Shopping for a bridal gown with my sister was...
It wasn't like prom dresses. When I walked into a store looking for a prom dress (all five times) I was comfortable. Confident.
Walking into a room filled to the brim with white, fluffy dresses and gossamer veils and cases filled with sparkling tiaras and hairpieces?
I felt ready for it, though, if not exactly in my element. Prom dresses? Hell yeah! How different could a wedding dress be?
The first appointment was at Alfred Angelo's or something like that, which had a dress she really liked. And then she added, "I also had an appointment for a bridesmaid's dress. She's got to try it on so I can see if it will be flattering."
I think I missed something because I'm pretty freaking sure the enticement had been comfortable chairs and champagne and fun as I rated, critiqued, and judged the dresses with cards. Trying things on? No.
No. No. No.
The entire store had no walls! Just lots of mirrors with pedestals! You could literally stand in any spot and see every other person in the store because their reflection just appeared. All well and good for the bride, but for me?
No, I do not think so.
Then Relly proceeded to try on five dresses. Some were pretty. One was so awful I did my pinched up Queen Look and didn't even bother marking it on the score because it was simply that hideous. Seriously, it looked like three different dresses had been cut up and thrown together.
And she did have one that she liked a lot, but she had another appointment at a salon that sold another designer she was very interested in, so she didn't want to commit. I thought I had made off like a bandit without having to try anything on but then she said, "Oh, Chanel still has to try on the bridesmaid dress."
Great. Balls. Of. Fire.
Relly, you really should have your matron of honor try it on. She's got the hardest figure to fit. If this dress is flattering on me it doesn't mean it will work of her.
Relly was adamant.
Into the dressing room I went, and let me tell you I was not dressed for trying things on. I wore skinny jeans, calf high boots, a cami, and a sweater. Layers over layers to remove to slip into this dress.
That was my size, supposedly, and still too big. And it didn't even cover as much of my anatomy as my bras did, and let me tell you I did not want to step out of that dressing room into the Hall of Mirrors for everyone to see a lot more of me than generally gets revealed.
So I stuck my head out and said, "Um...you know, I think something a little less low cut would be best. Some of the other girls will be falling out..."
"Just come out."
I'm not going to lie. I didn't try to put on a happy face. I slouched my shoulders, picked up the dress (because even though the average woman is only five foot four and I am five foot six, they make these dresses to fit six feet tall women so they're all too long) and slumped out. In my stocking feet, I'll have you know, because I didn't take off my socks.
A few pins and tucks, and then, "Alright, it's fitted. You can get up on the pedestal."
"Stand up straight, Chanel, stop slouching!"
Straighten up, but I still held the deep neckline together and restated my case.
Salesgirl: "Wow, this dress is stunning on you. (To Relly:) Look at the way the line follows her body."
Relly: "I love the cut. See how the halter top makes her collar bones stand out? It looks elegant."
Memaw: "You look so tall! It's gorgeous."
Random other people: "Oh, you're so lucky you get to wear a dress that you rock!" Blah. Blah. Blah.
I can literally see myself no matter which way I turn. I am standing in the middle of a sea of brides and bridesmaids and mothers of the bride and they are all looking, commenting on this very red dress that I am wearing that I think needs to be taken up an inch at the neck.
And then the salesgirl starts tucking in the front, getting very close to me, mentioning all of the alterations they can make. "We can have them sew this so it isn't so low here if it makes you uncomfortable. The neck won't be so big, we'll get your measurements and get it in your size. This seriously is a stunning look for you. Are you going with this color? Blue? Oh, yes. Blue will be beautiful."
Relly: "You need a tan, though. You're way too pale."
"I am not tanning for your wedding. I am going to be all natural me. Can I please change back now? We know this is the one."
And I jumped down and ran off without waiting for an answer.
But my ordeal was over.
We went to the second store for our appointment to check out the Maggie dresses. And we were early, so the consultant encouraged us to look around and pull anything that stood out while she prepared a room and pulled the dresses Relly knew she wanted to try.
So we perused. And I found this halter dress with this gorgeous, sparse beading and a low back that was stunning. Relly agreed and we added that to her dresses. All in all there were seven dresses to try on. And none for me.
So I took a seat in a very large, accommodating arm chair, my grandmother sat in a chair next to me. And we waited for her to come out.
The first dress was beautiful. It was flattering, and even though I hate rouching (is that how you spell it?) it made her waist look absolutely tiny. It was gorgeous, and definitely my favorite of all of the dresses she tried on so far.
The second was pretty, but no good.
The third...not so much.
The fourth...was very pretty, but she liked the first one better.
Sixth? Well, it was stunning, absolutely perfect. But it was way too formal and she couldn't see herself wearing it to the wedding she was planning.
Dress number seven...was the one I had picked. And she came out with a smile. And she did a little dance and looked at herself and said she loved it. Add a veil, take some pictures, add a hair piece...and it was the one. She tried on the first one again, just to be sure, but it was the seventh dress and she knew it.
And that, my friends, was a day of twelve dresses. She decided, and until my fitting, I never have to go back.
My only question is this: how on earth am I going to handle shopping for my own wedding dress?