Thursday, August 19, 2010

Get this veil off me... or Dress Shopping with Mom, II

With the traumatic experience of the first store behind us, Mom and I bolstered our spirits over lunch. I ordered one of the heaviest meals on the menu - a Monte Cristo. Screw it, I thought. Who care if I'm dress shopping. I've never had one and I'm hungry. (The women in my family get cranky when not fed - a lesson Mr. P quickly picked up on.)

Between bites of the deep-fried goodness, we discussed the varying levels of Fail! at the last store to better prepare for the next stop. Although it wouldn't take much to create a better experience, the next salon immediately assigned us an attendant who explained their system for pulling dresses: place your allotted 6 colored rings on the dresses you'd like to try on and we'll bring them to you. (Color-coded and labeling - I'm in!)

I systematically worked my way around the salon, pulling gowns that had a variety in shape and formality so I could begin to narrow down what worked. At this time, we had not decided on a venue, let alone a date. Oops!

Dress #1

Dress #1 was her pull. I would have pulled it without her so we were already off to a good start. I knew it was a Watters by the coded tag ("WW"), but didn't find out it was the Austin until I did some internet sleuthing. I loved it. The skirt was so full of movement, yet light. Goodbye heavy princess gowns! The attendant only had to ask how I'd rate it before I had implemented a 1-10 numerical value system, 10 being mind-blowingly awesome. This one scored a 7/10, mostly to reserve excitement for later dresses.

The attendant took it as a positive sign, quickly produced a veil and was halfway to pinning it to my head before my eyes bugged out and hands went up defensively. "Not unless you want me to have a panic attack." Stopped her in her tracks... from laughter. I have no idea why I say these things; they just slip out. I was very serious about the "no veil" thing.

The next few didn't rate so highly. A 4, which "wasn't one you need to spend any time in" per the attendant, then a 6 for an Alfred Angelo fitted bodice with ruching. Others were much better on the rack than on me: Watters Torreon and a Rina di Montella. (Looking back I realize the sample sizes at this store were a street size 6. That combined with my disproportionate hips and the close fit of Torrean through said area would have been useful to my self-esteem.)

Dress #4 - Watters Torrean & Dress #5 - Rina di Montella

Another with poufy tulle and strapless bedazzled bodice didn't make it out of the dressing room. It was a true princess gown. I felt ridiculous in it. The Watters Austin score was adjusted to 7.5/10. I tried on a few more gowns, including the Sophia Tolli below, that weren't as pretty, romantic or comfortable as the first. While she restocked gowns, I surreptitiously snapped a photo of my favorite - the Watters Austin.

Sophia Tolli

Heading back to Delaware, I felt confident that if I could find a dress in WV for a reasonable price, then I could find one I liked even more here.

(All personal photos unless otherwise noted.)

How did you decide which dresses you liked? Did you create a rating system or rely on your gut reaction?

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