've tried on so far. There was one dress that jumped out at me (can you tell which one it is...???) but it has not been the favorite of my friends & family, which has been discouraging.



Anonymous said...

I really don't think I'd do the dress making time-share. 70 hours doesn't seem like a lot, but it will as the wedding inches closer. Also, that woman seems a bit crazy, which...do you want to put your sanity AND your dress in her hands?

You've been keeping your budget low in all other areas, and you're a financially responsible person. Maybe you could increase your dress budget a bit if doing so would save you some time and some annoyance?

Hypatia said...

I think you're right-- I'm not going to do the time share-- my time is too valuable to me-- I'd rather have that than a custom dress that may/may not end up being what I want.

Unfortunately, I don't think I could up my budget enough to make a difference. Right now I'm technically at $500 and most of the dresses I'm looking at are in the $700-800 range-- which is a major stretch. Add in alterations and accessories and that quickly becomes $1200!

Brianna said...

My bff just got married in August, and she had a dress made by milanoo.com. It was exactly right, and amaaaaazing. And she's a size 18/20!!!
They're super super cheap too! i think $200-$700??? I wish i would have had that around when I got married in a $1400 David's bridal dress 7 years ago. (Btw, want to buy it off of me? It's still totally lovely and flattering and a size 20!!!)

Good luck.

Brianna said...

Whoops, I just noticed that this post was from September. Oh, well. Hope you found something.